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Sun is light and light is color
and color is time
In 1971 Swiss artist & architect, Tian Harlan designed his Color-Time Circle.
Mr. Harlan has created quite some objects and art projects based on this idea, among them a color-time clock tower sculpture for the 1972 Munich Olympic Games. Tian Harlan is also known for designing the famous "Colour-Time" watch.
"Everyone has got a watch, but nobody has time. Because time runs away in seconds. It is time for a different watch-The Colour-Time Watch. The day has 12 colors. According to the light. From morning until evening. Each color is an hour. Suddenly the moment matters. All at once it is shortly before yellow. And no longer five to twelve".
Mr. Harlan ended what he called the "dictatorship of exact time", thus liberating us all into a stress free environment, a new relaxing zone.
I discovered my first Tian Harlan wristwatch some years ago, and how apropos as my first Tian Harlan watch in my collection is one of Mr. Harlan's early ones as Mr. Harlan's watch patent was not granted until 1974.
Take a look.
My first Tian Harlan wristwatch (c. 1971)
View of the back
Tian Harlan designed different shaped color- time wristwatches as well!
Another early T.H.ww in my collection, (c.1971-1973)
A picture of the back
Original signed watch band
Tian Harlan rectangle wristwatch in my collection. (c. after 1974)
A look from the back
And yet another early T.H. ww in my collection.
Acrylic case with patent leather band (c. 1971-1973)
A shot of the back
And last, Tian Harlan Quartz wristwatch in my collection (c. 1989)
Shot of the back
A few Tidbits!!
Tian Harlan's Colour-Time watches were worn amongst others by Ringo Star, Max Bill, Charles Aznavour, Carlo Levi and by the members of Iron Butterly Band who even composed the "Colour-Time" song!
Hope you enjoyed viewing my Tian Harlan collection. I certainly have enjoyed sharing it with you! I am on an never-ending search of Mr. Harlan's Colour-Time watches to add to my collection. There is a booklet titled "Tian Harlan Chromachron Booklet" I would love to have. The search never ends!!
THESE ARE REALLY GREAT LOOKING WRISTWATCHES !!. Personally I didn't know of their existance. Do you have any feel for their current value ??
Thanks a lot for sharing them with us all.
Come on you guys & gals let's see what other wristwatch treasures you'd like to share with us all. Not just vintage wristwatches, but also the modern and the classy looking watches like Stephanie just showed us.
IHC Member 321
Hey, Stephanie . . .
Just a RR PW guy peeking over the WW fence - Wow !!
Very, very !! Never seen anything quitelike it - can't help but
Hi Steph, Include me as one who had never heard of Harlan. You mentioned that your last watch was quartz. Are the earlier ones mechanical movements?
Nice watches and nice collection of Harlan watches, i have never seen anything like this before, very interesting concept, tell time with colours.
Great topic Stephanie.
Thanks! Glad you enjoyed!
"Do you have any feel for this current value?"
There is one listed currently on ebay with a starting bid of $128. (like my first Tian Harlan ww in my collection). The internet shows a Tian Harlan windup for L135 United Kingdom pounds converted to U. S. dollars $246.89. The internet also shows a Tian Harlan quartz for L175 - converted to U. S. dollars $320.05 BTW- These watches are some 30 years old! Wow!
Hi RR guy, glad you took a peek over the WW fence, maybe a sway?
Thanks, glad you enjoyed!
All of these watches except for the last are mechanical windup from the early 1970's. Thanks Tom, glad you enjoyed as well!
Thanks! I too, think these watches are so unique and one of the reasons why I collect them.
Glad you enjoyed. Imagine that, telling time by color!
I am on a search for a booklet titled "Tian Harlan- Chromachron Booklet (written in the 1970's) and would give my right arm, , well, almost, to have the booklet in my collection. Does anyone know where I may be able to find one?
Can anyone give information as to where I may be able to find "Tian Harlan Chromachron Booklet"? Printed in the 1970's. There was a booklet that went with the watches so I'm told but these are two different booklets.
While at Nationals at the New Orleans Superdome four or five years ago, I happened on a booth with two men from Austria selling Tian Harlan watches. BTW - they were selling a Tian Harlan watch key chain and one of the watches as a pair for $750. I was apalled at the price. At any rate, I saw the booklet as they had one on display to advertise the watches.
Any suggestions as to where I may be able to find the booklet?
"Watch - History Of The Modern Wristwatch"by Pieter Doensen...he is mentioned in this book too.
cool watch's ...I would have used redshift in one direction and blue shift in the other!!!
I am also among those that never heard of Harlan or have seen the watches. I like the idea of color time.
Maybe there is one that emits different notes at each hour, or one based on light that brightens and dims in sync with the sun.
I really do like different takes on the traditional. Thanks for posting that one Stephanie.
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