22 Mar 2018

Bubble Clown by Matt Barnes: “Watch-ya” looking at me for?

If watchmaking’s putting you to sleep, If conventions bore you stiff, If time-honoured traditions make you yawn, Corum has just the thing for you...

An old friend of Corum, Matt Barnes is an American artist who isn’t exactly known for upholding aesthetic conventions. That’s just as well, because neither is Corum. Together, they’ve devised the “Bubble Clown”, a piece created in the image of both the brand and the artist – two enfants terribles in their respective worlds of watchmaking and design.

A transfigured clown stares out from the centre of the timepiece. He won’t be making children laugh or making adults young again – anything but. Matt Barnes has sought to make him disturbing, hypnotic, almost intrusive: the Bubble Clown fits into a collective unconsciousness, about as well as a bull in a china shop.

The Clown’s snarky smile, piercing stare, and rather disfigured look makes him anything but the stuff of dreams – nightmare fare more like. And yet you simply can’t take your eyes off him. Every detail on the whole is fascinating, and each is deliberately contradictory: a smile – but with razor-sharp teeth; an open yet threatening gaze; a clown costume that reveals innumerable tattoos; carnival make-up daubed over scars; and the traditional wig – styled into a Mohican. Every single distinctive clown feature has been hijacked. The overall effect doesn’t exactly invite itself onto the wrist – it’s more a case of it latching on there in a display of power, consistency, and singularity.

The mechanical cladding for Matt Barnes’ Clown is pretty off-the-wall, too. The timepiece lacks hands; instead, hours and minutes are displayed by means of two red circles on the flange. In addition, the Bubble Clown is 52 millimetres wide, offering the Clown a creative expanse whose breadth is unprecedented in watchmaking. The Clown’s round face fits perfectly into the Bubble’s curved shape, with the magnifying effect of the convex sapphire crystal further accentuating his facial features.

This is our second collaboration with Matt Barnes – his quirky universe is a perfect match for our niche in watchmaking,” concludes Corum CEO Jérôme Biard. “This limited edition makes full use of the creative freedom we allow in our Bubble timepieces. Today, Corum is proud to be serving as a focal point for Matt and other twenty-first century talents – as well as for the collectors who follow them with admirable loyalty.”

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