This is a watch. It was designed by Yves Béhar and manufactured by MINI USA. It is dated 2003 and we acquired it in 2010. Its medium is stainless steel, enamel, rubber. It is a part of the Product Design and Decorative Arts department.
In 2001, the automobile manufacturer BMW commissioned Swiss industrial designer, Yves Béhar, to develop accessories around the Mini Cooper, a car the company was reintroducing 43 years after its debut. Instead of resorting to key rings and similar objects as logo-based status symbols, Béhar created a group of highly practical objects and apparel intended to appeal not just to Mini owners, but to consumers who wanted to experience the brand in terms of design and utility—in or out of a car.
The simple, minimal form of the Mini_motion watch emphasizes Béhar’s intent to create “functionality around the notion of movement, accentuating [a] sporty yet designed feel." The watch features a large digital LCD display that can be changed from vertically-oriented numbers to larger horizontal numerals with the push of one of the small function buttons flanking the display. This facilitates readability when positioning the arm for different activities such as holding a steering wheel while driving, grasping handlebars while riding a bicycle, or simply walking. The wide, cuff-like, spring steel wristband is open at one end, making it easy to slip the watch on and off. The soft rubber covering is comfortable against the skin. The watch shows Béhar’s concern with function and ease of use as primary design factors, rather than appearance.
Béhar was the 2004 National Design Award winner in the category of Product Design. Based in San Francisco, he and the firm he founded in 1999, fuseproject, are known for blending design and brand development, and for designing objects grounded in a conceptual narrative inspired by the user’s experience. Béhar is a versatile designer, at ease experimenting with new concepts, clients, materials, and technologies. He has produced a wide spectrum of work, as can be seen in the range of his designs shown in Cooper-Hewitt’s exhibition celebrating the 10th anniversary of the National Design Awards, Design USA: Contemporary Innovation; these include Béhar’s luxurious chandelier for Swarovski and his Mini_motion watch, a product that exemplifies his dedication to creating design for the mass market.
This watch is a fitting addition to the museum’s contemporary technology holdings, as well as the category of timepieces.
This object was
It is credited
Gift of Yves Béhar.
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Its dimensions are
H x W x D: 2.5 x 8.9 x 3.8 cm (1 x 3 1/2 x 1 1/2 in.)
It has the following markings
On reverse of watch: Logo (MINI in 2 concentric circles flanked by stylized wings) / "water resistant 30m all stainless steel / made in China"
Cite this object as
Mini_motion Watch; Designed by Yves Béhar (Swiss, active USA, b. 1967); USA; stainless steel, enamel, rubber; H x W x D: 2.5 x 8.9 x 3.8 cm (1 x 3 1/2 x 1 1/2 in.); Gift of Yves Béhar; 2010-4-1
This object was previously on display as a part of the exhibition Design USA: Contemporary Innovation.