Swiss watch brand Rado has launched True Square Thinline Les Couleurs Le Corbusier, three limited-edition timepieces that use architect Le Corbusier’s “naturally harmonious” colour palette.
Made from ceramic and sapphire crystal, the watches come in three different-coloured versions, each with a slim, square shape that combines Rado’s True Square and True Thinline designs.
One watch is all black, while the other two feature a combination of different colours. One comes in grey-brown and cream-white, with the other two-tone watch combining iron-grey and “slightly greyed English green”, the brand said.
The colours were chosen based on Le Corbusier’s Architectural Polychromy colour theory, which was created in 1931 as a palette of 63 shades that the architect described as “architectural, naturally harmonious and able to be combined in every way”. The palette was extended in 1959.
“Le Corbusier made a significant contribution to making shape and colour an essential element of architecture,” Rado CEO Adrian Bosshard told Dezeen.
“Just as for Rado, shape and colour are essential elements of design,” he added.
“That’s why we decided to pay tribute to his visionary eye and to take on the challenge of reproducing some of the non-trivial colours of Le Corbusier’s palette in ceramics.”
The brand chose to create the all-black timepiece as it was the first ceramic colour that Rado launched and the hue has become associated with the brand.
Meanwhile, the two-tone versions were intended to illustrate the versatility of Le Corbusier’s palette.
“The two two-tone products illustrate that in Le Corbusier’s colour system all colours can be combined,” Brosshard explained. “We came to this choice after much experimentation.”
Each of the timepieces comes in a limited edition of 999 and the watches were created together with Le Couleurs Suisse, which licenses the colours for the Le Corbusier Foundation.
The watches also feature the Le Corbusier colour strips, as well as the words Le Corbusier signature Polychromie Architecturale and “Limited Edition one of 999” on the sapphire crystal.
In another celebration of the architect, the launch of the three new models took place at Paris architecture museum Cité de l’architecture et du patrimoine.
Here, visitors could admire a real-size model of one of the flats inside Le Corbusier’s iconic Unite d’Habitation apartment block in Marseilles, which featured many of the vivid colours seen in his Architectural Polychromy palette.
As well as launching the True Square Thinline Les Couleurs Le Corbusier, Rado also introduced a collectors’ box featuring the black True Square Thinline Les Couleurs Le Corbusier watch, together with eight of the round Thinline Les Couleurs Le Corbusier watches from the existing collection.
Other watches designed by or informed by well-known architects include a square timepiece designed by Pritzker prize-winning architect Álvaro Siza. Rado also recently released an updated DiaStar watch by designer Alfredo Häberli.
The images are courtesy of Rado.