Out of time, but absolutely on time!
Set like a jewel in Knez Mihailova Street in the main pedestrian area in the centre of Belgrade, the Absolute Time luxury watch boutique occupies the ground floor of an elegant 1930s Academicism style building protected by the Academy of Fine Arts. In keeping with this splendid setting, right from the start, architect and designer Milos Joksimovic sought to maintain a balance between modernity and tradition in his interior design project and to preserve the magic of a place that seems to have been there for ever but in reality features a wealth of contemporary elements.
«Underpinning my project is the idea that interior design must not detract from the displayed products but must nonetheless be attractive, appealing and above all easily recognisable,» Joksimovic explains. «It is based on a dialogue between logic and creativity that underscores the importance of a clear and direct design language.»
The name of the store makes a direct reference to the concept of «absolute time» theorised by Newton as something «true and mathematical, which of itself and from its own nature flows equably without regard to anything external» — a concept splendidly interpreted in this project! Its atmosphere is pleasantly soft, defined by warm tones and a welcoming and reassuring neoclassical style that serves as the perfect backdrop to the luxury brand watches that enjoy pride of place like Oscar-winning movie stars under the spotlights.
Light indeed plays a very important role. «I consider space to be a living creature in which the furnishings and other tangible elements represent the body, and light the soul,» explains the designer. «I used LED technology, choosing a warm white light colour with the aim of creating a relaxing or even meditative atmosphere where time stands still — strange as this might seem for a watch shop!»
The project adopts a rigorous approach which is reflected in all the materials used.
The floor covering is particularly successful, consisting of the Milano tile collection from Novabell in elegant Certosa brown tones that lend sophistication to the ambience. The original aesthetics, with powerful, irregular veins created by high-definition advanced digital technologies, are the dominant feature of this product, which also combines extraordinary strength and resistance with ease of cleaning.
With their velvety beige tones, the wall tiles set off the brand displays like pictures in a gallery, dominated by a large watch-shaped porthole window devoted to Tissot lines.
The furnishings are clean and understated, consisting of simple sales desks, a large reception counter, several designer armchairs and a couple of vases with a clean design. It is an orderly set of objects in keeping with the concept of «less is more» embraced by Mies Van Der Rohe, whom Joksimovic quotes as being one of his role models along with Adolf Loos and Marc Newson.
NovaBell, Milano series
Water absorpion (ISO 10545-3): 0,2%
Chemical resistance (ISO 10545-13): conforme
Stain resistance (ISO 10545-14): conforme
Frost resistance (ISO 10545-12): conforme
Modulus of rupture and breaking strength (ISO 10545-4): ≥ 50/N mm2
Slip resistance (DIN 51130): R9
Thermal shock resistance (ISO 10545-9): conforme
Crazing resistance (ISO 10545-11): conforme
Linear thermal expansion (ISO 10545-8): conforme