The wandering hours complication can track its history back nearly 400 years to when the Campani brothers developed the concept for use in a clock made for the pope. However, the wandering hours complication is seldom employed in watchmaking, largely due to the challenges in its execution. Popularized by Audemars Piguet and embraced by avant-garde independent watchmakers like Urwerk, wandering hours complications are typically only found in watches costing in the tens of thousands. In creating its debut release, the Triclops, Phantasos decided to utilize this unique and captivating complication, but do so at an accessible price.
With the Triclops, Phantasos has gone beyond the classic execution of the wandering hours; instead of using three independently rotating date discs to display the hours, the Triclops uses an “hourlisk” — a four-sided rectangular cylinder that rotates along its axis, showing only a single numeral at a time. Known as a revolving hours indication, this complication was first developed by Urwerk in its partnership with Harry Winston on the Opus 5 and refined in later Urwerk pieces like the UR-202. Though otherworldly at first glance, reading the hours is surprisingly easy. The number displayed on the topmost arm indicates the current hour, while the arm itself points to the minutes on the compressed minute track only displayed on the top third of the dial (the traditional 10 to 2 o’clock position). After passing 60 minutes, the hourlisk spins, resetting for the next time it’s needed; meanwhile, the preceding arm begins the cycle again, simultaneously displaying the hour and minute. The fact that Phantasos has come out swinging with its debut release should come as no surprise, as sister brand Angles Watches has extensive experience producing wandering hours watches and other unique time displays.
A one-of-a-kind complication deserves a one-of-a-kind case, and the Triclops delivers just that. Measuring in at 42mm and 47.5mm lug-to-lug, the 316-L stainless steel case has dimensions that ensure it will work on wrists of all sizes, but the sharp angles and cutout lugs give the case a singular personality that’s both masculine and modern. The mix of vertically brushed surfaces with polished facets plays off the double-domed sapphire crystal, resulting in a unique, yet versatile design. Taken together, the sharp angles and modern aesthetic of the case are a perfect complement to the three-spoked wandering hours mechanism.
While the rotating three-arm hands with hourlisks take center stage, Phantasos ensures that the backdrop is just as impressive. The deeply inset dial is finished with a radial cutout pattern that adds to the modern and aggressive aesthetic of the watch. Meanwhile, the steep minute ring encircling the dial is finished with luminous marks delineating five-minute increments along the upper third of the dial. At the traditional 6 o’clock position, “Phantasos” is proudly emblazoned.
The Phantasos Triclops is available in five colorways: color-matched Steel (two versions), Black, Royal Blue, or Black with a blacked-out DLC-coated case. Phantasos opted for DLC, or diamond-like carbon, coating due to its extreme strength and durability, especially compared to the more common PVD coating. Phantasos ensures excellent readability, day or night, through the use of Swiss Super-LumiNova coating on both the dial and hourlisk.
Finishing off the Triclops is either an integrated steel bracelet or leather strap with a crocodile pattern. By opting for a proprietary, custom-fit strap and bracelet, the Triclops becomes more than the sum of its parts — it becomes an integrated whole. If you opt for a strap, each is color-matched to the dial. The bracelets (in both DLC-coated and brushed stainless steel) feature an H-link design secured by a push-button butterfly clasp. Swapping between the leather strap and bracelet is simple, aided by a tool-free quick-release system.
Powering the Triclops and its wandering hours complication is the Miyota 90S5 automatic movement. Beating at 28.8kbph and featuring a 36-hour power reserve, this tried-and-true Japanese movement has been extensively modified with a rotating hour module and is accurate to +/- 10 seconds a day. Phantasos puts the movement on full display through the use of a sapphire caseback.
The Phantasos Triclops is available now on Kickstarter, but be sure to hurry if you’re interested, as the campaign ends on January 23, 2022, and the brand will only be producing 500 pieces of each colorway. Prices for the Phantasos Triclops begin at $598 USD; to learn more about the Phantasos Triclops and join the campaign, be sure to visit the Kickstarter page.
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