The Swiss watchmaker Schwarz Etienne might not be on many people’s lists right now, but with a solid backbone of manufacturing for other brands, and a lot of experience in the space, it is worth knowing more about this boutique company. This hit watch of 2023 is a design collaboration with the highly regarded watch designer Eric Giroud, who has done work for several high-end brands including MB&F. With Etienne, Giroud chose the Roma watch as a base and designed a beautiful and creative new dial for a limited-edition set of watches known as the Schwarz Etienne Geometry.

The base Schwarz Etienne Roma watches are nice enough from a quality perspective but lack much distinction or artistry. Giroud reconsidered the dial design and created a sector dial with four quadrants. Each of the sections has what could be its own dial design, but the shapes and lines don’t match. The result is a dial that is both cohesive and chaotic at the same time. It represents four of the same things but also four different things. This visual conflict draws the attention of the viewer and creates a sense of curiosity. The overall composition is still balanced despite being asymmetrical, and because Giroud is so good at what he does, the Geometry watch dial is also beautiful. Only a master could have made a concept like this work, and I even like how he positioned the brand name in a logical but off-center manner.

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The base Geometry dials feature guilloché-style decoration and motifs that you’d find on classic timepiece dials. Only with this particular sector style and mosaic of styles, the result is far more modern than it is classic. Two limited-edition dial colors are available including silver-toned and copper-toned (“salmon”). Both have 18k gold hands and are paired with a 39mm-wide polished steel case (water resistant to 50 meters). The case is a bit on the thicker side at 11mm, but since the overall diameter isn’t too wide, these still wear modestly on the wrist. The case thickness is forgivable given the fine in-house movement that also sports automatic winding via a micro-rotor. I feel that most people will probably like how the Schwarz Etienne Geometry wears overall.

Inside the Geometry watch is a movement that isn’t common to others in the Schwarz Etienne Roma watch collection: the caliber ASE 200.02 automatic, made of 198 parts that operate at 3Hz with 86 hours of power reserve. The movement is given a sand-blasted finish, and you can see it along with the micro-rotor automatic winding system through the sapphire crystal caseback. The movement offers just the time with a subsidiary seconds dial. The steel cases are paired with a blue leather strap for the silver dial and a brown leather strap for the copper dial. Price is considerably high for these watches, but they are very nicely made, have good-quality in-house movements, are exclusive in their production numbers, and benefit from a classy, eye-catching dial design with excellent provenance coming from Eric Giroud. Each of the two current versions of the Geometry watches is limited to 100 pieces each. Price for the Schwarz Etienne Geometry reference WRO23MA14SSVEBCLT (silver dial), and WRO23MA08SSVEBCLTD (copper dial) watch is 23,490 Euros each. Learn more at the Schwarz-Etienne watches website.

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