An American-based brand Atelier Morpheus has presented its second custom-made Passagen H.R. Giger model. (Indirectly) inspired by nothing less than a German garbage truck, the piece bears all the easily recognizable (although too dark for a normal person) design cues that the German industrial designer is famous for.
What is the first thing that comes to mind when you remember Alien (the movie?) Well, probably not Mrs. Sigourney Weaver as officer Ripley. And, possibly, not the ravenous creature from outer space that devoured the whole USCSS Nostromo ship except for Ripley and her cat Jones, because it was allergic to cats?
I bet that the first thing that flashes before your eyes is the dark, even macabre, the interior of the space bulk carrier that unexpectedly turned into an interstellar slaughterhouse.
Well, most of the sets of the movie (and even the Alien creature itself) were created by Swiss artist and industrial designer Hans Rudolf “Ruedi” Giger.
To get an idea what kind of artist H.R. Giger is, just visit his personal site. Just don’t do this at night, otherwise, you will most likely succumb to a series of vivid nightmares. You have been warned.
One of H.R. Giger’s most known series of works is the Passagen collection. “Erotic and sensual,” it depicts a rear opening of a German garbage truck, the stinky hole where waste bins are emptied into.
While Mr. H.R. Giger was inspired by a garbage truck, the Morpheus Passagen is inspired by Mr. H.R. Giger’s works. And it shows: the watch, which is available either in a black PVD or 18-karat gold-plated case looks like a scale 3D model of a fragment of his Opus Magnum.
As you can see in the pictures, the boxy case sports a keyhole-shaped dial protected with a sapphire crystal.
As the company says in its press release, the main challenge here was to make the crystal.
You see, usually, the crystals are made of cylindrical billets that are cut with diamond saws and are then ground and polished to certain specs. In this case, the shape of the crystal demanded some extra steps to make it fit the bezel.
Their contractor must have spoiled a fair share of crystals before getting them right.
The only thing that disappoints me about this design is that they didn’t equip the watch with sliding “doors” similar to those used in the garbage truck.
Well, maybe next time.
The Passagen H.R. Giger features the usual ETA 2824 Swiss Made automatic movement, which is accurate and reliable for what it is. While the PVD-coated Morpheus Passagen H.R. Giger comes with a solid case back, the gold-plated version features a display window that lets you see the mechanism.
The timepiece is released in three versions: a PVD-coated with black dial, the same with the beige dial, and a gold-plated version. Among them, my choice is the one with the beige face, since it provides both superb readings and also supplies the Passagen with additional depth. Each is individually numbered on the case back and is sold with a black leather strap and an additional black rubber strap.
See also: Revue Thommen Airspeed Instrument RT1920
Photos: Atelier Morpheus
Morpheus Passagen H.R. Giger specification
Price: MSRP $2,455 – $3,455.
Movement: Caliber ETA 2824, automatic, 28,800 vph, Swiss Made
Functions: Hour, minutes, seconds
Power reserve: 40 hours
Case: PVD-coated stainless steel or 5-micron 18-karat Gold-plated steel
Dimensions: 43.0 mm x 32.65 mm
Case height: 10.55 mm
Dial: Black or Beige
Water resistance: 50 meters
Strap: Black leather and black rubber
Back: Sapphire or Solid