Audi's latest design is a table clockMon, 23 Sep 2013
Audi and Porsche have more things in common than we can count. They're both German, of course, and have both enjoyed considerable winning streaks at Le Mans. Both have a tendency to put their (often turbocharged) engines at one extreme of the car or another, driving either the closest wheels or all four. Both tend to follow a brand-wide evolutionary design approach, focusing their energies instead on the engineering that goes under the bodywork. Both now find themselves under the same corporate umbrella, and now that they are, Audi has followed Porsche's lead in setting up its own design consultancy.
Like Porsche Design, Audi Design is now taking on projects for all manner of clients, from pianos to foosball tables. In this latest collaboration, Audi has designed a table clock for Munich-based watchmaker Erwin Sattler. The table-top clock houses a high-frequency mechanical movement in a foot-tall glass case that lets you see the intricate clockwork, held in place by two ruthenium clasps.
Unveiled in Switzerland at the Baselworld watch and jewelry show, the clock is now available to order. But while prices haven't been announced, don't expect it to come cheap: other Erwin Sattler table clocks typically sell for upwards of $10,000, and we wouldn't expect the new design to come at a discount. Scroll down below for the official press release.
Timeless technology: the Erwin Sattler table clock by Audi design
- First collaboration between Audi design and the clock- and watchmaker Erwin Sattler
- Table clock with transparent housing allows view of technical details
- Advance premiere at the BASELWORLD 2013 watch and jewelry show in Switzerland
Clocks from the Munich clock- and watchmaker and the premium cars from the brand with the four rings share an uncompromising standard of quality and handcrafted precision. This led Audi design and Erwin Sattler to work in close partnership to develop a table clock. The result of this collaboration was presented by Audi and Erwin Sattler Munich at an advance premiere at the BASELWORLD 2013 watch and jewelry show. The clock can now be ordered.
The Erwin Sattler table clock by Audi design represents values that have always been of utmost importance at Audi: superb technical performance, uncompromising quality and a love for detail. Audi applied a minimalist design to the table clock. The transparent housing's features are few in number but high in impact. A single layer of safety glass allows a direct view of the clock's mechanical movement. Thus André Georgi, Head of Product Design at the Audi Concept Design Studio in Munich, remains true to his strategy: "Design is a reflection of technology. This is why we very intentionally display the technical details of the clock."
Two understated ruthenium-coated clasps hold the housing of the nearly 30-centimeter (11.81 inches) high table clock together. They lead the eye with their precise edges to the clock's inner workings. The hour and minute dial is likewise minimalist, with markings for the quarter hour, half hour and full hour. The clock's 18,000 beats per hour ensure smooth running of the balance wheel – a spring that, together with the mass of the wheel, serves as the motor.
The designers placed particular importance on the interplay of the intricate gear wheels and the handcrafted hands. "The premium clockmaking expertise of the Erwin Sattler company and the fine workmanship of the materials inspired us as we were designing the clock," explained Philip Schlesinger, Designer at the Audi Concept Design Studio in Munich. The extremely light movement, which rests completely on ball bearings, ensures a long operating life. "The clock will be a thing of beauty for generations to come," Schlesinger said. "It was important to us to make this feature visible in the design concept as well."
The Erwin Sattler table clock by Audi design can be ordered from Erwin Sattler Munich at www.erwinsattler.de.
By Noah Joseph
See also: Audi mulling producing version of Quattro showcar, just not sure which one [w/poll], 2014 Audi A3 Cabriolet cleans up the Messe [w/video], 2015 Audi A8 rises to meet the challenge [w/video].