Eclipse: Experience time in a new way

A clock design that reveals and hides different notions of time.

With the aim of rethinking the way we perceive time and how we follow the hands of a clock down to the minute, ECAL graduate Rachel Suming created the Eclipse clock. As its name suggests, this design deals with concealing and revealing – Eclipse does not give a precise indication with either hour or minute markers. This clock depicts time with a constantly evolving shape.

The idea behind Eclipse is to disrupt the traditional design of timepieces. It consists of three pieces of engraved metal: white aluminium plates that rotate independently. Each plate features fine grooves that seem purely decorative from the outset, but the hidden function of the subtle ridges become clear at the hours of three, six, nine and twelve.

As time progresses to one of these four points, the otherwise abstract shape of the clock aligns the grooves into the corresponding numerical symbol. At six o’clock, Eclipse’s shape resembles a hexagon and the character of six becomes visible. Soon after, the image is broken up and Eclipse returns to a sculptural state, rotating furtively, until the hour of nine is struck.

Eclipse offers a deconstructed take on time. The motorised plates utilise an entirely different mathematical design to normal clock faces, as it was the designer’s goal to explore a more relaxed notion of time and create something that would not conform to the rigors of a daily schedule.

According to Suming, “As the hands of a clock can become stressful, I imagined a clock which would only witness time passing by with its frame. After an introduction to the watchmaking world at Vacheron Constantin, my project turned to the guillochage technique [of intersecting lines]. ”