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Tenacious Love For Horological Art: Presenting The Hour Glass’ “The Persistence of Memory”

The Hour Glass’ “The Persistence of Memory” online horological exhibition is a testament to the specialist watch retailer’s tenacity to advance watch culture by bringing their love for the industry to the modern connoisseurs’ doorstep.

Tenacious Love For Horological Art: Presenting The Hour Glass’ “The Persistence of Memory” 

American psychologist Albert Ellis once said: “The art of love is largely the art of persistence”. The Hour Glass’ “The Persistence of Memory” online horological exhibition is a testament to the specialist watch retailer’s tenacity to advance watch culture by bringing their love for the industry to the modern connoisseurs’ doorstep.  


The Hour Glass Presents “The Persistence of Memory”: A Survey of Artisanal Watchmaking 1970 – 2020 exhibition


Starting tomorrow from the 11th of March at the following times: 

  • 8pm SGT 
  • 1pm CET
  • 7am EST
  • 10pm AEST


Online at a dedicated platform – https://ovr.thehourglass.com

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Virtual exhibition website screenshot


The press release informs us that “The Hour Glass’ goal with The Persistence of Memory is to create a living online repository of the key members of this contemporary independent watchmaking movement, documenting its developmental timeline and photographing and archiving its most important watches.”

The last year’s pandemic saw a turning point in the way people went about congregating. Just focusing on the watch world, shows were cancelled, sales were down, factories were shut. Then the ‘watchverse’ saw a transition to the online world; shows now had a new medium. 

Welcoming this opportunity to not sit back and wait, forging new pathways is The Hour Glass with its latest online exhibit, The Persistence of Memory. And it is persistence alright. 

Independent watchmaking is the cornerstone of innovation of this industry, the one aspect that is willing to change the status quo, to develop, to adapt, to disrupt. It is through the innovation of the various talented independent designers that watch collectors and enthusiasts vicariously live their horological dreams. So an exhibition showcasing the various talents of the past five decades is delightfully welcome.

Having access to a ‘living online repository’ of works from the independent watchmakers is an excellent way of learning, understanding and appreciating the mechanical works of art these independents produce. 

The Persistence of Memory

Says Mr Michael Tay, Group Managing Director of The Hour Glass and exhibition curator: “This survey has been a project that has been fermenting for several years now and I couldn’t have been happier with its outcome. We assembled some 150 of the finest examples of artisanal watchmaking of this period including two of George Daniels’ masterworks – the Space Traveller and the Grand Complication. Many of these watches were on loan from important private collections as well as from the artisans themselves.” 

“Due to the pandemic and safe distancing restrictions, we were required to innovate and realised this exhibition via our bespoke online viewing room (OVR). This OVR platform is highly immersive in that it allows for thorough story telling accompanied by precise macro photographs of the watches. Something I’m certain the global enthusiast community will appreciate”.


The Offical Press Release is as following:

“Before the emergence of formalised structures of watch production in the early 19th Century, serving as precursors to the modern watch manufacturing houses we know today, watchmaking existed in a cottage industry like setting where watchmakers pursued their métier “independent” of the commerciality of enterprise and rigidness of industry.

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“These technical artisans are akin to artists, painting in steel and gold instead of oil on canvas. A tangible representation of their watchmaking approach, whether it is their pursuit of horological advancement or the commitment to finished perfection, their creations are prized for their technological, intellectual, and artistic attributes. Seamlessly smudging the line between watchmaking tradition and often, avant-garde innovation.

“Up till the last quarter of the 20th Century, watchmakers devoted their entire careers to the top watchmaking houses that competed in annual chronometer competitions whilst plying their trade in their own time to produce, on subscription, watches for collectors. The advent of quartz technology and the ensuing watchmaking crisis of the 70s and 80s reshaped that order forever.

The Persistence of Memory

“In 1969, the late Dr George Daniels signed his first pocket watch – a remarkable development not just for the skill involved in inventing and constructing a manual winding watch from scratch by hand, but also that Daniels did so at the onset of the quartz crisis. Daniels’ proposed alternative to the electronic watch was an approach which heroically fetishised both a watchmaker’s time at the bench and veritable hand craftsmanship. And in so doing, was consecrated as the father of modern artisanal watchmaking, inspiring generations of others to pursue a similar path.

The Persistence of Memory is an exhibition that surveys the last fifty years of artisanal watchmaking. Our point of departure begins in 1970 with the genre defining work of two close friends – Dr George Daniels and Derek Pratt; the continuity of their non-utilitarian horological attitude by the likes of François-Paul Journe, Philippe Dufour, Kari Voutilainen and Denis Flageollet and, ending this decade past with the promising contributions of their younger colleagues such as Roger Smith, Felix Baumgartner and Rexhep Rexhepi”. 

The Persistence of Memory


We at Watch Ya Gonna Do About It are pretty excited; after all, 2021 seems more promising than 2020 for a whole lot of reasons, and especially when it comes to the matchmaking industry. The 2021 online Watches & Wonders is also around the corner, scheduled for next month. Given the lack of physical meet-ups and get-togethers, online events like these are a boon. 

So who is this for? Well, we would say everybody. Not just the seasons collectors and the watch enthusiasts, but even for those who would like to dip their toes in the mesmerising and addictive world of fine watches. We obviously haven’t seen the exhibition yet, but based on what we have been told and the few pictures we have been given access to, this is one horological ride we can’t wait to get on board. 

Not only am I personally looking forward to the exhibition, I also commend The Hour Glass for organising it. See you there from 10pm AEST tomorrow. 

The Persistence of Memory

For more information about The Hour Glass, please visit their website here. All images provided courtesy The Hour Glass.

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