The Electricianz is a new Swiss brand that debuts today with a collection of affordable quartz watches designed to emphasize and showcase their “electrical” nature. Similar to the concept of a mechanical watch with a skeletonized dial that shows the interesting inner workings of the movement, the battery and conductors are on display on the dial of the Electricianz watches. Though also with a fashion and design angle, they should be fun for the watch enthusiast who generally appreciates “how things work.”
The people behind the Electricianz watches are those that brought you SevenFriday. Laurent Rufenacht is founder and CEO (“Chief Electricianz Officer”) and Arnaud Duval is creative director. Mr. Rufenacht is also the founder of the Studio Divine design agency, based in Biel, Switzerland, that designed the SevenFriday watches and now the Electricianz watches. There is a recognizable youthful and urban vibe common to both brands and their design subjects – recall the industrial themes of many SevenFriday watches.
The Electricianz brand starts out with three models in different color schemes, each with a sizable 45mm-wide stainless steel case coated with “mass-colored nylon” on a calfskin leather or calfskin leather NATO strap. The bezels are polished or PVD coated steel, depending on the model, and the cases are water-resistant to 30m. From dead-on, you might not notice the interesting case shape that is slightly asymmetrical as can be observed where the lugs meet the case. A raised hardened mineral crystal tops it off.
The movement that is partially exposed on the dial is a base Miyota 2033 with an in-house Electricianz module. With a 3-year life, the 1X Flat cell 1225 CR battery is on display at 9 o’clock, and the dial includes some information about it with the text “3V,” “lithium battery,” and “32768 Hz.” I’m assuming that the steel (with copper-colored PVD on one version) “cables” here are decorative. Then, the subdial that actually indicates the time shows the exposed electrical conductor (electromagnetic coil) and contains four LED lights that can be activated with the pusher at the 2 o’clock position on the case. The closed caseback is marked with some basic information and playful electrician-themed warnings, and indicates that the watch is also equipped with an NFC chip that has a range of possible applications including authentication and data sharing with other devices.
Quartz watches tend to be so muted about the often inexpensive and mass-produced technology inside of them that the concept of showing off those things is different and refreshing, and still relatively uncommon. We recently reviewed the Undone Urban Vintage Chronograph watch that is a classic, vintage-styled watch up front but has a display caseback showing the quartz movement and battery inside. Bulova had the Spaceview back in the 1960s with dial-less versions showing their pre-quartz electronic tuning fork movement that was state-of-the-art at the time. Bulova later released the Accutron II Alpha watches in 2014 (hands-on) that had the Precisionist movement with its conductor all on display from the dial side.
Romanticizing electricians is certainly a novel idea, and the Electricianz watches even strike me as a bit retro-nostalgic in our modern world of touch-screens and microscopic silicon chips. The yellow-case model, called The Electricianz Ammeter is the most fun, in my opinion, and I don’t even mind the “technical-looking” printing on the crystal in this case. The black with stainless steel version is called the Dresscode, and the model with black PVD and copper color is called Mokaz. Each has a price of CHF 345 and will be available online from the brand from October 1, 2017, and from distributors around the world including stores like Colette in Paris and Selfridges in London. For now, Electricianz wants you to know about their contest (here) to give away 20 watches to those who refer 40 friends to the contest. the-electricianz.com