Leonardo da Vinci Becomes Fashion’s Newest Designer

Leonardo da Vinci has been credited with contributions to inventions that consist of the parachute and the submarine, and even of conceiving the theory of plate tectonics.

Considerably less perfectly acknowledged, however, are his scientific studies in watchmaking. But now a two-meter-higher (6.5-foot) clock that incorporates some of his discoveries about timekeeping is on long lasting show at the Veneranda Biblioteca Ambrosiana, a cultural institution launched in 1607 in Milan.

The clock, named Chiaravalle, was conceived by the manner dwelling Dolce & Gabbana, which commenced producing watches in 2012. It was made as a tribute to the 500th anniversary of Leonardo’s death, in 1519, and designed as element of its Alta Orologeria, or higher watchmaking, assortment of a single-of-a-sort parts.

“Making the Chiaravalle clock was a real problem and an even higher privilege for our workforce of authorities and us,” Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana, the brand’s founders, wrote in an electronic mail, “because it intended approaching Leonardo and his unparalleled genius with excellent respect, giving shape and content to his intuitions, permitting our creative imagination to emanate.”

Named after the abbey in Milan whose tower clock appeared in Leonardo’s drawings, the clock has a skeletonized rectangular construction of 53 iron items.

The lapis lazuli dial echoes the star-studded layout of the one on St. Mark’s Clock Tower in Venice, and at the dial’s heart is a miniature golden world, in retaining with the geocentric idea prevalent in the 16th century, the symbols for the moon and the sunlight rotate close to it. The moon completes its phases in about 29 days, while the sunlight requires 365 times to transfer throughout the months, composed in Italian, and their corresponding zodiac signals.

At the major two corners of the clock, two smaller sized dials suggest the minutes and the hours the hour dial is divided into 24 sections, in preserving with Hora Italica, or Italian time, a way of counting the several hours that was common in church clocks in Italy right up until the 19th century.

An Italian watchmaker, whom the model declined to recognize, made the clock’s movement from Leonardo’s drawings, such as the artist’s “worm drive” (vite senza great in Italian). The manufacturer stated it lessened the number of wheels wanted in the movement, improving upon the clock’s precision.

The residence also has highlighted Leonardo’s work in its Manifattura Italiana Selection, a constrained-version group of wristwatches. Previous slide it launched the San Marco, which also reproduced the dial of St. Mark’s Clock Tower, and, in 2019, introduced the Leonardo. Its dial was engraved with a drawing from the Codex Atlanticus, the compilation of Leonardo’s drawings and writings also exhibited at the Ambrosiana.

The watches are a mix of tradition and innovation, Mr. Dolce and Mr. Gabbana wrote, just as “watchmaking is a desire built of art and technological know-how.”

Katheleen Knopf

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