Projects Watches

Museums are designed with a calculated eye towards perspective, an artfully crafted sense of flow, and an exquisite attention to detail -- none of which you appreciate, because you keep checking your watch to make sure you don't miss McBreakfast. Get architectural design you'll constantly peep, with Projects Watches, now at The Phoenix.

Out to "raise the consciousness of design" in daily life, Projects employs vaunted museum architects to craft intriguing and unusual watches; they tried something similar in the 90s with home accessories, but found that few people were looking to bling their toasters. The 60-70 rotating designs include multiple works by Michael Graves, like the simple, large-faced "Witherspoon", which emulates the "bold color and scale" of his Paul Robeson arts center; and the elegant "Shenandoah", whose rectangular face and un-enumerated hour markers both evoke the Shenandoah Museum in West Virginia, and confirm that any time is a good time to get out of West Virginia. Sexier options include Miami architect Laurinda Spear's new "Chroma", whose two overlaid colorwheels change the hue of the Roman numerals every second and more gradually change the hour hands; and a Richard Meier piece with a partially opaque dial and soft-glow buttons, inspired by his Atlanta "High Museum" and intended to "play with light and space", as opposed to your High Museum, where patrons "play with Halo and Madden".

Because architects need to devote some of their time to buildings, Projects has also brought in other-industry leaders, as with graphic designer Daniel Will-Harris' "Twilight", which uses dual overlaid polarized filters to turn light to dark every twenty seconds -- an appropriate way to check for that small window when it's safe to snack on a McVirgin.