After some years of development De GRISOGONO released a fantastic new caliber in a polarizing new timepiece with a name I can barely pronounce. Try saying “Otturatore” a few times really fast. I am sure that means something sexually satisfying in Italian, but this is a Swiss brand through and through. De GRISOGONO is a rare band in the US, but one that has a lot of cool and complex pieces. While a lot of brands like to call themselves “avant garde, ” I have to say that De GRISOGONO actually is.
What makes me sad is how expensive this watch is. It is about 69,100 – 71,100 Swiss Francs depending on the style. It doesn’t need to be that expensive, even though the brand did put a lot of work in to the movement development. Offer a steel-cased version for $20,000 and then at least you have my attention more. Much of that 85,000 Swiss Franc amount is going to be justified in the chunky 18k rose or white gold case – that surely uses a lot of metal. The quizzical case is about 45mm wide and about 50mm tall. That is a lot for a square watch. At 16mm thick, this is gonna be a lot like wearing a rod of gold bouillon on you wrist. I’d still lug it around though.
Some of you are surely going to take one look at this watch and think “WTF, I would not wear that.” Others will be enchanted by the interesting mixture of classic watch style meets angular furniture design concept of the Otturatore. I would give it a chance and feel that the design would grow on me. What keeps my attention after the initial wow factor of the moving dial is De GRISOGONO’s focus on comfort and legibility.
The watch is quite legible, and that was sort of the point of the complication system. If you don’t get it yet, there are pushers on the side of the case (similar to chronograph pushers), but they are used move the dial window around. Under the dial are four complications, but you can only view one at a time. De GRISOGONO makes a big deal out of how long it took for the development of this moving dial system to work properly. I get it… it was complicated. 70,000 Swiss Francs complicated. But you made it work boys, so pats on the back all around.
The reason De GRISOGONO spent so much time on the dial is because it isn’t just “push button and dial window moves.” No, they wanted to give the illusion that the entire dial changes in the flash of an eye. There is actually a mechanism that moves the dial window that is not powered by the push of your hand directly. The top pusher merely activates a special system that cycles the dial window. Confused? Good. Get this – the watch has a second mainspring barrel aside from the one for the time. Yup. It is wound by “pumping” the lower pusher a number of times. When you then press the top pusher it activates the system that draws power from the second mainspring barrel to moved the dial window over a new complication. Fun right?
Aside from the time the novel De GRISOGONO caliber DR 19-89 is an automatic (yay) and features a subsidiary seconds dial, power reserve indicator, moonphase indicator, as well as date. If you look at the movement you won’t think it is an automatic. In fact I didn’t know it was an automatic until I read the small print. There isn’t a rotor to be seen. No, instead De GRISOGONO hides the automatic rotor (somewhere). How’s that for stealth winding for ya?
I figure most people will keep the window over the subsidiary seconds dial when wearing the watch casually. The dial itself is textured and features nicely proportioned (but stubby) dauphine style hands that are in gold to match the case. As you can tell, the dial is available in a few colors as well including silver, ruthenium, black, and brown. Each of these colors is available with the rose of white gold case.
Wearing this watch with the massive pushers and crown must be interesting. For some it will be fine, for others it will likely dig into their wrist. Though interestingly enough the watch is symmetrical and not lop-sided given the positioning of the strap. I do overall really like this piece and find the over-engineered mechanism amusingly delightful as well as sardonically out of my price range, which is again between about $85,000 – $87,000 (69,100 – 71,100 Swiss Francs). Enjoy it for what it does my friends. Fellow watch lover out of France Francois-Xavier has some fun hands-on images of the De GRISOGONO Otturatore here.
Tech Specs from De GRISOGONO:
Silver, ruthenium, black or brown rotating dial featuring moon phases, date, seconds & power reserve indicator, self-winding Caliber DR 19-89
Movement thickness 9.80 mm
Movement dimensions 31.4 x 32.7 mm
Number of components 574
Jewelling 28 for the movement
Vibrations 28,800 A/H, 4 Hz
Power reserve 42 hours
hours, minutes, seconds, date,
moon phases and power reserve
18K rose or white gold,
sapphire crystal and case back
Case dimensions Opening : 31.20 mm x 28.80 mm
Height : 50.16 mm
Width : 44.85 mm
Thickness : 15.86 mm
Distance between lugs : 11.00 mm
Water resistance 50 meters (~100 feet)
in three parts, clou de paris cobbled pattern,
Hands “dauphine” style in 18K rose or white gold
Strap genuine alligator
Clasp de Grisogono folding clasp in 18K rose or white gold
OTTURATORE N01 – SATIN POLISHED ROSE GOLD – SILVER DIAL
OTTURATORE N02 – SATIN POLISHED WHITE GOLD – BLACK DIAL
OTTURATORE N03 – SATIN POLISHED ROSE GOLD – BLACK DIAL
BOUTIQUE EXCLUSIVITY, LIMITED EDITION & numbered (55 timepieces)
OTTURATORE N04 – SATIN POLISHED ROSE GOLD – BROWN DIAL
OTTURATORE N05 – SATIN POLISHED WHITE GOLD – RUTHENIUM DIAL