Squaring the cir­cle

ELLE Decor (Italy) - - English Text - words by Lu­ca Co­lom­bo

In wat­ch- ma­king, ae­sthe­tics and me­cha­nics go hand in hand and the dial en­han­ces this re­la­tion­ship wi­th off- cen­tre, sym­me­tric, in­ter­lin­ked cir­cles. A cir­cle. Be­cau­se, apart from a few suc­ces­sful ex­cep­tions, round is the tra­di­tio­nal sha­pe for watches. It is al­so the sha­pe used for the dial, the fa­ce of a ti­me­pie­ce that cha­rac­te­ri­ses its de­si­gn. Over the years, ma­ny ma­nu­fac­tu­rers ha­ve twea­ked the me­cha­nics, ad­ding ex­tra in­for­ma­tion and al­so play­ing wi­th how the hours and mi­nu­tes are re­pre­sen­ted. And cir­cles on the dial ha­ve been the per­fect sha­pe for hi­ghlighting the­se chan­ges. In so­me ca­ses they in­di­ca­te a wat­ch’s ad­di­tio­nal func­tions, as well as sho­wing the hours, mi­nu­tes and se­conds: the­re are cir­cles that fea­tu­re a spec­ta­cu­lar tour­bil­lon or gi­ve the mo­ve­ment’s po­wer re­ser­ve, the da­te or chro­no­gra­phic func­tions. So­me­ti­mes the­se are ar­ran­ged all over the sur­fa­ce of the wat­ch: the hours sho­wn in a cir­cle at the top, the se­conds at the bot­tom, and mi­nu­te hands in the midd­le. Even mo­re com­plex ver­sions in­tro­du­ce the con­cept of jum­ping hours ( sho­wn by num­bers that ‘ jump’ from one hour to the next in­si­de a ti­ny cir­cu­lar win­dow on the dial) and re­tro­gra­de mi­nu­tes, whe­re on­ce the mi­nu­te hand rea­ches 60 it leaps back to its star­ting point. All in­si­de a cir­cle.

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