With 11 years experience as an Apple senior technical specialist, Tracey Huston’s background primarily revolved around solving a multitude of challenges within the realm of the modern and digital, a background not typically associated with reengineering the age-old pastime of smoking. Yet, Huston applied a similar dogged attention to detail to develop Stündenglass, a device delivering smooth and vaporous draws with an hourglass flip.
The history of the hookah stretches across various cultures, a 16th century invention attributed to Indian glassmakers who invented the contraption to filter tobacco smoke using water. The hookah remains popular today, especially across the Levant, where smoking from the water pipe is enjoyed as a relaxing and recreational social activity. The Stündenglass – “hourglass” in German – on the other hand looks only distantly like its traditional counterpart.
The Stündenglass may look complex, but its actually a fairly simple design to set up and operate. Using a pair of borosilicate glass globes screwed vertically into place onto a black anodized metal base using an aluminum hookah bowl kit or a glass bowl, users fill one globe with water before lighting up their main ingredient. The hourglass design works gravitationally, forcing vapor out and through the water into a contact-less mouthpiece via the pressurized airflow action as water transfers from one glass bowl to another. The Stündenglass operates with technical, rather than technological, action.
The smoke produced can be inhaled using a hose attachment reminiscent of the traditional hookah, or apropos of these days, using a contact-less stem attachment. The $499 Stündenglass also offers the option to add and connect a Grenco G Pen vaporizer using a male adapter, inviting the ability to enjoy cannabis concentrates in lieu of flower or flavored tobacco. But it’s more likely those drawn to the novelty of using a gravity pipe will prefer keeping their setup simple, especially considering the relative ease of the fire up and flip action the Stündenglass delivers.
Huston and Stündenglass Design Director Michael Trzecieski both note a great level of attention was placed not only upon the water pipe’s function, but also the presentation of its finely machined form. And indeed, the dual chamber design presents a rather striking presence even when not in use, a futuristic object that seemingly wouldn’t look out of place in a laboratory. The design erases all memories of college-era bongs with the likeness of a luxurious object imparted with the look, feel, and branding associated with an expensive piece of technology.
With the pandemic putting a temporary stop to the usual “smoke and pass it along” socializing enjoyed with the cannabis culture, Stündenglass hopes to appeal to users seeking a modern day means for enjoying a contact-less high with others tinged with a modicum of old world vibe. One may even say the apex of high design.