Born in 1911, Riki Watanabe was considered one of the pioneers of post-war Japanese design. After graduating from the Woodcraft Department at Tokyo Higher School of Arts and Design (currently Chiba University), Riki Watanabe joined architect Bruno Taut's office in Gunma in 1936. In 1949, he established his own design studio, and quickly won recognition for his low-cost String Chair in 1952. His Torii Stool and Circular Center Table won the Gold Medal at the Triennale di Milano in 1957. In addition to interior and furniture design Watanabe also designed clocks and watches. His 1972 design for the Hibiya Dai-Ichi Life Insurance Company's pole clock is recognised as one of Watanabe's major works. His Public Clock presents the essence of his professional work.