The Two Official Timekeepers
An ‘Official Timekeeper’ is usually found at sports events and those with a cultural and glamour appeal. However, it is also one of the new ideas at the 57th Furniture Show: a brand of haute horlogerie that, for the first time, is ticking away at the Furniture Show, and, it must be said, with all the specific ‘complications’. In fact, this year, visitors at the Rho Expo Center, the location of design's top international event, will find a Red Lounge specifically for exhibiting Royal Oak Offshore, the iconic collection of the historic brand, chosen from among the many created in the company's 143 years of activity, to mark its 25th anniversary. To celebrate this important event, the maison, founded in 1875 in Le Brassus, is issuing a re-edition inspired by the 1993 model, accompanied by two new limited series of the Royal Oak Offshore Tourbillon Chronograph, one in stainless steel and one in 18-carat pink gold. And, as Franco Ziviani, CEO of Audermars Piguet Italia, affirmed, it is “a partnership that has allowed two first-rate organizations to come together, an encounter that is able to blend globally unique creativity and savoir-faire with the aim of promoting and supporting extraordinarily valuable ideas and projects.” The company that is, however, already at its fifth year of Official Timekeeper, as well as Fuorisalone.it and Brera Design District, is Tissot, which is proposing two different ways and places to meet the public: one at its single-brand Boutique in Corso Vittorio Emanuele II, where an exhibition illustrates the genesis of the historical Tissot Sottsass model, created in 1988 by poet, artist and philosopher, Ettore Sottsass, and another travelling show on a 1928 tram, transformed into an elegant showroom, which will be driven around the Brera area providing a dynamic and almost dreamlike vision of the city. But that's not all. Corallo, the name of the ‘tram’ designed by Cristina Celestino, will also be transporting the Everytime Swissmatic collection around the city center streets, displayed inside a special, velvet-lined jewel case, in an atmosphere that flits between echoes of the past and modernity.
Homage to a Hero of the Past
In order to admire the concept created by Cartier, however, one must go to the Arco della Pace, where The Legendary Thrill has been staged. An installation dedicated to the legendary Santos watch, an extraordinary work in terms of dimensions and wow effect. On the other hand, the project does come from Studio Giò Forma, the same architects' studio that designed highlights such as the Tree of Life at Expo Milan 2015 and sets at Milan's Scala Theater and at the Bolshoi in Moscow. For this occasion, Studio Giò Forma has devised an 'urban' context to mark the celebratory figure of Alberto Santos Dumont, one of the fathers of modern aviation, who, in 1906, took off in a 14 bis bi-plane from a park in Paris and managed to fly 60 meters. Very few by today's standards, but a great distance at the time, so much so that it earned him three official records, including the longest flight with a 'heavier-than-air machine'. A record that Monsieur Cartier decided it was his duty to immortalize with the first ever wrist watch, the Santos. And in Milan today, to commemorate the courage of this man who, despite living over a century ago, is still so modern, is a 60-meter long transparent gallery connecting the bastions of the Arco della Pace, exactly the same length as the distance flown by Dumont, whose name became history in just a few moments.
In the Deep Blue
Going from the world of aviation to that of the sea, one can only speak of Officine Panerai, a company founded in 1860 in Florence as a workshop, store and watch-making school which has been supplying precision tools to the Italian Marine Forces for years. Among the characteristics that have always distinguished the company's timepieces, is, in fact, their extreme visibility even in the depths of abysses due to first rate technological solutions and astounding design innovation, now developed at its branch in Neuchatel. And Candela, the name of the installation which will be on display at Milan's Triennale from 17th to 22nd April as part of the Light in the Darkness exhibition, is no more than the artistic transposition of what is an unprecedented perspective of time and light, two of the brand's fundamental values. Candela, the base unit with which to measure luminous intensity, is a kind of immersion into the bluest abysses that develops through an itinerary made of a framework of 60 elements linked together to form one multi-faceted rotating dial, suspended just above the ground. As time passes, each element is struck by a burst of light, illuminating it for an instant to then grow gradually fainter until it disappears altogether. Next to this conceptual and multi-disciplinary work, created by three different British talents - designer Felix de Pass, graphic artist Michael Montgomery and ceramist Ian McIntyre - are top watches from the Submersible collection, such as Luminor Submersible 1950 Carbotech 3 Days Automatic, with watch-case in Carbotech, and Luminor Submersible 1950 Amagnetic 3 Days Automatic Titanium, with a built-in anti magnetic field watch-case.