Swiss watch company NORD Zeitmaschine has quietly been rolling out unique and creative watches since 1998, and though the independent brand doesn’t get the same fanfare as some bigger names, it might be time for more enthusiasts to start taking note. Headed by Daniel Nebel, the brand is releasing the new NORD Zeitmaschine Freesdial watch for Baselworld 2016. The watch has moving dials which rely on 14 precision ball bearings, as well as a minute hand that actually changes in length. Read on to see how this very cool-looking piece works.
Whereas most watches contain minute and hour hands that rotate centrally, the NORD Zeitmaschine Freesdial watch, in a 44mm-wide case, features a minute hand and dials that are not fixed in place and thus move in “freestyle.” The minute hand is moved via eccentric cams, and the minutes are indicated by the two moveable, enumerated dials. The minute hand alone is comprised of 27 parts and is powered by two counter-rotating gear wheels. It changes its length with an additional eccentric lever that causes the very tip of the hand to reach its greatest lift per minute at around 15 and 45 minutes.
Conversely, the main hand itself will find its highest lift per minute at 30 and 60 minutes, with its counterpart moving slower during the 15 and 45 minute marks to compensate. The hours are decentralized and there is also a day/night indicator. With the left crown you are able to independently adjust the 24-hour GMT dial, and there is a date window at 10 o’clock. Interestingly, there is another date window on the opposite side, though it is covered by a grill and is there only to “maintain visual symmetry.”
The NORD N4 movement is a modified ETA 2824, featuring 30 ruby jewels and 14 integrated precision ball bearings. It operates at 28,800 vph with a power reserve of 42 hours. Through the sapphire display on the case back you can see three independent, ball bearing-mounted indicator discs. The movement of the rotor not only winds the watch but moves these discs as well. They actually do not serve a mechanical function but add a great aesthetic touch to the piece.
The NORD Zeitmaschine Freesdial will be offered in two versions: V1 with mechanical parts coated in blackgold and white rhodium, with a dark yellow gold hand; V2 with mechanical parts coated in blackgold and white rhodium. What we really can’t wait for is a chance to see this watch in person, and we’ll share that experience with you guys as soon as we can. Each version limited to 97 pieces, and pricing is 23,700 CHF. nord-zeitmaschine.ch