From the Museum Dial to the new Movado Edge
Movado has called upon designer Yves Béhar to reinterpret its iconic 1947 model, which the brand has never ceased to update. With its concave dial and its wave-shaped minutes, the Edge plays in three dimensions.
Samsung owes him its curved screens and Puma its ecological shoeboxes. Yves Béhar, industrial designer born in Lausanne, completed his training in California where his fuseproject company has been based since 1999. He has worked with many global brands, from Nivea to Prada, from Google to Duracell, and it is him that Movado has chosen to create its new Edge collection, a reinterpretation of the Museum Dial, an iconic piece in its collections for nearly 70 years.
A concave dial
From one to the other, filiation is so clear and the product so recognizable that there was no need for either the brand or the logo to appear on the dial of the Movado Edge. The horns have disappeared and the point at noon, which was merely an applique in the original dial, has become three-dimensional.
On the periphery of the dial, sixty ripples represent the minutes and guide the eye towards the central axis of the hours and minutes hands in a visual slide that is the more natural as the part is concave; thus offering an unexpected feeling of depth. The collection comes in three sizes, 34 mm in the feminine version, 40 mm for men and 42 mm for the chronograph with a raised minute hand in bright yellow or red, depending on the model. Taking into account the different dial colors, the leather, rubber or steel wrislets and the various case finishes, there are no less than 14 new references making their entry into the brand’s catalog.
Movado Edge Stainless steel & rubber strap
The Movado Edge, presented for preview in December in Geneva, is for the time being only available on the European market and at one point of sale: the prestigious Manor, with whom an exclusive partnership was established. The Movado Edge will be launched in spring 2016 at Baselworld, before a roll-out which will land it in "several hundreds" points of sale in Europe, according to Henry Lytvynov, vice president of Movado for Europe and the Middle East.
On display at the MOMA
The Edge collection therefore tackles one of the brand’s icons – the Museum Dial. This watch with a black dial with a single gold dot at noon was designed in 1947 by American industrial designer Nathan George Horwitt. Since its launch, its original design has proved extremely effective, making it the first watch to make the permanent collection at the MOMA in New York. "Like any brand, we claim the word ‘iconic’. There is only one difference: it is not we who claim it, but the twenty or so museums that exhibit our pieces around the world," murmured maliciously the communications manager.
Today the Museum Dial almost merges with Movado’s identity. We have thus seen the "single dot" reappear over and over again, always reminding us of the Horwitt. This was the case in 1981 with the Movado Imperiale, in 2000 with the New Movado SE – a sports piece with futuristic curves – in 2003 with an automatic version, and again in 2006, 2007 and 2010. The brand has therefore never ceased to revive its Museum Dial. Yet, the Movado Edge embodies the first in-depth modification of the original design. "This is not a variation of George Horwitt’s watch, it is Yves Behar’s watch," says Henry Lytvynov.
The matter of Swiss Made
The entire Edge collection is powered by a quartz movement produced by Ronda, allowing it to claim its Swiss Made label while remaining in the CHF 500 - 1,200 price range. This is an opportunity for Movado – born in La Chaux-de-Fonds in the late nineteenth century and passed into American hands in 1983 –to hammer the three fundamental values on which the brand rests: its Swiss heritage, its design, and its association with the arts. The whole story is narrated in a small thirty-second promotional clip in English tantamount to American effectiveness and pragmatism. Regardless of the value of the Swiss franc, the brand continues to emphasize Swiss Made as a central axis of its strategy. The amount of products made in Switzerland varies by model, explains in substance Danni Hammer, sales manager for Switzerland. And should the conditions for obtaining the label become stricter, Movado would adapt its industrial strategies wherever necessary to maintain it.
Pictures credits: Marco Cattaneo