Floating Marbles help this hypnotic Mobius Calendar tell the date and time in cosmic style

Our planets, timekeeping, and geometry have had a deep relationship going back thousands of years. The Stonehenge, sundials, and a whole litany of astronomical research from history show how man used a geometric understanding of the earth and the sun to plot hours, days, months, and years. This complex relationship has gotten us to where we are today, and the Mobius Calendar Clock pays tribute to that strong relationship.

Part calendar part clock, this tabletop device comes with a unique sculptural quality that elevates it to the status of objet d’art. Designed to captivate the eye, the Mobius Calendar Clock features a hollow twisted torus on the top, resembling the continuous physical properties of a Mobius strip. Rolling along the mobius’ surface are two marbles, representing the sun as well as the earth, while indicating the date and month of each current day. Right underneath this is a pinhole clock that uses a dotted matrix to also tell the time in its own unique style.

Designer: Zanwen Li

The beauty of the Mobius Calendar Clock lies in just how uniquely it depicts the date on its curved surface. Rather than having a grid with numbers arranged by the week, the clock uses two floating marbles to tell the time. A yellow marble, representing the sun, points at the month, while a blue Earth-like marble points at each day. As days pass, the marbles ‘orbit’ the Mobius, resetting to their original position once the month/year is complete.

Right underneath the calendar is a table clock that uses a retro-inspired dot-matrix-style display to tell the time. As time passes by, the dots either light up or go dark, and our eyes see the collective picture through the Gestalt theories of visual perception, allowing us to perceive numbers.

The Mobius Calendar Clock represents designer Zanwen Li’s approach to iconic detailing beautifully. Originally the creator of the now-popular Heng Balance Lamp, Li relies on the clever use of hollow space, optical illusions, and visual simplicity to make his designs stand out. Quite like the Heng Balance Lamp, the Mobius Calender Clock also has a massive hollow space in its center, and uses a simple yet alluring set of floating ball bearings to magnetically move around the curved Mobius surface of the calendar to indicate the date and month. It’s an interaction that’s beautiful without being complicated, as even children will be able to easily read the date and time on the Mobius Calendar Clock!