Music, art, and fine artisanship have always gone hand in hand, so what better way to celebrate 90 years of fine watchmaking than to bring back the Delbana Recordmaster – an automatic timepiece that celebrates the Golden Age of vinyl. Originally released in the 1950s, the Recordmaster paid tribute to the transformative power of music and the vinyl records that brought those sounds into homes around the world. True to the brand’s long-held commitment to affordability, this limited edition of 90 watches is priced at 750 CHF, offering outstanding value and undeniable style that will work equally well on the wrists of men and women.
Delbana’s history is a rich combination of Swiss craft and Italian style. The brand was founded in 1931 in Grenchen, Switzerland by Goliardo della Balda with a goal of manufacturing fashionable, high-quality Swiss timepieces that remained affordable and attainable. For the next few decades, Delbana manufactured mechanical timepieces, but with the arrival of quartz movements, Delbana saw an opportunity to continue its dedication to affordable style by utilizing this new reliable movement, all the while maintaining the high standards of design and artisanship upon which the brand was founded. In 2001, Delbana merged with Delma Watch Ltd. and relocated to Lengnau, Switzerland, but it remains a family-run enterprise, with Goliardo’s grandson, Daniel Kessler, continuing to help run the company.
The 1950s and 1960s were the apogee of style and popularity for Delbana’s mechanical watches, with production at an all-time high and their watches being sold to customers across the globe. This booming period in Delbana’s watchmaking coincided with a new era in music – and vinyl. The long play record brought the transformative sounds of rock and roll into the homes of millions, rapidly changing our society at 33 1⁄3 rpm. Delbana was as enraptured with music as anyone – and perhaps more so – releasing the Recordmaster in the 1950s as a tribute to the LP.
The Recordmaster is instantly recognizable by the series of stepped, black microgrooves that mimic the texture of a vinyl record. Atop the black ring of the LP sit a mix of applied indices and Arabic numerals that evoke a retro vibe straight out of the fifties – especially when combined with the playful logo font below 12 o’clock. In counterpoint, the center of the dial is a delicate, silver guilloche pattern that provides a gorgeous contrast in both colour and texture. Playing off the monochrome dial, the Recordmaster utilizes funky, mint green luminous minute and hour hands along with luminous hour markers and a bright red seconds hand. The color scheme and mix of textures are nothing if not fun, evoking a mid-century Googie aesthetic.
Despite the creativity Delbana has embraced in combining colors and textures, the Recordmaster remains highly versatile, thanks in part to the restrained dimensions and classic case shape. The watch is housed in a 40mm stainless steel case with a slim 11.5mm case height and thin bezel that makes the dial to be the star of the show. The case is fully-polished, allowing the watch to dress up with ease, especially when combined with the black leather alligator-style strap. Interested in a more casual look? Add a textile strap or brown suede and you’ll be set for catching a local live show.
Powering the watch and on full display beneath the exhibition caseback is the Swiss-made Sellita SW200. The SW200 is a time-tested and eminently reliable automatic movement that beats at 28,800 vph, houses 26 jewels, and has a 38-hour power reserve. Delbana also adds a customized rotor for that finishing touch.
The Delbana Recordmaster is available now on pre-order as a limited edition of 90 pieces with delivery slated for March 15, 2021. The Recordmaster is priced at 750 CHF and more information on the Rercordmaster and the rest of Delbana’s collection can be found on the brand’s website.
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