If you thought Apple’s $300 physical books were testing the limits of what people are willing to buy, take a look at this. While not from the Cupertino company itself, one of its designers, Marc Newson, has teamed up with wristwatch website Hodinkee to create a $12,000 hourglass.
The hand-blown object is, obviously, a lot nicer than other hourglasses, but would someone really be willing to spend 12 grand on something that looks pretty and measures time? There are plenty of other devices that meet those requirements and don’t cost the same as a second-hand car.
Still, the Marc Newson hourglass does have some pretty cool features. Instead of using sand, it contains 1,249,996 nanoballs that are made from stainless steel. They come with a copper coating and an anti-corrosion layer that will stop them turning green over time like cheap jewelry.
All those balls mean the product, which measures 5.9 inches tall and 4.9 inches across at the widest point, weighs in at 3.3 pounds. Those ball bearings do look quite hypnotic when falling from the top of the glass to the bottom, admittedly, but is it worth rushing out and placing a $6000 non-refundable deposit for one of the hourglasses? I’d say no. If, however, you’re very rich and think it would be the perfect accompaniment to your $300 Apple coffee book then you’d better act fast: only 100 of them have been made.
Apple’s Chief of Design, Jony Ive, said “Ideas are not predictable in terms of when you’ll have them, and how many you’re going to have,” when talking about Apple's book. It seems Hodinkee is a subscriber to the same school of pretentious descriptions. “Watching the Hourglass is a multi-sensory experience that cannot be communicated in words,” it writes. Invariably, the first time we show it to someone, there’s a gasp, a big smile, and sometimes even a little giggle as they lean in and get ready to watch for the full 10 minutes.” At which point they’ll hand over $12,000 for one, naturally.