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Architecture & Design

An architect’s watch: the Astar by Rino Brodbeck

Renowned Swiss architect Rino Brodbeck has released a watch that mirrors the cosmic universe. Only fifteen numbered pieces of this ode to the celestial system have been produced, thus making them true collectables.

By Ollivier Broto

In 1967, Basel-born Rino moved to Geneva to invest in several architectural projects. He has won multiple competitions and has collaborated in important projects such as the construction of the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) headquarters in Geneva, the three new Rolex sites and the Hans Wildorf Bridge in 2012. Despite this, he has always had an eye on the stars and imagined a watch controlled by the cosmic universe while keeping in mind every architectural fact. In 2002, he was able to fulfil his dream and introduced fifteen numbered watches all around the same subject: time, space, architecture and, at the center of it all, human beings.

The timepiece was crafted at the Janvier SA workshop, in the heart of Swiss watchmaking in Sainte-Croix. Janvier SA was founded by Vianney Halter, one of the most creative master watchmakers of the early 2000s and winner of the 2013 “Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève” for innovation.

The Astar is an exceptional watch which houses a self-winding mechanical caliber with 38 hours of power reserve.  Based on an ETA movement, the 28,000 vibrations per hour of the caliber increase its accuracy dramatically. Only fourteen aficionados will be able to acquire the watch as the number 11 already belongs to the “Musée d’Horlogerie de Genève”.

The 40x10.5-mm stainless steel timepiece features a streamlined round-shaped case. The color of the dial is spatial blue and the watch’s hands have been replaced by gold, silver and a diamond to indicate the hours, minutes and seconds respectively.

Reading time differently

It takes a little while to get used to the uncommon dial and understand that time can be read by differentiating the hour, minute and second symbols. These have different surfaces, colors and dimensions and they are perfectly visible in spite of having been superimposed. Much to the visual delight of cosmophiles, every passing second reveals a harmonious arrangement.

Rino Brodbeck’s Astar watch restores cosmic order.

Representing more than a timepiece fastened to the wrist, it plays an immaterial role of being in symbiosis with the astral universe.

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