Ticking work of art on a rolling one: The LANGE 1 ZEITZONE “Como Edition” on Frank Stella’s 1976 BMW Art Car

The “40 Years BMW Art Cars” exhibition is one of the highlights of the Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este, which is taking place in Como from 22 to 24 May 2015. For the fourth time now, A. Lange & Söhne is sponsoring the prestigious competition for classic automobiles and futuristic concept cars.

In Munich, just a few weeks prior to the event, a special model of the LANGE 1 TIME ZONEcreated exclusively for the winner of the Concorso – was showcased together with Frank Stella’s 1976 BMW Art Car 02.

Signed by the artist: Stella’s BMW Art Car bears the artist’s signature on the spoiler.

The BMW Art Car Collection is an ensemble of extraordinary works of art on wheels.  Between 1975 and 2010, internationally renowned artists customised 17 unusual racing and production cars. With body colours and graphics, they developed new ways to express the fusion of art, design, and technology.

The prize for the winner in the “Best of Show” category is a ticking opus: yet again this year, the LANGE 1 TIME ZONE “Como Edition” is the horological counterpart of the most stunning vehicle in the competition. The hand-engraved caseback of the white-gold watch displays the coat of arms of the Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este. On the city ring of the time-zone watch, Como – the venue of the event – stands for Central European Time.

The engraver’s art on the caseback of the LANGE 1 TIME ZONE “Como Edition” makes this watch unique.

In a photo shoot that took place at the BMW Museum in Munich in early May, the asymmetric dial of the watch entered into an artistic dialogue with the dramatic lines of Frank Stella’s BMW Art Car.

The LANGE 1 TIME ZONE “Como Edition” on the bonnet of the BMW 3.0 CSL re-imagined by Frank Stella.

At this year’s Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este, five of the automotive oeuvres will be on display within the scope of the “40 Years BMW Art Cars” exhibition. It includes Frank Stella’s BMW 3.0 CSL, the second Art Car in the collection.

In 1976, the American artist created a black-and-white grid for this limited-edition model of which only about one thousand units were built. Like an oversized graph paper, the geometric pattern extends across the entire body, emphasising the sheer power of this 750-HP racer, which in the same year competed in the 24-hour Le Mans competition.

“My design is like a blueprint draped over the body,” said Stella, explaining the intention of his work.