From kitsch to cool: Cuckoo clocks that will take your picture and talk to you

CNN  — 

Corny, kitschy, quaint. The humble cuckoo clock can be described a number of different ways, but cool certainly isn’t the first word that comes to mind.

However, students at HEAD - Genève (Geneva University of Art and Design), one of Europe’s most prestigious design schools, have tried to change that by giving the 400-year-old folk object a makeover, reimagining it as a stylish contemporary design object in “24 Hours in the Life of a Swiss Cuckoo Clock.”

Since the designs were unveilved in 2015, the exhibition has popped up at Watches & Wonders 2015 in Hong Kong, the 2016 edition of Salon International de la Haute Horlogerie in Geneva, and this year’s Salone del Mobile in Milan.

Now the exhibition has landed at Dubai Watch Week.

The cuckoo gets chic

With the generous support of the Fondation de la Haute Horlogerie, 18 students were tasked with the clock a contemporary makeover without sacrificing the cuckoo clock’s two signatures: a clear story and a way to mark the passing of time.

The resulting designs are as varied as they are inventive, involving iPads, cameras, ticker tape and, in one particularly conceptual case, a flask of essential oil.

Check out the gallery above for the most unique cuckoo clocks.

“24 Hours in the Life of a Swiss Cuckoo Clock” in on at the Dubai Mall until Nov. 29, 2016.