Moshe Safdie’s vibrant timepiece puts a Delaunay-inspired collage on your wrist


They say staring at art is supposed to make you lose track of time, but this timepiece may actually be a little different! Moshe Safdie’s “Ode to Delaunay” watch, designed for Projects Watches, pays tribute to the vibrant world of Orphic Cubism, particularly the work of French artist Robert Delaunay, while simultaneously telling time through the movement of colors across your wrist.

The “Ode to Delaunay” is a visual feast, bringing Safdie’s architectural sensibilities and composition to abstract geometric art. Its design is inspired by Delaunay’s 1938 painting, “Rythme n°1,” known for its dynamic use of color and form. Safdie, leveraging his architectural brilliance, translates this into a wristwatch that’s both a time-telling device and a statement piece. The watch is a composition of three colorful spinning discs, each representing the hours, minutes, and seconds. These discs, with open holes cut into them, reveal the passage of time in a manner reminiscent of Delaunay’s circular geometries.

Designer: Moshe Safdie for Projects Watches

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Stare at the watch long enough and you’re likely to enter into a trance. While Delaunay’s paintings were known to hypnotize viewers, the watch brings literal movement into the picture with a series of rotating discs that indicate the hours and minutes. The watch’s face stimulates you from every corner, with practically no blank spaces in its visual composition. It’s a stark difference from the functionally pure watch faces you’d see on more classic timepieces that opt for a more form-follows-function route. Here, however, function and art coexist harmoniously, creating a watch that’s always exciting to look at!

The watch itself is a hallmark of minimalist elegance and contemporary design. Encased in black stainless steel with a 40mm diameter, it strikes a balance between boldness and subtlety. The black leather band complements the watch’s overall aesthetic, making it versatile for various occasions. Moreover, its water-resistant feature adds a practical edge to its artistic allure.

Behind this inventive timepiece is Moshe Safdie, an Israeli-Canadian-American architect whose career spans six decades. Safdie is a figure synonymous with socially responsible and human-centric design. His iconic works include Habitat ’67, a model housing complex for Expo 67 in Montreal, the Yad Vashem Holocaust History Museum, the Marina Bay Sands Integrated Resort in Singapore, and the Crystal Bridges Museum in the United States. Safdie’s designs are not just structures; they are narratives in concrete, glass, and steel, reflecting his commitment to creating spaces that enhance human experience and interaction.

Safdie’s original sketch for the Ode to Delaunay watch.

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