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Nendo’s Slice of Time

Out of time? In a unique installation for luxury Italian watchmaker Panerai, Japanese design studio Nendo is offering you a slice of time.


October 26th, 2016

In order to create the unique centrepiece of the installation, Nendo worked to design a transparent empty-shell that recalled the Panerai brand’s signature watches, consisting of hour markers using one-stroke numerals and square-shaped cases. This transparent design was then elongated to 16 metres in length using an extrusion moulding process.

This elongated form of the object was then sliced, layer-by-layer, to see this “empty-shell clock” become a collection of finished products for the visitors to take home. In a playful move, Nendo chose to slice the clocks in various proportions, correlating to the visitors’ own ages!

The space itself was a room designed to allow the passage of time to be the star of the show itself. A circular atelier space was set up for each production stage of the clock shell process, such as “polishing”, “sandblasting” and “assembling”. The gradual formation of the clock mimicking the actual passage of time Penerai has accurately measured for so long. The clock objects themselves were created at a rate of one every 5 minutes, with the long and narrow empty-shell like clock tube becoming shorter and shorter by the moment until it completely disappeared.

To mimic the gradual passage of time itself, the empty-shell became an apparatus to measure time itself, serving as a modernist take on the hourglass. By reducing time to a length, Nendo encouraged visitors “take back their own time” in celebrating the ingenuity and precision of Penerai.

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