With the news that Australian designer and multidisciplinary artist Marc Newson is to join friend Jony Ive at Apple still ringing in everyone’s ears, it’s probably a good time to look at one of their earlier collaborations; a wristwatch they co-designed for Bono’s (RED) auction in November which raised $26.2-million for charity.
The watch alone, pictured below – in all its grainy iPhone glory – was listed as an item worth $10-$15,000. When I met Marc and he told me the story he said, “I think it sold for $300,000 or something.” It was $365,000 to be precise. So reason enough for a quick recap on my recent interview with Newson in his office in London.
First, Jony Ive on Marc (as quoted in Vanity Fair): “Marc is without question one of the most influential designers of this generation. He is extraordinarily talented. We are particularly excited to formalize our collaboration as we enjoy working together so much and have found our partnership so effective.”
Marc on Jony: “I’m full of admiration and respect for the extraordinary design work that has been produced by Jony and the team at Apple. My close friendship with Jony has not only given me a unique insight into that process, but the opportunity to work together with him and the people that have been responsible. I am enormously proud to join them.”
On creativity in his childhood: “I can’t really remember being that, let’s say, creative. I can remember always being obsessed with making things. But to me, at the time, it always seemed more of a necessity than anything else. You know, I always wanted to have things and when you cannot have things you just make them. It wasn’t so much about the ‘making’, it was more about the ‘having’.”
On being a designer: “My life has really been spent just looking at things and analysing the way things are made because, essentially, I think I could probably do a better job. I speak to other designers and we all think the same way and we feel the same way. In many ways it’s based on a constant dissatisfaction with the way things are right now because, obviously, if everything is fantastic then we wouldn’t have a job.”
On his custom-made Jaeger-LeCoultre Memovox Tribute to Deep Sea, Europe Watch” “I designed this watch with my friend Jony Ive for Bono, who was doing a red themed charity auction. The Memovox already exists of course, we just added the red. There are three in existence. Mine, Jony’s and the person that bought theirs at auction.”