Time warp: Jean Nouvel and Oki Sato revisit a classic horological design

‘Two highly respected names from different generations, with two very different approaches to their work.’ That’s how David Sanchez, Maurice Lacroix’s product director described Jean Nouvel and Oki Sato when they took on the challenge of reinterpreting and reimagining the Swiss watch marque’s classic Pontos model

Architect Jean Nouvel opens up about highlighting the Pontos’ ‘charateristic of simplicity’

Following previous Wallpaper* and Maurice Lacroix collaborations – which began in 2009 and have featured the talents of Gwenaël Nicolas, Arik Levy, Neil Barrett, Rodolfo Dordoni, Patricia Urquiola and Kris Van Assche – architect Jean Nouvel was inclined to push the Pontos’ archetype ‘to its limits, making it clearer and more substantial’, while designer Oki Sato’s approach was to view the watch ‘like a white canvas’.

This two-part video series compliments the original story of the project in the December 2017 issue of Wallpaper* (see W*225), and features exclusive interview content and contributions from both collaborators. As Oki Sato says, ‘A watch is composed of so many small components that are beautifully linked to each other and create a single, harmonious story. Beautiful architecture is the same. The Pontos project wasn’t so much like designing a watch, more like designing a small piece of architecture.

Designer Oki Sato on the inspiration by his Pontos watch reimagining

Designer Oki Sato on the inspiration by his Pontos watch reimagining

(Image credit: press)

Hannah Silver is the Art, Culture, Watches & Jewellery Editor of Wallpaper*. Since joining in 2019, she has overseen offbeat design trends and in-depth profiles, and written extensively across the worlds of culture and luxury. She enjoys meeting artists and designers, viewing exhibitions and conducting interviews on her frequent travels.