When I moved into my house in Chicago two years ago, I was ready to start over in terms of decor and vibe. I had grown tired of the midcentury wares and furnishings I picked up at church rummage sales and thrift stores during my college years.
Much like the pioneering architects of the postmodern movement, I had simply become bored of the stoic designs and flat colors of the modernist period. Less is more? Less is a bore. I wanted my new place to be more fun, playful, and more personal.
Enter the Swatch Maxi wall clock. For those who remember the Swiss watchmaker from the ’80s or early ’90s, yes, Swatch is still around, and yes, they still produce a number of wall clocks.
After much deliberation, I settled on the Maxi Mister Parrot wall clock for my bedroom to match the mostly red motif of the rest of my apartment. It’s loud-looking but not too loud-looking, if that makes sense. For those interested in something a little more neutral, the Maxi Red Pass and Maxi Anchor Baby are probably more versatile pieces.
The clock is an immediate hit with friends, often soliciting excited—if not surprised—reactions. It’s generally a nostalgic excitement from friends and company who remember seeing these on TV or in magazines growing up. It’s a playful piece that elicits a lot of emotions, and this is exactly what I wanted in my new (well, now two-year-old) apartment.
At $170, it’s not exactly cheap, but it’s not expensive either. It’s not only a conversation starter, but it’s also helped inform future decor decisions for other rooms in my apartment. The clock works really well with my gloss red Kallax shelf from IKEA and my gloss red Kanto bookshelf speakers.
Let’s face it: This wall clock isn’t for everyone. But as someone who has thoroughly and fully embraced the postmodern revival, I feel that fun wall art and colorful furniture have not only brought more joy to my house, they’ve made my apartment feel like my home.
AJ LaTrace is the editor of Curbed Chicago.