Robb Design Portfolio: Out of This World

Like Magellan, who had trouble enlisting a patron for his 16th-century quest to find a new route to Asia, Everhard Vissers could not find a Swiss partner to produce his groundbreaking watch concept. “The industry is so entrenched, they have problems thinking beyond what has been done in the past,” says Vissers. “It is very difficult to do something new.” But eventually he found a watchmaker to build his Magellan 1521, which is named for the explorer and the year his expedition became the first to circumnavigate the globe.

Appropriately, Vissers came up with the idea on a sailboat. While gazing at a gyrocompass, he envisioned a watch with a floating mechanism inside. That was the genesis of the Magellan 1521, which depicts the Northern Hemisphere with a half-spherical dial. Curved hands follow the shape of the globe, and a “sun” hand (actually, the 24-hour hand) indicates the longitudinal position of the sun over the earth. The greatest challenge was finding a company that could produce the luminous and scratch-resistant sapphire glass dome.

The Magellan cannot help but attract attention, says Vissers. “Wearing it is like walking through a park with a Labrador puppy.”

Magellan Swiss Watches, 203.531.3276, www.magellan-watch.com

The new timepiece has a fluid-based linear timekeeping display…
The new watch has multiple systems to ensure that its movement receives consistent power…
Computer-aided design is allowing watchmakers to push the boundaries of innovation...
The watchmaker puts its skill in guilloche and damaskeening on full display…
The two back-to-back auctions will offer hundreds of unique designs…
The new variation sports a dial crafted from a meteorite...
Photo by Didier Gourdon
The new watch has a tourbillon hidden by an automaton…
Photo by Vincent Wulveryck/Cartier
Jeweler Cartier innovative work combined Roman, Egyptian, Indian, and Chinese elements with...
The watch’s case is a mere 8.24 mm thick…
On assuming his new position, Lambert lost little time in the development of new watches...