Alessi presented its first watch collection in Austin in 2002 in collaboration with SII Marketing International.
Its vast experience in the field of watchmaking meant that SII (Seiko Instrument Inc.) was the natural choice as partner.
As a design agency, Alessi had already worked on watches in the 1980s.
At that time Achille Castiglioni and Aldo Rossi, two of the most famous Alessi designers, were asked to design watches. Rossi's design under the name Momento has been re-used as part of a new version for the current collection. Castiglioni's record has entered the Alessi Watches collection as a chronograph version.
In addition to the two grand masters of design, young masters from the area also contributed to the collection:
Stefano Pirovano, Milan-based (set) designer, designed two models:
Calumet, a polyurethane wristwatch which inspires change with a wide variety of colours, and Callisto, an elegant watch with a satinised aluminium casing also available in different colour combinations. The Israeli artist Ron Arad and Italian architect Piero Lissoni contributed to the more minimalist projects amongst the Alessi Watches: "Look no hands!" is the unusual model by Arad where the time is told entirely without hands.
The watch's key feature is the rotating disc which only leaves a small part of the dial visible. The classic design of Tic, the model by Lissoni, has a quadratic shape and high clarity.
Not only does this watch come from with many various functions, but also in ladies' and men's versions. Tondo was designed by engineer and designer Alberto Meda. The watch, presented at Baselworld in April 2004, is distinctive with its polyurethane band that doesn't connect to the watch casing, instead encasing and protecting it.In 2005, two new artists found their way into the Alessi watch catalogue with their models: the Spaniard Patricia Urquiola and Egyptian Karim Rashid, both successful designers in Italy for a long time.Rashid designed Kaj, a model with a seamless continuous case and polyurethane band in six different colours which the dial is also located in.Patricia Urquiola designed Buckle, a watch with an unusual casing including a ring for the band and chain, which means it can also be worn as a pendant.Other models have been designed by Wiel Arets, Miriam Mirri and Hani Rashid: the two models by Dutch architect Wiel Arets carry the name Watch.it.They come with a steel or brown leather band and a matte white dial.The hour digits are reminiscent of tiny drops of water.Miriam Mirri named her model Mariposa - Spanish for "Butterfly" - available in three versions: with a white, blue or black dial.The design of the band, with its unusual pattern, is inspired by the haphazard flight of a butterfly, while the double second hand is reminiscent of outstretched wings.Finally, the Arc collection by Hani Rashid, which is distinctive for its clear, elemental design, white dial and orange details.Alessi Watches proves once again that its watch catalogue is the largest and most varied designer watch catalogue in the world.When designers, architects and artists meet, diversity and variety emerge.
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