Fortis IQ watch by Rolf Sachs


Fortis iq watch by Rolf Sach squiq

Designer Rolf Sachs has created a watch with a blackboard-style face for watch brand Fortis.


The watch, called IQ, has a dark green face and all the markings and hands glow in the dark.

According to Sachs, the concept emerged from a shop window he designed for London department store Selfridges, shown below.

The following information is from Rolf Sachs:


FORTIS IQ Watch Rolf Sachs

"I am always in search of the new"

FORTIS IQ Watch Rolf Sachs

"I am always in search of the new". This quote characterizes the artist who is well known for his puristic design. With this design he wants to address the human senses, in his art the decorative and graphic steps into the background. Chalk is transitory, waking the childhood memories in everybody - leading from the sterile to the human.

Originally the concept for the Rolf Sachs artist edition “IQ Watch” emerged from a surrealism shop window design for Selfridges, a department store in London, on the occasion of a DADA exhibition in the Victoria and Albert Museum.

It deserves closer attention to be understood better. The humorous aspect of this design characterises the artist’s personality. Only at second view the secret of its concern is revealed. This inventive FORTIS edition, created in the spirit of the Dadaism unites playful and ease with the perfection of its mechanical inner life. Limited edition of 999 exemplars individually numbered.

Available to buy from:

Posted on Thursday November 6th 2008 at 12:55 am by . Copyright policy | Comments policy

  • K. Rimane

    Oh look, a silly watch someone decided to call IQ. A Constant search for the “new”
    Dezzen, we’re still waiting for the “rubbish” section.

  • Emerson

    I don’t get it. It’s not really clever or witty or pretty. It’s just chalk lettering.

  • isobel

    it doesnt seem like they thought too hard about the “numbers” – im no mathematician but surely there are more interesting equations etc. they could have put there? not “7-5” (= 2.)

    1?? surely there’s some non-real maths thing that equals 1? like square root of negative 1? or square root of 1, even??

    sheesh, come on!! for 10 they put a question mark!! thats just lazy.

  • pangkcoy

    ahhhhh! like this watch alot! its like bringing back the school days! nice…

  • Kim

    It’s an homage to DaDaism.
    It should be as simple as that, a play on materiality with humor, something very beginning of the 20th century…

    Obviously, K.Rimane and Emerson have no clue and maybe no knowledge about art history….

  • monsieur!

    well art history is pretty boring

    the question mark for the 10 is rubbish

  • pop

    it could have been nicer if they replaced the cover glass with an empty chalk board surface and then you can fill in whatever suits you..

  • weaksauce

    Why does everybody on dezeen critique projects on the negatives. There is never any intelligent dialogue critiquing projects on an intellectual level. Criticism is is left to how it looks/how it works. Isnt there more? No wonder all of zaha’s formal investigations end up the way they do. That is the only thing people know how to “critique” if it can even be called that.

  • joe

    i like it a lot!!

  • Well, I think its a nice and tough looking watch. The thick-stitched leather has something airborne – 30ies/80ies to it. The Face is ambivalently schoolish yet reminds me of militaristic planning and coding. It would have been consquent to skip the brand and find another face for the date, eg at least have the digits on a chalkboard green background. Obviously a narrative design like that tires most people quicker than a sober layout. But for the overall feel, I like it. I wonder how moch it costs?

  • Matt

    I like the concept, but the math is aggravatingly wrong:

    0^0 = 1, not 0 or 12.

    • kate

      you are wrong, because the 0 means 0 digrees angle of watch hands when it is 12 oclock… ;)

  • sc hu yl er

    Yeah, clever enough, but it’s really weird that the date remains so conventional

  • theobold

    A little ordinary for the price they are asking, and Schuyl, the date is conventional because it is from a external movement manufacturer that i suspect is totally unmodified by fortis.

  • theobold

    Cost is around US $1k btw

  • It’s nice!

  • Plankton

    Again, I am bored about guys who are just able to post bad and stupid comments… That watch is very cool, you like it or not, and it’s definitely not rubbish.
    Well done Mr Sachs, I like your style!!!!!

  • Matty D

    Matt, the 0^0 is actually ‘0 Degrees’, not zero to the zero power which is one, as you said. Just like to 3 is ’90 degrees’. That being said, i like the concept, but some of the equations are pretty lame. I mean, 36/6, come on…

  • steff27

    I guess the 0^0 is not 0^0 at all but 0 degrees=0 (or 12). What do you think???

  • gaque

    the face is unique and fun. its not cheesy or over the top, so i think its quite cool.

    besides that, the band is also quite cool. id love to have this watch.

  • I think this watch is great although it might make some take just that little bit longer to tell the time…

  • JANE


  • kevin

    I want to buy one. Is it available now???

  • Dipti

    Could anyone crack the reason for a “?” in place of 10 ???

  • This looks pretty much like the iBeam Symbols watch that was given to all the speakers at the TED conference in Feb 2007. Many receivers returned to the UK with the watches so maybe it’s just a coincidence, but it sure is the same concept. The watches can be seen at

  • silva

    Very playfull watch. Yet has a pretty robust and elegant body. Nice.
    I love the “silly equations”… some people here don’t have sense of humor. They are so by design. The sarcastic name “IQ” just reenforces its humorous aura. If Ralf Sachs really wanted to show of his maths skills OF COURSE he would put other ” equations” on the watch. By the way, it’s plain algebra. An equation is something different you smart asses…

  • Helen

    This is a good watch, and I agree with the coments about ‘the watch is not destined to make you look like a mathematician, is just different’
    but I really didn’t get why does “?” is replacing “10” hahaha.

  • Andrey Tsadikov

    ? and the Mysterians is a band from 1962.
    There are 10 letters in the word “Mysterians”

    so –> ?=10.

  • qweryDude

    Is this watch available for sale ? or can I order it somehow ? And what’s the price like ? It’d be awsome if someone could answer those.. Cheers ^^

  • shot

    where can i get this watch

  • DD0ctor

    C'mon, it is not about math or IQ, it's about design :)