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Top 25 Art Blog - Creative Tourist

Nick Bain

The Compass Road by Iain Sinclair illustrated by Faye West

The decision to wear one of Mr Jones’ Watches is to accept the designer’s challenge to a modern concept of time being a series of fixed units, pharmacy treat through which the day is neatly compartmentalised. A concept most succinctly visualised by the watch The Average Day watch. This piece was originally produced for The Muses. The watch-face illustrates the average activities undertaken at particular points throughout the day. The information was digested from sources researching how time is spent by an average person throughout the day. The hours are replaced by words; 6pm becomes social life and 11am becomes work.

The Average Day, Photograph by Chris Overend. The Muse for this particular watch was Jonathan Gershuny, Director of the Centre for Time Use Research and who Mr Jones stipulates has “750,000 time-use diaries.”

Continuing to dispense with Western Modernity’s accepted measurement of time, Mr Jones developed Cyclops, a watch with no hour, minute or second hands. Instead a circular disk mimics the movement of shadows across a sundial, as the passage of time is meditatively documented. Encouraging the wearer to reevaluate their relationship to capitalist time in which every precious second counts.


On Wednesday 3rd November 2010 Mr Jones’ Watches launched The Masters of Time a collaboration with five unique professionals who share an unique and personal concept of time.

During the launch Iain Sinclair, author and psycho-geographer, Greame Obree, record breaking cyclist and artist Brian Catling discussed the ideas behind their watches and the process of negotiating whilst collaborating with Mr Jones. The final two watches were developed with Comedian William Andrews, and DJ Tom Middleton.

Iain Sinclair Photograph by Emilie Sandy

Iain Sinclair’s (Author of Hackney That Red Rose Empire) Compass Watch relates to 90 minutes of film time, rather than your usual TV time of 60 minutes. Sinclair discussed the relation of time to walking, the layers created as time passes both between an event and the walker’s presence, within the walker’s own time.

Iain Sinclair – Compass Road interview from Mr Jones on Vimeo.

Fittingly Sinclair’s watch replaces the units of time with authors whose experience was shaped both by the influence of both geographic location and a complex understanding of time. In his 15 minutes Sinclair discussed the breakdown of the poet John Clare after the enclosure of the landscape to JG Ballard’s experiences as a prisoner of war before his arrival in Suburban England.

Compass Road by Iain Sinclair and Mr Jones Watches

The performance artist and sculptor Brian Catling, introduced the ideas behind Dawn West Dusk East via an art historical slide show. Original paintings and performances explored and expanded on the concept of ‘the Cyclops’. The watch –in the words of the artist- was designed to be “enigmatic, subtle and poetic.” The single rotation of this exquisite design is a silent request to return to a slower pace. The dial gradually measures the 12 hours between Dawn and Dusk.

Brian Catling Photograph by Emilie Sandy

The final speaker of the evening was the twice claimant of the toughest cycling challenge The Hour – a race between the cyclist, distance and the clock. Fittingly the title chosen for Graeme Obree’s timepiece is The Hour. As the hand rotates each hour reveals a different word encouraging the wearer to question emotions experienced during a variety of daily activities. Obree described The Hour as the best, worst, most exhilaratingly painful amount of time imaginable, each second a step closer to achieving or failing a lifelong obsession.

The Masters of Time launch was a fantastic introduction to an individuals complex relation to time. Sadly William Andrews and Tom Middleton were unable to attend, their watches The Last Hour and BPM played with the idea of ‘death’ on stage and a DJ’s relation to the beats per minute respectively. BPM comes complete with a specifically designed animation to help the nocturnal DJ keep count of each record’s BPM prior to the moment of a live mix.

Tom Middleton Photograph by Emilie Sandy

William Andrews Photograph by Emilie Sandy

William Andrews The Last Laugh functions as a symbol of the performer’s need for the last laugh and a momento mori, a reminder that life is brief as time flashes past on the moving teeth of the skull illustrated watchface

The Last Laugh by William Andrews and Mr Jones Watches

Mr Jones Watches are available from the website or you can visit Mr Jones Design, Unit 1.11, Oxo Tower Wharf? Southbank London SE1 9PH.
Compass Road and The Last Laugh are available today.

South County Dublin boy without the accent or heino addiction, approved fled to Bristol under a desperate attempt to become the next Ally McBeal. Following more pints than points of law it soon became clear this wasnt to be. After a year in Paris, cheap I found my true calling and went back to being a fresher this time by the sea in Bournemouth and got swept into the world of fashion.

A marriage, information pills a couple of funerals, more parties, and eventually a graduate collection inspired by dandies past and present all led to a move to the capital. Here I design menswear and dream of a fashion empire developing at my feet.

So having just hit my 30s, which should be noted I am welcoming with open arms, and bizarrely a marathon (It’s the done thing these days apparently.) I’m designing suits, writing, enduring long runs in the rain and loving London. Other than that I’m most often seen propping up a bar with a group of mates debating the intricacies of politics, fashion, music, and possibly Strictly. Its not a bad life really and hey someone’s gotta do it.