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Whether you know it or not, there’s a pretty good chance you’ve encountered something designed by Yves Béhar. This could be the Herman Miller Sayl chair you sit in all day, the Samsung Frame TV that hangs on your wall at home, or the Movado Edge watch strapped to your wrist right now. The Swiss-born, California-based designer founded his firm Fuseproject back in 1999 and he’s spent the last 20 years heavily influencing how global brands and small start-ups alike create products with integrity.
Just this past week I had the chance to sit down with Yves at the fuseproject headquarters in San Francisco. From the moment he walked into the room, I got a sort of laid back, surfer dude vibe. It’s immediately disarming. Sure, he’s a rockstar designer, but there’s none of that brash attitude to go with it. When he talks about sustainability and looking for new ways to solve old problems, you want to lean in closer so you don’t miss a word of it.
He also grew up in Switzerland in the 1970s and '80s, the height of the Quartz Crisis. The struggles the watch industry was going through had a significant impact on him, and he looks back fondly on the days when Swatch was considered a rebel and maybe even a traitor to their countrymen. Don’t worry, we get into all of that. *
We also cover everything from the difference between design and aesthetics, how he finds untapped potential in everyday things, and how his mother’s job at Patek Philippe gave him some extra insight into how the traditional Swiss watch industry works. Whether you’re a design nerd, a watch nerd, or, well, any kind of nerd for that matter, you’re going to like this one.*
We hope you enjoy Episode 34 of HODINKEE Radio. Check out the show notes below and let us know what you think in the comments.
Wrist Check

After a chance meeting at the Aspen Ideas Festival, Yves teamed up with Movado to create a modern interpretation of the brand's iconic Museum Watch. The result of this collaboration is the Movado Edge, which uses modern manufacturing techniques to create a one-piece aluminum dial that has curved edges, milled wave-shaped markers to note the 60 minutes, and a simple polished surface to recall the Sun at 12 o'clock (a la the original Museum Watch). Most days, Yves wears either the all black time-only Edge or the black and red Edge Chronograph you see here. You'll have to listen to the full episode to get Yves' thoughts on what it takes to reinvent such a distinctive, historically important watch.
Show Notes


The Frame by Samsung

Happiest Baby Snoo Smart Sleeper

“See Better to Learn Better” Project

Movado Edge

Yves at The Aspen Ideas Festival

SFMOMA Presents The Sea Ranch