Scott Thrift



„Ushering the world into a new era in time perception“ (Huffington Post). „Transforming time telling into a thing of beauty” ( with „humanitarian design at its best!“ ( for "one of the most Zen clocks we've seen" ( Media praises are high throughout for three different clocks without numbers or sound. ‚The Present‘-editions are dictated by the year, day and moon. These technological inventions of a New Yorker are „a more holistic, gorgeous view of time that will help the time-crunched put things in perspective“ (Wired) and „begin to see the day in a whole new light.” (The Crunch).

Scott Thrift



Scott Thrift
Scott Thrift | © Scott Thrift (private)

“How can we live in the moment, if the moment changes every second?” „Live in the here and now.“ „What is a long time?“ Well-known phrases that are easier said than done. But Scott Thrift (*1979/ graduated film school 2000) has found answers to these issues. His solution is called ‚The Present‘ (where one should center oneself at best anyway). It is ”a clock that doesn’t dice up time into discrete numerical bits, but instead visualizes it as a unified, colorful spectrum mirroring the seasons of the year“ ( “The Present”‘s prismatic color scheme was carefully designed to “tell the story of the seasons using subtle gradients of pure color to mark the Equinoxes & Solstices throughout the years.” This guides the viewer’s thinking and behavior into greater harmony with nature. "It's a one-year-clock. There is one revolution in a year... Isn't that amazing?", famous producer Eno (U2, David Bowie, Talking Heads) told British music-mag

‚The Present‘ comes in three variations and each is either made of steel & glass or cork: the first clock is called ‘Year’, the second ‘Day’ (completing one full revolution in 24 hours by featuring a face of blue gradient to convey the changing of day to night) and the third ‚Moon‘ (charting a lunar cycle with each revolution - „a slightly transparent hand that passes through a light-to-dark gray gradient“,

Scott Thrift makes products „that I hope will enrich the human experience.“ Therefore he has devoted his entire time to clock-making for almost a decade now. Mr. Thrift is, according to, „ahead of time“ by „discovering the cure for the common clock“. However, it took a few years before this was the case.

In 2003 he co-founded the Brooklyn-based creative agency ‚m ss ng p eces‘ (included in ‚Creative’s Magazine‘s list of ‚Creativity 50‘ in 2013 and clients like ‚Google‘), nurturing it up until 2013. Two years earlier the short-filmmaker turned horologist launched a money-funding-campaign for his ‚The Present‘-‘Year‘-edition. In 2016 it was time for ‚The Day‘, followed up by ‚Moon‘ in 2020. “We already have timepieces that show us how to be on time,” Thrift is quoted in an article of the American technology magazine ‚Wired‘. “These are timepieces that show us how to be in time.”

Scott Thrift lives and works in New York.

Interview May 2022

Watch out: a new understanding of time


What sparks intuition for you, is it temporary or can it be engaged anytime?

Intuition is involuntary and ever present, so I find it's a matter of listening, carefully, to yourself, to the world, to whoever or whatever is in front of you now.  

How does intuition present itself – being a gut feeling or a suspicious impression?

Softly, gently, quietly.

Do you visualise something spontaneously in your mind’s eye - maybe in dreams?

First, I put a contact lens on my mind's eye, to help me see more clearly.
Second, I look for the boundaries, the limits and find crossover points between seemingly unrelated subjects.

Third, I consult the third eye and wear the insights I discover as the armor in my dreams.

Will any ideas be written down immediately and archived?

I used to write things down more often, it can help, now where was I?

What if there is a deadline, but no intuition? Does the first fuel the latter maybe?

I find it's a matter of seeing, not a matter of searching. No fuel necessary, no burning, no exhaust, only what is already here is sufficient.

Are great ideas based on intuition or by almost endless trials and errors that result in constant developments up until the final result?

Intuition is as constant as the necessity for endless trials, you cannot have one without the other.

World-famous guitarist Carlos Santana said to me, when the “sky” opens and sends you a brainwave one has to grab that special spiritual moment for realising it before the clouds darken all again. What do you think about that?

Where has it gone? Where could it go? It is still here, even though it may rain right now, once, not so long ago, all of this rain was snow.

Does every idea exist immaterial already and just has to be put into effect, i.e. is creativity in its profound purpose basically about transferring dreams into reality?

The reality we have now is the dream many dared to dream in the past. Yes, I believe all the ideas are already "here" so it's a matter of recognition.


What inspires you and how do you stimulate this special form of imaginativeness?

Questions inspire me. 

Asking questions, answering questions, thinking about questions, following questions. 

Do calm and relaxation prove the most suitable or does pressure fire up creativity?

Calm and pressure, storm and light, long bitter days stretch into night, creativity is the climate of every soul's weather.

How do you separate the good from the bad and which ideas are worthwhile to be explored further or whether one idea has the potential of being outstanding really?

There is nothing good or bad, only thinking makes it so. I can hardly tell what's good or bad, it's more about following what I'm drawn to do.

What key characteristic does an idea need to be viable i.e. does it have to appeal to you personally or promise commercial potential/fulfil certain needs?

It's a way to make sense of life because it hardly makes sense to me.

Does inspiration for you reveal itself in a kind of clear and complete vision so that you just have to capture the fantasy in a way that’s authentic to your creativity?

It's always sitting there, waiting patiently to play again.

Do you sometimes revisit old(er) ideas (especially in tough times of need)?

What is now "new-hat" is only "old-hat" to be, it had to be you.

How long do you ponder an idea before creatively working on it?

Between ten and eleven years.

Do you check what colleagues/competitors are up to/your role models contrive(d)?

No, that's a bad idea.


Which time/place/environment suits your creative work process the best?

The present.

Which path do you take from theory/idea to creation i.e. how do you start?

Visualize the end, and row persistently backwards from there.

What does your average creative day look like (early bird or night worker)?

Sometimes early, sometimes late, every day is different, every day the same.

How important are self-doubt and criticism (by others) during such a process?

Use sparingly.

Is it better to be creative on your own, only trust your own instincts, or in a team?

First on your own.
Second with a team.
Third is living the dream.

Does age/life experience help with creativity or is a younger mind more creative, ‘cos it’s fresh and untouched by experience? What about social/cultural heritage?

It's all degrees of excitability and diet primarily.

What is your personal approach/motivation/concern regarding creative activity?

Making love is the tender heart of it all.

How does a creative find his/her own style/possibly unique way of expression?

To see things in a new perspective, stand on your head.

Is craftmanship important or should creatives be able to work 100% unloaded?

Do whatever you want, whenever you want, however you want to do it.

Can routine, experience and professionalism make up for lack of creativity?

There is such creativity in manning a routine, gaining experience and being professional.

If problems occur during the creativity or one’s stuck, how can that be solved?

Go for a walk.

Are a never give up attitude and persistently hanging on necessities for creatives?

Give up already so you'll never have to never have to worry about giving up again.

Which is better in the development process: speed and – if that’s possible - force creativity i.e. grasp the magic of the moment, or a slow, ripening process when it comes to implementation and elaboration?

Sometimes slow, sometimes fast, listen quietly to know for sure.

„Creativity is the ability to reorganise known factors so that they become novel and fresh.“ Do you agree with British rock-manager Tony Stratton-Smith?


Should a creative always remain true to him-/herself including taking risks & going against the flow or must one, for reasons of (commercial) survival, make concessions to the demands of the market, the wishes of clients and the audience’s expectations?

Depends on what kind of person you are.

How is innovation still possible if one has established a distinctive style?

A distinctive style requires constant innovation. 

Is it good to be ahead of one’s time even one hazards not being understood at all?

No one is ahead of their time, they are either present for this life or lost living someone else's.

When does the time come to end the creative process, to be content and set the final result free - or is it work-in-progress with an endless possibility of improvement?

If you remove the idea of improvement, it's a bit easier to take, lean into the endless possibility wherever and whenever you can if you still can.

In case of failure or - worse - a creativity crisis how do you get out of such a hole?

Only need to figure your way out of a hole if you are physically in a hole, otherwise, you're not stuck, you're imagining it, you can also imagine a way out.

Did you ever deliver something that you considered mediocre, but was successful?

Everything I've ever done is mediocre at best.


Why are some people successful and others not - despite the same talents?

This all depends on one's criteria for success.

Should/can one resist the temptation to recycle a ‘formula’ one’s successful with?

If the old formula works, you will always learn something new.

Is it desirable to create the ultimate/timeless work, but doesn’t “top of the ladder” bring up the question of “what’s next?” i.e. isn’t such a personal peak “the end”?

I've created the ultimate, timeless work so everyone else can take time off.


Modern time is too small for the size of life and so to make time more comprehensible, more holistic and complete, I've designed a trilogy of clocks to help guide our thinking and behavior into greater harmony with the natural world.

Scott Thrift's favorite work:
My favorite work: Scott Thrift's favorite work: "The Present Day Moon Year DS"

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