Azimuth SP-1 Crazy Rider Watch

Azimuth SP-1 Crazy Rider Watch

Azimuth SP-1 Crazy Rider Watch Watch Releases

Azimuth is a Biel, Switzerland-based indie brand committed to realizing genuinely interesting, out-of-the-box concepts through highly unusual case designs and modified base movements with modules. More often than not, such an avant-garde take on wristwatches results in stratospheric prices; Azimuth, on the other hand, also strives for accessibility – and all this is why it's always fascinating to see what Azimuth has come up with: their latest creation is the Azimuth SP-1 Crazy Rider.

Azimuth SP-1 Crazy Rider Watch Watch Releases

Azimuth SP-1 Crazy Rider Watch Watch Releases

Inspired by the vast, winding stretches of endless roads that make up the U.S. highway system, the Azimuth SP-1 Crazy Rider watch is named as a playful take on one of my favorite movies, Easy Rider. For anyone who hasn't seen it, the movie (starring the inimitable duo of Peter Fonda and Dennis Hopper), is all about the freedom afforded to the protagonists by a sense of independence and the vast potential of what lies ahead when you have no real destination. Automobiles and watches have a long history together, but Azimuth went in a slightly different direction and chose to derive inspiration from motorcycles – the preferred method of transportation by certified badasses Fonda, Hopper, and for a little while, Jack Nicholson.

Azimuth SP-1 Crazy Rider Watch Watch Releases

Visually, this Azimuth SP-1 Crazy Rider watch is designed to look like the engine of a motorcycle, with a quirky, asymmetrical infinity loop-shaped case. Past the bezel and its exposed screws, you see a chain at the center of the dial that has two wheels at either end, designed to look like a sprocket brake drive system on a motorcycle. This isn't simply an aesthetic choice, as the "chain transmission design" controls the hour and minute displays.

Now this is some really smart stuff right here; this is how the time indication works: around the inner circumference of the dial, you'll see 24-hour markers in a rather cool and retro yellow and red. As time goes on, the hour hand is carried by the bike-chain-like apparatus along the 24-hour track. To the right-hand side of the case, notice the gauge dial indicating minutes: as the shorter hour hand moves around the chain to show the hour, the longer minutes hand moves up the dial. Now, while it appears that the chain is carrying the minute hand, the direct ratio means that the minute hand couldn't make a full rotation fast enough – so what presumably happens instead is that the minute hand is actually fixed to a pinion that goes down into the movement, allowing it to move faster than the chain it is visually linked to would allow.

Azimuth SP-1 Crazy Rider Watch Watch Releases

Told you it was some clever stuff! Moving on but sticking with the concept of out-of-the-box thinking, the caseback shows off the ETA movement modified by Azimuth for the Azimuth SP-1 Crazy Rider, and it is designed to look like an engine block. It looks nice and fits in well with the rest of the aesthetic theme of this watch, providing a nice cohesive element to the whole thing.

Azimuth SP-1 Crazy Rider Watch Watch Releases

At 55mm wide, it's not a small piece – well, in fact, it's huge! But that's to be expected given the other models put out by Azimuth – just think of this tank-like beast, the Azimuth SP-1 Landship watch (reviewed here). The Azimuth SP-1 Crazy Rider rides on a sporty leather strap with contrast stitching that matches well with the overall look of the piece. You can get the mid-case element of the piece in either black PVD or brown PVD. The watch's water resistance is 30 meters, so it certainly is more for highway cruising than swimming or diving.

If you are no fan of such avant-garde designs, then the Azimuth SP-1 Crazy Rider probably won't make you change your mind – but if you like more unusual designs matched with genuinely creative engineering, then it may just be for you. It's definitely a conversation piece, and if you're a fan of Easy Rider, it'll draw you in for sure. Again, it's a modified ETA movement and movement finishing is in line with that – but then again, so is the price, which is up there, but still considerably less than what you would expect such novel pieces to go for. Azimuth first made an initial run of 100 units, but this isn't a limited edition model, and so the price for the Azimuth SP-1 Crazy Rider is CHF 5,250. azimuth.com

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  • iamcalledryan

    Love the price, and well done to them for delivering something unusual. As a fan of strange displays and chain transmission – something that is almost always exclusive to the highest price range, I tip my hat to this crazy thing. I do wonder how the additional power burden impacts the rate…

    • I’m guess the extra moving parts won’t effect the rate but will effect where the movement finally does not have enough amplitude to run. Meaning, at the end of main spring’s power reserve (it may not make it to the normal 42 hours of an ETA 2824). I say all of this this because I wondered when I was designing my first Ka La watches (with a seconds disk that is roughly 20 times heavier than a seconds hand) that the rate or power reserve would be adversely effected. In my case, neither was effected.

      • iamcalledryan

        I can see how you got away with it with your disk, but that chain setup and the extra components might be quite a lot more of a drag on power. I think the power issue with this one could still effect rate. I get that the low end of the torque curve would simply cause the movement to stop, but if it is not capable of delivering optimal amplitude at the mid-range of the torque curve then you will have yourself a very unreliable movement!

        • I agree that it would be interesting to see what effect (even fully wound) it all has on the amplitude. However, if the amplitude is somewhat consistent, then the movement can be rate adjusted to compensate. But if the extra drag causes the amplitude to degrade more quickly than normal, all bets area off. Cheers.

  • pkansa

    It is indeed a clever piece, and good to see the innovation. With the name, though, I cannot help but to think of the children’s song by the same name. Then again, that’s what comes with being a dad…

  • Marius

    I find this to be quite an ugly watch, not as ugly as the Leopard Rolex Daytona, but close.
    Azimuth, in general, seems, at least for me, to be like a budget version of MB&F.

  • Richard Baptist

    you know what? I like this. To do something this creative at this price point is great. I’m not sure I would get one but I have to complement them on trying something different. Any chance of getting a video review to see it in action?

  • SuperStrapper

    Not really all that wearable, but it is really cool. That must be the beefiest watch fusee I’ve ever seen!

  • Beefalope

    Today is one of the days I really regret getting on ABTW.

  • Larry Holmack

    Well…I guess there are a 100 people out there in the world some where who will fork over the money for one…

  • Shinytoys

    I think we missed the target on this fellas. It just seems wrong.

  • Raymond Wilkie

    This is out of the box and straight into the trash can.

  • cg

    Needs a kick starter and make the crown look like an NGK and place it in the top middle of the case. Make the strap clasp a modified exhaust pipe. I’d buy it… chain motif is great.

  • I like it! But I could only wear it if I was able to change the color scheme.

  • wallydog2

    At the moment I am looking at a picture of my late father in his Sherman tank in Holland in 1945.

    • SuperStrapper

      Actually, Azimuth has you covered there. Go look up the Azimuth ‘tank 139’.

  • trj66

    Sponsored post?

    Wannabe fuseé?

    Fail…

  • funNactive

    Unique interesting design. Limited market (at the price point)

  • DanW94

    A cool piece – I love the humongous motorcycle chain! But like Sammy Hagar sang ” I Can’t Drive 55″ (mm wide)

  • Boogur T. Wang

    The backside of this look kinda neat.

    That’s about the nicest thing I can say about this one.

  • Diverging Clear

    I’m not sure what’s going on with all of these pimp watches. Might as well buy a quartz Invicta and spray it gold.

  • I like that they had a crazy idea and produced the watch. The more you know it’s supposed to mimic a motorcycle engine/trans the better it comes off. But somehow the execution of the clever idea seems to fall a bit short for me. Maybe it’s their choice of colors and the hour font (which I really hate). Maybe if the chain and its gears were different shades it would help too. And finally, how about the crown made to look like a carb velocity stack? Or an finned oil filter? Somehow the crown seems like a missed design opportunity.

  • BrJean

    The most surprising thing about this watch is a Russian lettering on the backside. You can see “25 ??????” (25 jewels) and “????. ?????” (stainless steel) on the left. And on the right there is a logo of a Russian watch brand “????” (Nika http://nikawatches.ru/). That’s really strange.

    • JimBob

      Yeah, I wondered about that.

  • Twinbarrel

    Not a bad price for a fun conversation starter watch.

  • BNABOD

    not sure where to start on this appalling piece. a conversation piece is good that is called a Seiko Blumo for 400 bucks with very good fit and finish, not a 5K piece that looks like it was made in my garage at night by teenagers playing beer pong. what is up with the 7 they ran out of 7s so they used the F isomeric brother?

  • Marc

    It’s interesting to see all the positive and negative comments. I own one. I like the “unusual” pieces. I followed the Crazy Rider purchase with a Mr. Roboto. The Crazy Rider does wear large. but it is a very creative implementation. I made a 12 hour time-lapse that Azimuth posted on their Facebook page. Since I cannot upload pictures here, here is the link if you want to take a look. https://www.facebook.com/AzimuthWatch/?fref=nf

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