The Swiss luxury watchmaker Hublot has announced that multimedia artist Daniel Arsham is the brand’s new ambassador. The partnership is being celebrated with a monumental Arsham sculpture in the Alps, a 65-foot sundial in the shadow of the Matterhorn. It will have a very limited audience—one can only glimpse it from a mountaintop.
is centered around a quartz-shaped obelisk (if you’re unfamiliar with sundial nomenclature this component is called a gnomon—best name ever). The runic artwork has a mythical Stonehenge meets Superman’s-Fortress of Solitude feel and evocatively addresses themes of nature and technology. The functional artwork concerns itself with time on many levels—the work is only on display temporarily. Time has been a central thematic concern to the artist for decades—his 2019 retrospective was titled “Connecting Time.”
“Many of the works I’ve been making over the last 20 years or so deal with our perception of time,” Arsham says, “our understanding, not in terms of a day or minute, more on a geological time, thousands of years while really looking at it through archeology. The works that I’ve been making, and that I’m known for, take contemporary objects and project them as they are museum archeological relics in the future.”
The outdoor installation is a striking experience set in the majestic natural environment of the mountain resort town of Zermatt, an important hub for the brand. To see the artwork, viewers must take the Hublot-Express high-speed chairlift that rapidly ascends 3,130 feet up the mountain.
Arsham’s pairing with Hublot seemed a destined fit. “I reject more collaboration offers than I actually take,” Arsham says. “Part of the thing that is important to me is the company, or the people really, are willing to do something that hasn’t been done or willing to go the extra mile with it.”