Ikepod by Marc Newson, is the only company that sells very high end hourglasses. These hourglasses, exquisitely sculptured from a single tube of borosilicate industrial glass, range in price from $13,000 to $40,000 depending on the size. Marc Newson's creations are available in two sizes. The larger ones are 300mm height, 250mm width, and 9.6 kg in weight and the smaller versions are 150mm in height, 125mm wide and 1.5 kg in weight. The price also depends on the nano balls. Some are made from steel or black colored steel, others in copper and still others in gold. The hour glasses containing the gold nano balls are only available in very select locations. The Ikepod hourglasses are wonderful examples of functional art measuring time one hour at a time (larger version) or 10 minutes at a time (smaller version).
A Touch of Hourglass History
The use off hourglasses was first mentioned in the 14th century, used in work shops to determine if sufficient time had past in tempering metal, and then later as "sand glasses" on naval ships to measure 30 minute increments of time. This "hour glass was known as a "watch glass". In the following centuries hour glasses were used to measure speed of sea vessels. A log was tied to a rope. The rope was knotted at regular intervals of about 47 feet (14.3 meters) long . Once the log was thrown overboard, the rope attached to the stern rail did not move much while its attached log line trailed out from the moving ship. After 28 seconds, the amount of knots that had passed overboard was counted. The number of knots that ran out in 28 seconds was more or less the speed of the ship in nautical miles per hour. An hourglass was used to measure the seconds that passed. The term "knots" is still used as the speed measurement of nautical miles. Knots now refers to one nautical mile an hour or 1.15 miles on land. Today hour glasses are used in board games such as Pictionary or boggle, or in the kitchen as "egg timers" or as exquisite artistic functional creations by Ikepod.