In Depth

Moving with the times: how Movado became the artist’s watch brand of choice

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Just over 70 years ago, the Swiss watch brand Movado released a new watch designed by the Bauhaus-influenced artist Nathan Goerge Horwitt. The watch, known as the Museum dial became a classic example of modernism, praised by everyone from Andy Warhol to Albert Einstein, and was added to the permanent collection of the New York Museum of Modern Art in 1960.

The Week Portfolio caught up with Mary Leach, chief marketing officer of the Movado Group, to discuss the past and future of the iconic brand.

Movado has a long association with art and artists - from Andy Warhol (whose Movado watch design is pictured above) to Kenny Scharf. How have artists influenced the development of the brand?

The Museum dial was designed by industrial artist, Nathan George Horwitt in 1947. It has been the foundation for the brand and created an authentic path for the brand’s continued association with artists through the years. The Museum dial is also very much a way for the wearer to express his or her individuality and artist collaborations have been another dimension of the brand.

Nathan George Horwitt with his creation

Nathan George Horwitt's original Museum dial has rightly become a design icon. Is there still room for modernist design in a post-modern world?

Modern design is timeless and as such will always be an important way to individuals who express their aesthetic through their appreciation of modern design.

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An original Movado Museum dial

The Museum dial, with its Sun feature at 12 o'clock, obviously looms large over the Movado brand. Is the popularity of the dial a blessing or a curse?

There are so few design icons that it is incredible asset to have a distinctive design element that defines the Movado brand. We continually innovate through materials, colours and subtle updates to the Museum dial to keep it feeling fresh and relevant.

The smart watch was hailed as a great disruptor for the watch industry, threatening to turn into a challenging new moment for horology similar to the quartz crisis of the 70s/80s. Has that disruption been as profound as people were anticipating? 

We find that the analogue watch is very much in demand as it has so many dimensions – consumers have emotional, stylistic and personal connection to the watch they wear.  The analogue watch has evolved into a badge for the wearer which makes it even more important than its utilitarian role.

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Movado's Smart watch collection

In your new season, one of the stand-out pieces is the Movado BOLD Chronograph. How did that watch come about? And why, in your view, are people so attracted to chronographs?

Chronographs have always had a functional appeal but also have a dramatic graphic look – the Movado BOLD Chronograph was designed to amplify the boldness of the design.

What do you wear on your own wrist?

I have several Movado watches and change based on wardrobe, occasion and often to make a statement with my timepiece. Today, I’m wearing the Movado Ultra Slim.

And what is next for Movado?

The name Movado means “always in motion” in Esperanto. The brand is constantly looking at ways to engage and excite our consumers.

For more, visit movado.co.uk

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