That '70s Style
Will Pop Art, the art movement that peaked during the Seventies, ever cross paths with high horology?
Imagine Takashi Murakami’s signature flower on a classy watch.
A bumper crop of timepieces from the 1970s came with strong Pop Art sensibilities: Asymmetrical cases, watches that resembled boxy, clunky TV sets or boasted funky dial designs and colours. Some even looked like futuristic spaceships - except that they were made for wrists.
But while brands of the time adopted the art movement's aesthetics, it's interesting to note that they never ventured into the art itself. Till today, brands that incorporate images from the likes of Andy Warhol and Roy Lichtenstein into their designs are few and far between.
Warhol did dabble with horology when he was invited by Movado to contribute to its Artists' Series in 1983. He created a Movado piece known as the Andy Warhol "Times 5". And American artist Keith Haring lent his creations to Swatch in 1986. The limited-edition collection featured his artwork on the dials.
Can the bright colours and whimsical designs — like those in Roy Lichtenstein’s Spray II — work for serious timepieces?
Jeff Koons‘ Horizon “Cannonballs” for Ikepod.
Keith Haring’s collaborative watch for Swatch from 1986
Ikepod’s latest partnership with American pop artist KAWS — the Ikepod Horizon KAWS
Is there no place for Pop Art in haute horlogerie? Could high-end watchmakers be trying to be highfalutin', shunning the decidedly mass culture in favour of the more refined forms of Art Deco or Minimalism?