The rules and chance of Ora X

Ora X by Bruno Munari (1907-1998) is a “chromatic variation” clock presented in 1945 and re-launched in 1963 by historical Italian design brand Danese.

It is a “useless machine”, a work of “kinetic art”, an “essentialist” clock – quoting various reviews – where hands are replaced by semi-circles that rotate thanks to a spring mechanism on a face without numbers.

It belongs to the family of design objects where rules and chaos collide. Munari himself dedicated a poem to these two elements, which ended with, “Rules on their own are monotonous / chance alone makes us restless. / The combination of rules and chance / is life is art is imagination / the balance”.

June 1, 2016