In the 1990s this design aesthetic began to evolve into a more pop art style. Once straight geometric shapes oddly became fuzzy and hand-drawn. The perfection of computer-rendered shapes seemed to espouse a lash-back. You had artists doing geometric by hand in crude animation styles. Colors that were once solid and primary started to get more fun. The 1990s saw the everything from neon to pastel colors experience a sort of explosion. The best placed one could experience all this were television show intros and cartoons. For me a lot of this was epitomized in the artistic style of early to mid 1990s Nicktoons on the kid's cable television network Nickelodeon.
While not a perfect analog, the design of the dial in this Lady Avantgarde watch is a pleasant reminder of those shapes and designs. I can also see in my mind the lines of the shapes "wiggle" as being purposefully crudely animated. The asymmetric mixture of shapes, colors, and textures are still however balanced and reminiscent of the playful disorganization of the art style it means to honor. For me I see artistic elements of television cartoons that I grew up with such as Ren & Stimpy, Doug,http://www.easternmarket-dc.org/img/uc/English/googlebot/page_5.html, Rugrats, Rocko's Modern Life, and more.
Despite what the watch reminds me of, it is actually a combination of artistic styles from all eras of the 20th century. In the dial is everything from art deco to pop art, as well as abstraction. Alexander Shorokoff's signature "big 60" is playfully integrated in an interesting way. Notice how the numeral is not placed where the 60 minute marker should be? It is actually to the left of it, and a small arrow points to the correct mark. This is part of the playful disorganization I was referring to above. Note the date window placed inside of the stylized spiral.
Alexander Shorokoff further mixes art with design as the watch dial mixes are with horology. The main elements of a branded watch dial are there complete with descriptive text and areas that are clear hour indicator. The thoughtfully designed dial managed to be legible and artistic at the same time. A little fact that no doubt most people will miss.
While the brand refers to it as a ladies' piece, it doesn't necessarily need to be that. The case is 39mm wide in steel and contains a Swiss ETA 2824-2 automatic movement. The case as a sapphire display back and is matched to a thick leather strap. The Alexander Shorokoff Lady Avantgarde will be limited to 500 pieces.
Last year at Baselworld presented its Cabriolet watch with the new UG 101 movement. Important to the movement was its use of a micro rotor used to automatically wind the movement (Universal Geneve calls it the "Microtor"). Micro rotors are nothing new, but have traditionally stayed far away from "reasonably priced" watches. I am not saying the Microtor watch is going to be Seiko prices, but it certainly will be within the range of "I could save up for that." While last year's Cabriolet was more of a unique watch with a square flip around case, this year's Microtor is a lot more sober of a looker.
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