This watch doesn’t just have a dial that looks like a camera shutter, the prototype version actually used a camera shutter. Michael Bittel cannibalized a friend’s vintage camera (he had permission) and took out the shutter. He ground it down and modified it, and used it to make an opening and closing dial on a watch. This isn’t the first time that a shutter aperture style dial has graced my eyes, but it is one of the nicest renditions. I did mention the de Grisogono Fuso Quadrato Two Time Zone watch that applied a similar idea. Although on the Eclipse, the shutter opens up to reveal the decorated and diamond studded movement. Actually, I can’t figure out whether the watch is called the Eclipse, Double Eclipse, Double Diaphragm Eclipse, or some variation thereof. Who knows, it doesn’t matter. Not like there are other watches that look like this. By the way, I am gonna take this opportunity to mention to watch companies that you need to do two things: 1) make sure you give your watch a clear name, and don’t make the name extremely confusing. I don’t care if it is hard to choose a name, making a watch is harder. If you make a product, give it a name as good as the item is. 2) Just to remind yourself of that name (because they seem to forget), put that name ON THE WATCH. Yes, just engrave it anywhere. Maybe on the caseback, or on the side. Even placing it on the dial is a good idea. Remember that term branding? This is an important (and easy) part of branding.
Anyhow, the Double Diaphragm Eclipse is pretty nifty, and you can tell how it is much like other Michael Bittel watches. He uses adjustable blinds on the dials to alter the images. This watch is similar in theme. Bittel says it has about three dials. This is true. Remember how I said it has a opening and closing shutter for the dial? Well it actually has two of them. Notice the gold and silver tone ones in the dial. You adjust one by moving the watch bezel, and likely the crown at 10 o’clock to adjust the other one. Underneath them, you see the manually-wound mechanical movement. On the partially decorated movement Michael Bittel will place diamonds (or perhaps other jewels) if you like. I’ve never see thing type of gem setting in watch movements before.
The watch case is large at about 48-49mm wide. There is also a women’s version at 39mm wide – also not as thick as you’d think at 15mm. These are showy pieces, so it makes sense why they are bigger watches. Case material options will include steel, titanium or gold (yellow, rose, or white). Another camera style element is the ring around the dial. It is in enamel and meant to look like the ring around a camera lens. Pretty cool if you ask me. The rest of the watch case has some cool designs with those trendy horizontal lines and a robust crown guard. Like most Michael Bittel watches, each Eclipse is customizable to the buyer’s specific desires. I will likely get to check these out in January in Geneva when they are officially announced.