A monumental clock in Tokyo
THE LARGEST HANGING CLOCK THE WORLD HAS EVER SEEN!
This monumental clock is sweetly named AoyAmA, which is Japanese for “Blue Mountain”. However, passers-by will see a clock in red, white and grey (of stainless steel, that is) proudly overlooking the busy Tokyo street it is named after, nine meters above the pediment of a concept store. A four-metre-long pendulum, a tangle of circular and pendulum movements, and two cogwheels spanning 2.3 and 1.5 metres in diameter… Thousands of Japanese people will be able to observe the work and expertise of Utinam Besançon and its service providers in the Franche-Comté. Those among them who understand the French language will be able to read the following inscription: “Nous sommes les enfants que le temps fait grandir dans le cercle de la vie” (“We are children brought up by time in the circle of life,” in English).
In addition to its impressive dimensions, AoyAmA also features a concentration of technical achievements including innovative systems that have never before been used… After all, this is a seismic hazard zone! For example, the clock’s lever uses the force of gravity to drive the pendulum, which is made up of permanent magnets; and the dial, formed of an epicyclic gear train, turns a red satellite around its interior edge as the seconds pass.
of the clock
In January of 2013, Kazunori, the director of the Via Bus Stop museum who was attending the Maison&Objet trade fair in Paris with his assistant Ayumi, fell in love with UTINAM Besançon’s contemporary grandfather clocks. Kanusori purchased one of the new versions of the “Pop Up” for his Tokyo-based office and decided to come to Paris in person to collect it. When he arrived in Besançon, he was bowled over by “La Matrice”, the monumental clock of the city’s TGV station. That was it: he decided to include a design by Philippe Lebru as part of his upcoming project, a concept store in the very heart of the Aoyama district of Tokyo. The project was approved in cooperation with the Japanese architect Utsumi in May of 2014 at the Venice Biennale.
While this project was coordinated by Utinam, Philippe Lebru managed, as always, to involve the best regional experts. He confided the preliminary study based on his sketches to the Université de Franche-Comté, IUT GMP and Ecole d’Horlogerie de Morteau. The company DIFRA was in charge of the study and mechanical execution, and the companies Plimetal, Millot, GPI, Usodom, Kartes and Anodest also participated in the work. All the pieces were assembled in the “Friche Culturelle” buildings of Besançon.
Weight: 1 ton
Width: 4 m
Height: 5 m
Colours: red, white and stainless steel
Pendulum length: 5 m
Cogwheel diameters: 2.3 m and 1.5 m
Materials: Aluminium, stainless steel, POM (composite)