The Interrobang ‽ watch was designed by American artist Chris Fritton.
The hour and minute hands are made of the question mark and exclamation mark, when they overlap at 12 o’clock they form the interrobang ‽ character.
This combination of exclamation and question mark expresses disbelief and surprise at the end of a sentence.
Chris saw this watch as an opportunity to create a wonderful visual pun:
“Anytime anyone looks at their watch, they’re asking the question: “what time is it?” But this question is often asked with some sense of urgency, or replied to with disbelief. “It’s that late already‽” A watch is a perfect place for an interrobang.”
How to read the time:
- The minute hand is an exclamation mark !
- The hour hand is a question mark ?
Chris talks about the inspiration:
“The interrobang was invented in 1962 by Martin K. Speckter, a journalist and advertising executive who balked at using multiple punctuation marks at the end of a sentence.
Speckter thought the interrobang could contribute “nuance and clarity” that could imply incredulity or enhance written gestures like rhetorical questions. It’s a fascinating piece of punctuation that has a unique history and I think deserves attention.
A lot of my work centres on visual poetry — deconstructing and reconstructing letterforms to create new geometries.
I love to explore those permutations — in this case, the interrobang is an elegant marriage of two simple pieces of punctuation, but what happens to them when they’re separated, then recombined? What do they look like at different angles to one another, or as they approach unison, then pull away from each other again?
The results were curious and whimsical, and much to my surprise, also well-suited to telling the time".
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