Dentsu’s Clock, With Different Hands for All 1,440 Minutes of the Day, Is a Designer’s Dream

Time flies for stationery brand Hitotoki

Japanese stationery brand Hitotoki wanted to show audiences the joy in hand-crafting art, so it made a special clock with 1,440 different sets of hands—one for every minute of the day.

There are hands made from wooden spoons, and flowers, and mini bananas. There are hands made from confetti, and cream puffs, and glow sticks. Crackers, tiny onions, small sunglasses. A pencil and a model Eiffel Tower. Mascara, keys, batteries, candied almonds, Rubik’s Cubes. To make the 24-hour clock, agency Dentsu assembled and continuously filmed some 30,000 objects against a slowly shifting backdrop of beautifully colored paper.

It’s a designer’s dream—simple, clever and playful. Hitotoki translates to “precious moment,” and each moment in the production is definitely precious, in every sense of the word. (The Japanese word kawaii, or cute, comes to mind.) While a promotional video (above) offers a fun overview of the project, and a time-lapse video (below) runs through the entire sequence in 1:36, the real-time website is strangely hypnotic and best delivers the brand’s arguments, as human hands move in out of the frame, meticulously assembling each piece.

It’s vaguely evocative of “The Present,” the year-long color-wheel clock that production company m ss ng p eces created back in 2011 and since sold at MoMA’s design store. While one promotional image from Dentsu shows how an iPhone on the floor or an iPad on a bookshelf could turn the Hitotoki website into a functional clock, the brand should probably consider turning the campaign into a product with a standalone design (even if it’s just a hexagonal screen playing back the video on loop).

Compared to Hitotoki’s, all other clocks will probably start to seem awfully boring. Plus, people might want to use their phones to actually check the time.

Client: Hitotoki
Agency: Dentsu
Creative Director: Yuto Ogawa
Art Director: Ryosuke Miyashita / Minami Sakagawa
Copywriter: Yuto Ogawa / Mai Iwaana
Director: Makoto Kubota
PR Planner: Michiru Muraki / Asako Fujimagari
Account Exective: Tomoyasu Katagai / Wenni Shao
Producer: Kota Endo / Taro Mikami
Camera: Yutaro Tagawa
Art Management: Kenichi Sasaki / Miyuki Nagao
Music: Satoshi Yoshitake
Project Manager: Yasutaka Kubota / Masashi Narita
Web Director: Yasuyuki Matsumaru
Techinical Director / Programmer: Motokazu Furukawa
Web Director / Web Designer: Miki Shirokura

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