Berd Vay'e Hits It Out of the Park with America's PasTime
Goldsmith & Complications is partnering with Berd Vay’e to create a unique limited-edition collection of 30 pieces. The New York-based artists are renowned for incorporating increasingly rare vintage watch components in Lucite sculptures.
What makes the Berd Vay’e America’s PasTime special? The piece is a tribute not only to watchmaking but also to America’s favorite pastime. “So many of my clients are into collecting watches, and into sports. They also love Berd Vay’e. We wanted to share our passion for watchmaking and bring something to the watch community that they’d never seen before,” Goldsmith said. It had to be “something very cool” that symbolizes what both companies are about and appeals to collectors.
“When Danny mentioned Chicago Cubs outfielder Ian Happ was interested in a collaboration, we immediately thought of creating a mini baseball bat – the souvenir we all used to take home from a game,” says Berd Vay’e President, Samir Shah. “As sports fans and watch aficionados infatuated with quality, we felt it was the perfect representation of the collision of the worlds of watchmaking, baseball, art and design.”
The resulting Goldsmith & Complications and Berd Vay’e 17-inch baseball bat features a mesmerizing mix of mechanical watch parts in exploded view and wooden slivers from bats originally owned by Happ. It can be mounted to display on a desk, bookshelf, or coffee table “This piece is a special intersection of baseball and horology,” Happ said. “I was honored when Danny asked me to be a part of the project and so excited with how it turned out.”
The watch components and wood chips are meticulously positioned at designated locations by hand inside the sculpture, which seemingly slide towards the tip as though the bat is in motion. “When I first saw it, I was speechless. The blue hands just pop and the positioning of the balance wheels is fabulous. This is why I wanted to do something different. And what a conversation piece!” Goldsmith said.
To execute their signature design style, Berd Vay’e searches constantly for high-quality vintage watch parts. With a 50-60% rejection rate, this is an ongoing challenge. “We use only the best and most visually interesting components to convey a real sense of the intricacies and the work that goes into watchmaking,” said Berd Vay’e co-founder Eddie Kurayev, who compares his process to selecting diamonds in certain colors and grades. “They give each sculpture a very unique character.”
Each shatter-resistant piece is cast with eight to 10 layers of Lucite over a 24-hour period before being baked to achieve a seamless, crystal-clear artwork. Each one is shaped and polished by hand. America’s PasTime also posed a new challenge – working with wood, as lacquered or painted chips from Happ’s bats could expand and crack during the baking process. “I like this type of challenging project,” Kurayev said. “Watch and art lovers will appreciate the attention to detail and technical deftness needed to create each special piece.”