Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Georg Jensen Vivianna Bangle Watch

Underlining Georg Jensen’s post-war Scandinavian design sensibility, with no obvious beginning or end, the sculpted swirling form of the Vivianna Bangle watch seamlessly blurs the line between horology and jewellery. Numberless, strapless, mirrored – it’s cool character and sculpted form is strikingly graphic and endlessly modern. The timepiece is made all the more compelling by its open-ended curvilinear appearance – so light, it seems to float above the wrist.

For the next chapter in the evolving history of the Vivianna Bangle, Georg Jensen has updated the watch from its original stainless steel version. The iconic design remains, but the watch has now been elevated in three beautifully precious finishes: 18 kt yellow gold, 18 kt rose gold, and sterling silver with pavé diamonds. Each new incarnation heightens the pure form of Vivianna Torun Bülow-Hübe’s design. The new range of Vivianna Bangle watches marks the first in a new series of Georg Jensen watch collections, steered by CEO David Chu.

For 2015, the Vivianna Bangle watch emerges as a new horological work of art: expertly drawn, beautifully crafted, infinitely wearable. For Basel World 2015, Georg Jensen presents a new series of the iconic Vivianna Bangle watch, one of the most radical women’s watch designs of the 20th century. Updated for 2015, the Vivianna Bangle watch collection reflects the style, sophistication and attitude of the woman who created it: the designer and silversmith Vivianna Torun Bülow-Hübe. First launched by Georg Jensen in 1969, the Vivianna Bangle watch has been in production continuously ever since.
Born in Sweden in 1927, Torun was the first female silversmith to gain international acclaim. A noted jeweller by her early twenties, Torun was a curious, confident and intelligent artist. On moving to France at age 21, her prodigious talent, striking good looks and hip, Beat style made her a welcome fit with the Paris art scene of the 1950s and the salons of Picasso and Matisse, who became friends and mentors.

While her prime inspiration was curving organic forms – flora, fronds; the flow and swirl of water – her jewellery was also beautifully linear; tribal but sophisticated; witty and serious. It is still breathtaking in its modernity. In 1962, the Paris Musée des Arts Décoratifs, asked Torun to create a new piece for an exhibition based on an object with which she had a complex relationship.

Torun’s original watch design had no name, numbers or minute hands. Its complete lack of adornment and sensual simplicity cut a sleek Scandinavian swathe through the sports-luxe aesthetic that dominated watch design in the late 1960s and early 1970s. In 1969, having joined Georg Jensen just two years before, Torun saw her Vivianna Bangle watch go into production, and change the face of women’s watch design. That the Vivianna Bangle watch was designed by a woman in the 1960s was radical. Today, the Vivianna Bangle watch is revolutionary because its intelligent, minimalist, avant-garde nature surpasses time.

Georg Jensen’s collaboration with the Swedish silversmith and designer Vivianna Torun Bülow-Hübe – known as Torun – began in 1967. It was a natural progression. By the mid century, the Danish luxury house’s distinctive collaborative approach saw names such as Arne Jacobsen, Astrid Fog, and Henning Koppel creating unique designs with Georg Jensen. This coming together of art, craft and design gave rise to a modern Danish aesthetic: a sleek, sculptural look at one with Torun’s own. Vivianna Torun Bülow-Hübe worked with Georg Jensen until just before her death, aged 76, in 2004. At Basel World 2015, Georg Jensen marks a new era of the Vivianna Bangle watch with three updated versions.

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