In 1990, after a decade and a half working for Italian design brand Alessi, Projects founder Jack Markuse established his company with the intention of introducing the American public to the best international designers and architects. He did this by commissioning the likes of Michael Graves, Stanley Tigerman and Takenobu Igarashi to create a diverse range of household products, from bathroom accessories to weathervanes – and watches.
Projects started producing watches in 1992 – and first up was Graves’ now-iconic OH Watch. In 1998 the brand’s famous Building Timepieces collection was released, a project which saw 17 architects design original timepieces for the brand, among them Kisho Kurokawa, Moshe Safdie, Coop Himmelb(l)au and Richard Gluckman. The result established Projects’ tradition of experimental, design-led watchmaking, something that continues today with products like Denis Guidone’s Crossover and Sometimes pieces.
Milan native Guidone works across the design, architecture and communication disciplines. He studied at the Politecnico of Milano and Faup Porto in Portugal before setting up an atelier in his home city. He has produced furniture, stationary and accessories for brands such D3CO and Nava. Guidone describes his watch designs, which subvert normal modes of displaying the time, as "provocative and paradoxical essays in object-making". The Italian designer particularly likes to play with juxtaposition, discontinuity and optical illusion in the design of his watch faces – as he explains: "It might seem strange, but I hate designing watches. I prefer to think in terms of designing time."