object study: georg jensen vivianna watch
Thinking about the Elsa Peretti bone cuff reminded me of another long-ago moment of being held in thrall by an object.
I remember seeing this in a shop window - my family had just finished another session of Sunday dim sum with my parents' friends, and us kids were basically running off the excess energy from being seated down politely in a restaurant for two hours. I remember being attracted by the unusual open design of the bracelet, because I had a open bangle of thin silver just like it. Then my parents called for us and I turned and left and forgot all about it.
I saw it again when I was older and more appreciative of these things. I was about 15 and I passed a boutique and there it was. I loved the simplicity and the beauty of something that was also functional. This time I actually noted it was a Georg Jensen, a name that meant nothing to me, but from then on I associated it with modern, clean design.
They actually makes all kinds of things, some of them clean and sleek, some of them a little more fussy and traditional in the way silverware can be. But the Vivianna watch, designed in 1967 by Vivianna Torun Bulow-Hube when she began working with Georg Jensen, remains to me the hallmark. It's an example of how you can strip something down to the bare elements, and it makes more impact than any amount embellishment can make. The design of a wristwatch seems like something you can't really improve on but Vivianna Torun Bulow-Hube challenged the idea and created something simple, elegant, forward-thinking but classic. And it doesn't feel clinical and dead; it looks warm and alive on your wrist. The Torun bracelet she designed for Georg Jensen has the same feeling.
Picture from georg jensen