One of my heroes in watchmaking is a man named Ludwig Oechslin. He’s the genius behind ultra-complicated watches such as the Ulysse Nardin Trilogy Set, the amazing UN Freak in addition to minimal classics such as the MIH watch. Recently, he the younger Beat Weinmann started a new company, Ochs and Junior (Och und Junior) and their watches are breathtakingly different from anything else out there. Let’s take a look, and hopefully you’ll see why I’m so excited by them.
To start with, Ochs and Junior breaks three of the commandments of Swiss watchmaking: The dials lack all branding, the prices are affordable and the advertising non-existent. These are emphatically not “luxury” watches intended to impress; even their casework is done mostly by hand with machining marks deliberately left in place. Hand shapes are as simple as can be, and the unique complications are all based on the tracteur ETA 2824. These are watches for people who love watches, full stop.
Looking at the two watches above, would you guess that the moon phase is the most accurate ever made, one day in over 3200 years? Or that the second one is actually a blackened gold dial over an annual calendar?
Also unusual is their color selection. You can choose any Pantone color for the hands, dial and strap and they’ll create it and send it to you. Some of the results are quite striking.
The second image, of the Mese Tinta model, the inner spiral is the date – that would take a bit of practice to read, but is an example of the unique complications put into the brand.
They also have a clever dual-timezone watch, the Due Ore Tinta:
Prices for the watches range from 6,000 CHF for the due ore Tinta, to 8,000 CHF for the Selene Tinta (moon phase, my personal favorite) and presumably more for the annual calendar. For what they are, those are amazingly low prices.