Dr. Lugwig Oechslin may well be the greatest watchmaker you’ve never heard of. From the restoration of the Vatican’s Farnese clock to directing the renowned Musée International d’Horlogerie, he’s had an impressive career. With Ochs und Junior, he’s taking that career a step further with his own love of simple, elegant complications.
Ochs und Junior’s impressive haute horology offerings are split into three distinct collections, the first of which is the Astronomy. Evoking the lineage of the astrolabe, the collection’s day/night displays the solar noon, the time of the sunrise and sunset, and the positions of both the sun and the moon. A 24-hour rotating sun paired with a rotating moon delightfully capture the day in-motion. The lunar-centric moon phase on the other hand brings the visual waxing and waning of the moon into prominence.
The calendar collection results from Dr. Oechslin’s 34-year journey of rethinking and revaluing the visual hierarchy of date and time. Text and numbers are stripped away, as the date is displayed via a ring of perforations, bringing the date into harmony with the time. This collection features three models: perpetual calendar, annual calendar, and date.
While conventional annual calendar watches are comprised of delicate levers and springs, Ochs und Junior calendar watches operate with a handful of drives and cogwheels, ingeniously stripping away artifice in the name of functionality. Refraining from using levers and springs is an advantage as the calendar can be adjusted both backwards and forwards.
Accurate until 2100, the perpetual calendar takes into account leap years, displaying the correct date until the year 2100. The addition of only nine additional movement parts allows it to accurately mark: leap years, months, day, hours, minutes, and seconds. All watches in the calendar collection are studies and executions in extreme minimalism, striking reductions of the watch to only essential, necessary elements. The resulting stripped-back aesthetics are incredibly cool.
Finally we have the aptly-named time collection. The two time zones + date imaginatively expands the hour-hand, opening a window to reveal a second time zone. Incorporation of the ring of analog dots used in the perpetual calendar series brings the added functionality of the date without complicating the aesthetic values of the watch. two time zones balances boldly minimalist linear aspects with numbers in a unified representation of two time zones, which is surprisingly seductive.
While on paper Ochs und Junior’s horological offerings are in line with some of the great watch houses, their unique style and playful twist on complications are a world apart from the usual.
More details at Ochs und Junior.