12 Beautiful Watches Designed by Architects

Among the many art items architects have designed, timepieces hold a prominent position. If architecture is a perfect balance between “form” and “function” then it makes sense to say that watches are architecture you can wear.

I have a special passion for watches and it is in fact the only piece of jewellery I wear. Every time something important happens I buy a watch that helps me keep the memory, allowing me to stop time in some way. On the other hand, I look at watches as architecture—miniature construction entities, if you will. And there is nothing more beautiful than that.

This is a selection of watches I find especially interesting. Some of these architects are world-renowned, some aren’t. In the same way some of these watches can and can’t be bought.
How do you find this collection? Which one is your favourite? Mine is number 12, and hope one day it will be mine.


1. “Positive/Negative” by Frank Gehry for Fossil
Frank Gehry Watch
About the architect: Born in Toronto in 1929. Became famous by the line of furniture, called Easy Edges.  Known buildings include Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, Walt Disney Concert Hall in downtown Los Angeles or The Weisman Art Museum at the University of Minnesota. Read more here.


2. “Deja Vu” by Denis Guidone for Projects Watches

Virginia Duran Blog- Beautiful Watches designed by Architects- Denis Guidone Watch for Projects
About the architect
: Student of architecture, design and visual communication studied urban planning and architecture in Milan, Italy and Oporto, Portugal. He has been awarded some International prizes such as: Ida Design Award in Los Angeles, Adam’o Eva, Idot or the Bruno Munari prize by the Milano Triennale. Check some of his work here.


3. “Tanto X Cambiare” by Franco Sargiani for Alessi
Virginia Duran Blog- Beautiful Watches designed by Architects- Tanto x Cambiare White by Franco Sargiani
About the architect: Born in Modena in 1940 and graduated from the Faculty of Architecture at Milan Polytechnic. His interventions range from civil architecture to industrial and interior architecture, from industrial design to corporate image organisation. Check his amazing projects here.


4. “Circles” by Tobias Jacobsen & Soren Varming for Pierre Junod

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAbout the architect: Copenhagen-based designers. Tobias Jacobsen, principal designer, describes himself as a nostalgic designer. His particular way of getting inspired comes from day-to-day situations. Learn more about him here.


5. “Carrè H” by Marc Berthier for Hermès
Virginia Duran Blog- Beautiful Watches designed by Architects- Hermes Carre H Watch by Marc Berthier
About the architect: Architect and designer born in France in 1935. He has been awarded with Médaille de l’Art et de l’Industrie” and “Création Industrielle”, René Gabriel ADI 1991 and 1994 among others. View all his designs here.


6. “High Musuem” by Richard Meier for Project Watches
Virginia Duran Blog- Beautiful Watches designed by Architects- High Musuem by Richard MeierAbout the architect: Born in New Jersey, US in 1934. At 49, Richard Meier was the youngest architect to receive his profession’s highest accolade, the Pritzker Architecture Prize. Some of his most renowned buildings include Barcelona Museum of Contemporary Art and High Museum of Art in Atlanta. Read more about him here.


7. “Botta Ii Watch”by Mario Botta for Pierre Junod
Virginia Duran Blog- Beautiful Watches designed by Architects- Mario Botta for Pierre Junod
About the architect: Born in Mendrisio, Switzerland in 1943. He designed his first buildings at age 16, a two-family house at Morbio Superiore in Ticino. His latest buildings include Leeum, Samsung Museum of Art in Seoul (2004) and Bergoase Spa in Arosa, Switzerland (2006). Check other projects here.


8. “Record” by Achille Castiglioni for Alessi
Virginia Duran Blog- Beautiful Watches designed by Architects- Achille Castiglioni for Alessi
About the architect: Born in Milan in 1918.  He was often inspired by everyday things and made use of ordinary materials. The Museum of Modern Art has some of his most important designs in its permanent collection. Check more about him here.


9. “Wrist Watch” by Michael Graves for Target
Virginia Duran Blog- Beautiful Watches designed by Architects- Michael Graves for Target
About the architect: Born in Indianapolis in 1934. Some of his most important buildings include Humana Building in Louisville, Kentucky and The Portland Building in Oregon. In 2003, an infection of unknown origin left Graves paralyzed from the waist down. He is also a TED speaker. Learn more about him here.


10. “Automatic” by Max Bill for Junghans
Virginia Duran Blog- Beautiful Watches designed by Architects- Max Bill for Junghans-
About the architect: Born in Winterthur, Switzerland in 1908. He took up studies at the Bauhaus in Dessau under many teachers including Wassily Kandinsky, Paul Klee and Oskar Schlemmer. Besides being an architect he was also an artist, painter, typeface designer, industrial designer and graphic designer. Read more about him here.


11. “Free Time” by Laurinda Spear for Project Watches
Virginia Duran Blog- Beautiful Watches designed by Architects- Free Time Watch by Laurinda Spear- Project Watches
About the architect: Born in Rochester, US in 1950.  She has practiced architecture since 1977 with her husband Bernado Fort- Brescia, in their firm, Arquitectonica. Recognized for its flamboyant contributions to Miami’s skyline in buildings such as the Atlantis, “the building with a hole in the middle”. Read more about her projects here.


12. “Zürich Worldwide” by Hannes Wettstein for Nomos Glashütte
Bild 329
About the architect: Born in 1958 in Ascona, Switzerland. He often worked with renowned architects such as Steven Holl, Rafael Moneo and Gigon/Guyer. Read more about his amazing contributions on architecture here.


24 thoughts on “12 Beautiful Watches Designed by Architects

  1. My favourite is number 10, Automatic. I love its clarity and simplicity. I had no idea that architects designed watches but they do an excellent job of it. I was so frustrated with watch designs awhile back that I actually ordered one from the Blind Society because their watches are made by Auguste Reymond. That company gives a great deal of thought to ease of use. My vision is appropriate to my age but I like all products (and buildings) to be mindful of universal accessibility.


    • Yes, I think 10 and 12 are the best ones. There are some interesting watches for blind people, who have a very strong concept. I found this brand new design recently and is just brilliant Just checked your web, what a great discovery! Loved the pocket watches by the way. I had a professor at school who always said “If you design for universal accessibility you won’t ever have to read universal codes” meaning that if your buildings are designed for everyone you won’t ever have issues with legislation, which in architecture is always changing.


    • I didn’t know about Henning Koppel’s watches! Will write this one down for part II of this post.
      Hahahaha I tried to find another image but found none since that watch is old and no longer on sale! Thanks for stopping by 🙂


  2. Pingback: Design: 12 Beautiful Watches Designed by Architects | Sebastian's Blog

      • WHAT! You diss #8?! Man, some people have no aesthetic appreciation.

        Doing a simple image search on google for “unique watches” brings up all sorts of stuff.

        My own preference goes to very thin, simple, and cheap. I’m pretty sure I can find all sorts of stuff matching two out of three of those requirements.


      • I find all of them beautiful (I made this list), but 8 is not especially beautiful in comparison to the others, that’s what I meant. But thanks for saying I have no aesthetic appreciation hahahaha (no offense taken). I am glad you found those two appealing at least 🙂


  3. Number 10 without a doubt… I really dislike artsy watches that make a convoluted guessing game game out of what time it is…. I want to look at the watch and know immediately! Not only is this one functional, it is also simply beautiful.


    • Aaah 10 and 12 are just perfect to me, we agree here. I understand what you say about figuring out the time immediately… architects don’t want to know the time right away, I guess this is why some are complicated. We spend so many hours working, that we just need to have a slight idea of what time is it hehehe 🙂


  4. I definitely don’t like no. 9 and no.11, and my favorites are number 12 and number 10 – than one has some sort of “old fashioned” or classic style and simplicity.


    • Hello Daniel, #9 and #11 aren’t very functional so not my favourites either. However, #10 and #12 are not only functional but also beautiful, so I’ll agree with you. Will have to post a part II of this post. Thanks for stopping by!


  5. Pingback: 17 Architecturally Amazing Fashion Stores | Virginia Duran

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