Movado tapped industrial designer Yves Béhar for its latest watch line featuring a clean slate and a monochromatic aesthetic.
The Movado Edge Chronograph.
For the first time since 2010, Movado unveils an all-new watch family inspired by the iconic Museum Dial. The new line, Movado Edge, was created by world famous industrial designer Yves Béhar, who puts a 21st century spin on the legendary dot. Béhar and his firm, FuseProject, bring a three-dimensional aspect to the watch dial, creating a concave dial that reaches down from the edges to a bowl- or dish-shape that is at once alluring and modernistic.
“We are very excited about the Movado Edge collection,” says Efraim Grinberg CEO and chairman of Movado Group. “Béhar just gets it. He is a superb designer and he knew how to take the design to the next level—he just got it right away.” Grinberg said he approached Béhar to create the new interpretation of Movado’s iconic signature look after the two met at the 2013 Aspen Ideas Summit. “He has taken the Museum Dial to a new artistic level.”
Even with the complexity of the chronograph, the Movado Edge still maintains a clean appeal.
Indeed, Béhar, who was born in Lausanne, Switzerland and has lived in the USA for decades, said he was incredibly excited about working on the Movado Museum Dial. His award-winning lineup includes such cutting-edge products like Jawbone activity trackers and headsets, One Laptop per Child, SodaStream Play, the Sayl chair for the famed Herman Miller furniture company, and more. In fact, he even created the Issey Miyake Vue watch with hour hand and disappearing digital hour marker.
According to Béhar, working with Movado was very exciting, as he says he has a long-standing respect for Movado’s close ties to art and modernism, and for the Museum Dial, first designed in 1947 by Nathan George Horwitt. The dial was devoid of numbers—a revolutionary concept 68 years ago—and had a single gold dot at 12:00, reminiscent of the sun at high noon. Just nine years after its introduction, the design—known as the Movado Museum Dial—became part of the permanent collection of MoMA (Museum of Modern Art), underscoring its position as one of the most important contributions to 20th century art.
The Movado Edge features a highly polished 3D raised dot rising from the concave dial.
You can read a full interview with Béhar about what it was like for him to reinterpret a legend for today’s times in our Perfect Timing column on Forbes.com. Now, however, we want to introduce you to the new Movado Edge collection, which maintains the spirit of simplicity and minimalism of the original design, but in a more contemporary approach.
The most striking thing about the dial is its concave dish- or bowl-like shape. “As soon as I found out we had the room in the watch for me to make the concave shape, I knew exactly what I wanted,” says Béhar, who treated the dial like a three-dimensional sculpture.
The dial somewhat resembles the look of a volcano, a large, round and concave structure whose edges have ripples or ridges made over long periods of time. The legendary dot remains a focal point of the dial, but instead of being flat or concave, it is a 3D rendition that rises up out of the dial. Created in a highly polished finish, the dot takes on a life of its own. In fact, the entire dial with its concave shape and grooved edges, shimmers differently with every turn of the watch, and seems to beckon to the wearer to take a closer and deeper look within.
The ridges at the outer edge of the concave dial are created via a sun ray pattern.
Each dial is devoid of the words “Swiss Made” and “Movado” usually found on the brand’s timepieces. “The design is so original and right that we didn’t feel we needed to put the words on the dial,” says Grinberg. “The Movado Edge doesn’t replace the Museum Dial, it is just a new interpretation.”
The collection is offered in two sizes, 34mm and 40mm for the time-only versions for men and women. Each watch is crafted in stainless steel and offered in a choice of a polished steel version or PVD versions in black, rose gold tone, and yellow gold tone. Dials, bracelets, and dots are all color-matched for monochromatic appeal. The cases are subtly curved for ergonomic comfort on the wrist. The Movado Edge watches do not have bezels, so the crystal reaches all the way to the edge of the case.
Each Movado Edge has a monochromatic appeal.
There is also a 42mm chronograph in the collection. Because the chronograph must yield more information than the time-only watches, there is an Arabic minute ring imprinted on the inside surface of the crystal, and the three subdials feature white printing. The subdials are actually pressed into the concave dial sculpture so the interior of the watch is still recessed and modernistic. The chronograph dial is offered in black or midnight blue sandblasted aluminum with the sculpted sun ray-textured edges and raised polished dot. A green or red hour hand provides a bright startling contrast to the darkness of the dial.
Movado Edge marks the first time in five years that a new family of Museum Dial-inspired watches has been released. In 2010, the brand unveiled the entry-level collection, Movado Bold. This new family of Movado Edge watches will continue to evolve, with Béhar involved, says Grinberg. The line, slated to have a more exclusive distribution, will be in stores soon, and retail from $495 to $1,195.
Our impressions: The watch has substance. It doesn’t replace the original but then, it doesn’t try to. It has a very 21st century feel to it thanks to the concave dial, the rise dot, the flat crystal reaching to the edge of the case and the ridges. It is a watch you must see and try on to really garner a true sense of the concave complexity. It is a watch that will definitely catch the attention of others and become a real conversation piece—after all, it is designed by Yves Béhar.
Founder and editor-in-chief of ATimelyPerspective.com, Roberta Naas is a veteran award-winning journalist in the watch industry with more than 25 years of experience. She was the first woman watch editor in the US market—breaking in to an “all boys network” with a pioneering spirit that would be her signature to this day. Naas brings responsible, factual—yet always timely and insightful—reporting of the watch industry to the forefront.