Spain’s Studio Nomon extolls the virtue of analogue time

retro style

In school, there was nothing more imprisoning (or, in turn, liberating) than the classroom clock. As adults, we have the luxury of shunning them at home, blissfully ignoring a dreary world of deadlines and preferring to give it all up to overachieving smartphones.

Spanish studio Nomon has stepped in just as clocks have been disappearing from bedside tables and kitchens. Industrial designer José María Reina and jewelry designer Ángels Arrufat started the company with the lofty goal of restoring certain faded reputations and reviving the time-keeper’s prestige but for the home.

The Mini Barcelona clock from Nomon plays nice in a contemporary setting

Nomon handcrafts each piece in Barcelona with requisite artisan techniques while the mechanical components are from Germany. The studio uses materials more commonly associated with furniture — woods like wenge and walnut for the body, minimal brass details, and simple graphite finishes. Under Reina’s creative direction, Nomon’s signature style is contemporary to the point of striking subtraction: the company’s famed Barcelona and Bilbao series are completely distilled designs with circular outlines in walnut or chromed steel, discreet markings on the axis, and a pair of lacquered hands displaying just the essentials. It’s a clock-as-art move, and a surprising non-numeric take on telling time.

The Nomon Atomo dressed in graphite and at the ready desk side

While the aesthetic effect is undeniably modern, the wood renditions ease into mid-century modern surroundings or industrial-style spaces. Nomon recently introduced “mini” versions of these two designs, which means they don’t have to do all the decorative lifting on the wall. The company also does not exclude typical places like desks and nightstands.

Two new introductions were created for open surfaces but meant to stand on their own design merits.  The Mini Puntero is a riff on the classic desktop clock, rendered in solid walnut and counterbalanced by a brass and wood stand. The Atomo picks up on some of that 50s styling and elevates the form with a throwback shape and smooth face in either polished brass or graphite steel.

Even with the collection, one question comes to mind: Can the clock make a comeback? Nomon thinks it’s time.


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