March 23, 2023
The young and disruptive brand BA111OD is proudly launching its first manufacture movement with its CHPTR_Δ (pronounced Chapter Delta) watch. Developed and produced with the help of Olivier Mory, the renowned watchmaker from La Chaux-de-Fonds, CHPTR_Δ brings an unprecedented reading of time through a duality between the circular time of the minutes and the hypocycloidal time of the hours. This asymmetrical reading of time, which slows down and starts again, like a choreography, is part of another temporality, symbolizing the carousel of life.
How does the BA111OD CHPTR_Δ watch work, exactly? Rather than simply rotating an hour hand around a central axis, the movement was designed to “roll” a satellite hour wheel around a fixed central wheel. When a wheel is rotated around another wheel, the trajectory described by any point on this satellite wheel is a cycloid. There are several types of cycloids, some of which have particular trajectories, depending on the size ratio between the fixed wheel and the satellite wheel, as well as whether the satellite wheel rotates inside or outside the fixed wheel. In this new chapter for BA1110D, the chosen cycloid is a deltoid with a ratio of 1:3, and as a result, the trajectory described by the tip of the hour hand is triangular.
While the minute hand travels around the dial in a traditional fashion, the hours are indicated by a small dot following a hypocycloidal path within a triangle, creating a non-linear experience of time. “I particularly appreciate this aspect. Besides being mesmerizing, it’s the symbolic aspect of life that fascinates me. Like those precious moments that last or slip away, the hour dot slows down and then speeds up again in a movement that simultaneously appears irregular and yet is perfectly calibrated and precise,” explains Thomas Baillod, the founder of BA111OD.
He chose to pay tribute to the initial designer of this movement, Diego Böttger-Zevallos, with an engraving of Module 09310 on the caseback, which, when read backward, offers a nice nod to this fellow Neuchâtelois, as his first name can be discerned. As with previous BA111OD models, design is handled by Liliane Murenzi, the brand’s Senior Designer. She has given the piece its sleek character and highlights its DNA by way of a play of transparencies, asymmetries, and subtle depths and open areas on the movement. The whole is enhanced by a combination of polished, circular-brushed, and matte-satin finishes.
To ensure the technical development and production, BA111OD once again relies on the brilliant watchmaker Olivier Mory, who has already created the tourbillon models for BA111OD. “There is hardly anything more transcendentally beautiful in mathematics than to obtain a triangle by using only things that turn round! And it is a discreet homage to the several-hundred-year-old use of the cycloid in watchmaking. Galileo, Newton, Huygens, Euler, Cantor, and Roberval, to name but a handful, have all worked on the amazing properties of these curves,” explained Mory.
Baillod adds, “With its three legs, this geometric shape that rises represents direction and determination. But above all, it symbolizes stability and balance — balance that echoes our business model disrupting the B2B with a triangular one: BAC, i.e., Brand → Afluendor → Client. Even the name BA111OD takes up the number 3, with its three ones.” Since its launch, the brand has always been led to do things differently. While the industry positions its watches at 10:10, our startup positions them at 11:10 (a nod to its name!). As for the crown, it is always at 4 o’clock, while traditionally it is placed at 3 o’clock. “We move an hour ahead of the others,” Baillod jokes.
The assembly of the watch is done in-house, as BA111OD has its own watchmaking workshops for what the industry refers to as T2 (dial and hand fitting, casing) and T3 (bracelet fitting), as well as the after-sales service and logistics department, all in Neuchâtel. This integration demonstrates the dynamism of the young company and its Neuchâtel roots and allows it to master the creation process in-house, thus strengthening its autonomy.
All this is well in line with the mission statement that has defined the brand since its founding in Neuchâtel, Switzerland, in late 2019: “Since day one, BA111OD has been about a different way of looking at watchmaking. Today, we offer a new reading of time as well.” The BA111OD CHPTR_Δ watch is priced at $2,380 and is offered in three color variations playing on shades of gray, black, or blue. Visit the brand’s website for more information. Note that there is a special launch price of $2,180 for 24 hours exclusively via the brand’s Community App where anybody can join and benefit from this special offer.
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