Wednesday, January 11, 2006


In line with Ludwig Oechslin’s reductionist concept, the watch is pared down to its essential elements, yet retains a crucial complication, namely, the calendar. Watches with date displays are common enough, but few are able to show the day of the week, month and date and keep track of the different numbers of days in the months. Two types of mechanical calendar are capable of this: perpetual calendars, which are built around highly complex mechanisms that go so far as to recognise irregularities such as leap years, and annual calendars, which have to be corrected once a year at the end of February to take into account that month’s occasional idiosyncrasy. Even annual calendars tend towards technical complexity, with display windows often distributed around the entire dial for constructional reasons, making them counter-intuitive to read. Ludwig Oechslin has taken this challenge head on and has come up with a design for an annual cal-endar that is built around just 9 moving parts (instead of the usual 30-40) – and its display is contained within one easy-to-read window. As Curator of the MIH, Ludwig Oechslin is debarred from working for other commercial companies. This is what led to the idea – originated in partnership with EMBASSY – of transforming the museum itself into a brand and earmarking some of the sales revenues for specific MIH projects.