Aside from the magical mechanical Mecchanico dG watch, this Otturatore from de Grisogono is their most impressive recent watch for men. We first covered the Otturatore watch here when I debuted it. It is a watch that cannot be fully understood or appreciated unless you actually get to play with one. The whole timepiece is an experience in playing with it. You even have to “pump it up.” Quizzical and quirky, the Otturatore itself is as strange as its name sounds (in English), yet somehow ends up being remarkably desirable given the love and care de Grisogono put into its design and development.
About a year late out of the bag, the Otturatore’s principle function needed longer to perfect. The idea of the watch is to give the wearer the ability to change the look of the dial by cycling through four possible complications in addition to the time. Could de Grisogono just have displayed all of the functions on the dial at once? Of course, but that just isn’t the point. The idea was to get you to engage with the watch and “ask” it to show you what you want to see. It isn’t supposed to be practical, and is excess engineering at its finest.[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r9Ec9tAqgYo]
For now you can get the Otturatore watch in gold or gold. There are actually five different versions due to the various dial colors. Available in 18k rose or white gold, this piece begs to be in steel for a more affordable version, but that isn’t going to happen this year (if ever). There might be a titanium version in the future but I wouldn’t count on it. Those wanting this fun gadget will have to go for the gold, literally. The case is large and chunky, which helps account for the steep price given all the precious material. When I first wrote about the watch I more or less said the same thing about the size and amount of gold. It is about 45mm wide by about 50mm tall. At 16mm thick this is no innocent looking timepiece. Now that I have enjoyed some wrist time I can attest to the fact that it is wonderfully huge and heavy. It feels solid, and the quality is impressive.
The movement is a great looking thing. For one, I love that it is not round but square in design. The caliber DR 19-89 is manually wound with a standard power reserve of 42 hours. I love the various finishes de Grisogono used for the movement parts and surfaces. It looks very nice, but in a modern and unique way. Aside from the time, the movement features a subsidiary seconds dial, power reserve indicator, moon phase indicator, day/night indicator, and date. A central plate in the dial can be spun around to view an additional function with the time.
The large structures next to the crown are pushers. One is used to wind an auxiliary spring, which powers the spinning of the dial activated by the other pusher. Pumping away at the top pusher winds up the spring which allows the dial to spin around very quickly. The speed of the movement required the system to be very robust. Early versions of the mechanism failed. So de Grisogono spent a lot of extra time making sure you could spin, spin, and spin the dial all day long without mechanical failure. That would be sad. I hate breaking my toys.
The dial itself continues the angular theme of the case and includes fat little dauphine hands which I like. The clos du Paris decor on the dial does not hamper legibility, which is aided by all the applied hour indicators. It is a strangely sexy design, like being attracted to a woman (or man I guess) that isn’t typically your type. I would never describe my ideal watch as having most anything in this picture, but once shown to me, I sort of tilt my head and think “why not.” On the wrist it is comfortable, but bold. People will notice this timepiece on you, and I sure as hell hope you show them how it works. Think of those engineers and all the time they spent in creating this fantastically fun and useless complication!
Is it really that useless? de Grisogono would argue not. They would say that by cycling through complications you preserve more empty space on the dial and enhance the watch’s beauty. Thankfully someone is starting to figure out how to use cool mechanical technology to enhance sex appeal. Perhaps this watch can help in the ongoing engineering challenge to develop the perfect mechanical mechanism that will help you get laid. I for one feel good knowing that engineers at de Grisogono (who no doubt are wearing floral pattern shirts) are hard at work on this and other important achievements.
Purely mechanical, luxurious, and actually fun, who is the Otturatore watch good for? Well for one you’ll need to muster up the roughly $75,000 it costs to purchase one. After checking off that requirement you should also be the type of person who wants a well-designed, but highly unorthodox timepiece. This isn’t a watch for those looking for something too “familiar.” Last, you’ll need to be the sort of chap who is more than happy to demonstrate and discuss their watch with friends as well as near strangers. Just because I can’t get enough of it, I am going to say it one more time “Otturatore!” Gotta practice those rolling Rs…