by Jincy IypeJun 13, 2023
“Space and time move architecture.” – Álvaro Siza (2022)
The world of horology and the realm of architecture, seemingly unrelated disciplines at first glance, share an unexpected yet profound connection. Several architects have displayed interest in timepieces, switching from designing edifices to putting watches on their drawing boards over the years-examples of wristwatches designed by American architect Frank Gehry and Swiss architect Mario Botta, like countless others, tread beyond the utilitarian purpose of timekeeping, to embody the timeless spirit of architectural motifs, fusing objects and buildings into unique wearable designs.
The creative endeavour of architecture bases itself on the foundations of structural integrity, ensuring stability, durability, and longevity, facets that are equally crucial in watch designs, where its internal movement—the beating heart of the timepiece—must withstand the test of time while remaining aesthetically relevant.
We turn our attention to the Lebond Siza, a mechanical automatic watch designed by Álvaro Siza, where austere lines meet the geometric purity of a square, revisiting the Pritzker Prize-winning Portuguese architect’s ‘Leça’ Swimming Pools complex designed in 1966 when he was 28. Now 89-years-old, Siza deftly crafted the watch’s case shape, taking cues from the sleek motifs of the square main pool. At the same time, the slim hands of the minimal design, in lacquered matte black, are adapted from the minimal restroom signs that he employed within numerous projects throughout his career.
Álvaro Siza Vieira, born in 1933 in Matosinhos, Portugal, is regarded as one of the most influential architects of his generation, his sculptural buildings moulded by light, and crowned as Poetic Modernism. Awarded the prestigious Pritzker Architecture Prize in 1992, his works, deceptively simple and honest, have left a lasting impact on contemporary architecture through compelling projects such as Casa Tolo and the Expo'98 Portuguese National Pavilion, cementing him as a successor to early modernists.
Siza's collaboration with Lebond Watches, an exclusive watch editor created for watches and architecture enthusiasts, reflects his artistic vision and attention to detail, "evident in every aspect of this exceptional timepiece," according to Barcelona-based Lebond Watches, a brand that collaborates with prestigious architects to design special timepieces inspired by their architecture.
On the exclusive Lebond Siza watch edition, Siza comments, "There already exist many beautiful round watches. I want to create something different. It is an elegant and sophisticated watch. It will be my Sunday watch.”
Transcending as a mere accessory, the contemporary design features a matte black strap crafted in FKM (Fluorine Kautschuk Material) rubber and comes with a deployant (also called deployment) clasp ensuring comfort and durability. It accompanies the wristwatch’s lacquered matte, very light beige dial sublimely decorated with printed numerals and markers, while its case is made of titanium grade 5 (chosen by Siza for its lightness and immensely classic, micro-sanded matte finish) with anti-fingerprint coating and a 50m water resistance.
The sleek product design is also fitted with a front sapphire crystal with an anti-reflective coating, while the sapphire crystal at its back boasts Siza’s signature. “The watch case back displays the exposed movement, while the signature, ‘A. Siza’ floats on the sapphire crystal, making this watch a timeless piece,” Lebond Watches reiterates in their press statement.
“The Lebond Siza watch is an exceptional timepiece that seamlessly blends style and functionality, showcasing the architect's talent for creating minimalist and elegant designs," concludes Lebond Watches, known for creating Swiss-made timepieces crafted by experienced watchmakers with the finest materials and the highest quality standards.
Just as Siza’s architecture embodies minimalism with a purpose, placing emphasis on the human experience, the Lebond Siza watch, characterised by clean lines and symmetry and manifested within a simple, timeless, and elegant form, heroes functionality and reduced aesthetics.
Siza’s architecture accentuating form and proportions clearly exerts a significant influence on the accessory design, striking harmony between its various components-case, dial, strap, hands, and crown-culminating in a classic design underscored by visual coherence. This timepiece encapsulates Siza’s architectural contributions within a stylish object, allowing wearers to carry a piece of history on their wrists.