Georg Jensen, Vivianna Torun and Sonya’s watch

I often get asked about my watch. I have been wearing the same one since since my eldest daughter was born 19 years ago and love it as much now as I did then. Named Vivianna, after its Swedish designer Vivianna Torun Bülow-Hübe, it was created for the design house Georg Jensen.

Torun was born in 1927 and became the first female silversmith to achieve international fame. Her designs were edgy and, in many ways, anti-establishment. As well as the watch which shares her name, she is also known for other iconic designs such as her ‘dew drop’ series the Möbius bangle and Hidden Heart pendant.

Early in her career she said that she “didn’t want to design jewellery for the wives of wealthy men to keep locked up in private”, instead she created what she called ‘anti-status jewellery’.  Her work was inspired by natural shapes such as flowers, moulding metal into seemingly flexible and fluid forms.

The Vivianna watch has no numbers or straps and every surface is mirrored. Torun said “Back then, watches were only chronometers – measures of time. I wanted to free people from the slavery of time. A watch should not make us prisoners of time, but liberate us.”

She led a fascinating life. Leaving her native Sweden after studying she moved to Paris and Cannes where she met Picasso, Braques and Matisse, who all admired her work. Married and divorced three times, to men of different nationalities, she lived and worked in Sweden, France, Indonesia and Germany and Denmark. Her work was bought by high end clients such as Brigitte Bardot, Billy Holiday and Ingrid Bergman.

Her work can be seen in the Museum of Modern Art in NY, and the Louvre in Paris, and can still be bought from Georg Jensen around the world, now in many different variations from the original Vivianna first designed!

Read more about Vivianna here.

Vivianna Torun Bülow-Hübe  04 12 1927 – 03 07 2004