The horological landscape is a complex and interesting one, filled with not only mechanical marvels for your wrist but also myriad other interrelated products. The connection with some, such as watch winders, is obvious, whilst others are a little more abstract. Berd Vaye horological sculptures definitely fit into this latter category, displaying vintage watch parts from around the world in a whole new light.
The modern renaissance of mechanical watchmaking (i.e. post-quartz crisis), brought with it a strong focus on the artistic and aesthetic elements of timekeeping. In many ways, these elements comprise the ‘luxury’ aspect of luxury watches. The use of hi-tech materials, for example, is often as much about the look and feel as it is about the practical advantages of using such materials. This is not a bad thing, mind you, indeed it has ensured the survival of the industry.
At the same time, a very distinctive sub-category of timepiece has emerged that revisits and reinvigorates the idea of a watch as piece of wearable art but that is still very much a legitimate mechanical machine. Many brands have explored this concept with great success, such as Jaquet Droz, Armin Strom and Vacheron Constantin, just to name a few. Not only are these pieces extremely interesting and attractive to collectors, they also serve to remind us of the long-standing connection between the worlds of horology and artistic expression.
Berd Vaye horological sculptures also explore this connection but come at it from a very different perspective. Rather than focusing on displaying the passage of time in an aesthetically interesting and appealing way, the sculptures instead seek to highlight the inherent complexity of watchmaking itself, inviting viewers to experience the tremendous intricacies and human ingenuity involved in fine watchmaking.
Berd Vaye Horological Sculptures
The brainchild of two gentlemen with decades of experience in the fine watch and jewellery industry, Edward K. and Albert A., Berd Vaye was established in 2014. The underlying idea was to create art that showcases the complexity of fascinating watch movements from different eras and vast parts of the world.
Both men were themselves also avid art collectors, and so they wanted to find a way to combine this passion with their love for watches and jewellery. After much discussion and experimentation with various shapes, sizes, and materials, they eventually felt that they were ready to bring their concept to market. Thus, Berd Vaye horological sculptures were born.
Each piece is completely unique and one of a kind. According to the company, the process of creating a single sculpture takes 3-4 weeks of meticulous design work, part sorting and polishing. The sculptures themselves are made of a clear, shatter-resistant, high-end resin that showcase carefully selected mechanical watch components and is available in several different eye-catching designs.
The current collection comprises four different models:
The Horosphere (available in a small or large sphere)
A 360-degree sphere that combines Berd Vaye’s specially selected watch components in faceted rows and columns suspended in hand-polished Lucite®. There’s also an optional lighted pedestal it can be displayed on, which is sold separately. Limited to 999 pieces.
Time Squared (available in a small or large cube)
A small or large cube with one corner flattened so that it can stand on its own, this sculpture contains an almost overwhelming amount of watch parts, again suspended in hand-polished Lucite®. Limited to 999 pieces.
Lost in Time (available in a small or large size)
Perfect for the watch lover who spends all their time thinking about watches, this sculpture takes the form of a translucent human skull, with watch parts ranging from 50 years to over 100-years-old collected from around the world forming the brain. This is a piece that’s sure to initiate some interesting discussions. Limited to 999 pieces.
This piece is somewhat more traditional yet arguably just as unconventional and comprises a square picture frame that is filled with hundreds of carefully selected watch parts. The overall effect is really quite striking and I imagine this would look quite cool hung on the wall of an office. Limited to 250 pieces.
Art, as they say, is inherently subjective and so whilst some people will love the unique appeal of the Berd Vaye horological sculptures, I’m sure others will be less impressed. The point of art is to create a dialogue, however, and I do think these horological-inspired creations are, if nothing else, interesting conversation starters. Besides, an American film director and screenwriter, James Gray, said; “If everybody loves you, you must be doing something wrong…”
Prices for the Berd Vaye horological sculptures range from USD 2,900 for the small Horosphere up to USD 6,500 for Time Framed, and all of them are available to purchase directly from Berd Vaye or one of their authorised retailers in the US.
For more information, please visit BerdVaye.com.