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Apple designer Marc Newson made a $12,000 hourglass filled with nanoballs that are apparently too beautiful for words

Apple designer Marc Newson made a $12,000 hourglass filled with nanoballs that are apparently too beautiful for words

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This is a safe space, okay? We’re going to talk about a $12,000 hourglass designed by Apple designer Marc Newson in this post, and I won’t judge you if you want it. But let me be straight up about my feelings: this thing is ridiculously expensive, and I don’t “get” it. I’m also a little lowbrow. As I mentioned, Newson created an Hourglass for Hodinkee that costs $12,000. Only 100 are being made. Each is custom created in a glass factory. The hourglass is filled with 1,249,996 “nanoballs” that are 0.66mm in diameter and made of solid stainless steel coated in copper. The hourglass times 10 minutes.

"Watching the Hourglass is a multi-sensory experience that cannot be communicated in words."

Hodinkee posted a long explainer on what goes into this timepiece to basically justify its cost. Apparently the hole that the nanoballs fall through has to be so precise that only a human eye can get the job done. A measurement device would harm the glass, according to Hodinkee. I’m not a glassmaker, so I have no idea if this is legitimate, but sure. As for the nanoballs, I’ll let Hodinkee tell you about them:

The combination of watching those first few nanoballs bounce around the bottom chamber, the flow begin to change surface patterns in the top chamber, and the unique sound of the nanoballs flying around, hitting the glass and one another as they settle at the bottom, is utterly mesmerizing.

Flying nanoballs, huh? You can hear them here:

Now, if you want to order one, and you aren’t one of the first six people to place your order, you’ll have to put down a nonrefundable $6,000 deposit and wait a few months before yours arrives. Four more will be available in June and then 10 will be produced for each month after until 100 total are made. Is Newson’s name enough to make you drop $12,000? Probably not, but I will say that graduation season is upon us and nothing screams congratulations like an extremely expensive timepiece. And nothing is more calming than the sound of falling nanoballs, I’m sure.