How much does haute horology cost? I don’t mean your average, casual timekeeper, we’re talking about the truly exceptional, the level you’d expect from either the esteemed watch maisons of yore or the cutting-edge contemporary maestros. According to DWISS, the answer is… not all that much, really.
“Any watch can tell the time, but ours tell it differently!” The self-imposed mandate of Rafael Simoes Miranda, the creative force behind DWISS, is a bold claim. At least, you’d assume so. After all, watches have been around for centuries and the basic timekeeping mechanisms haven’t changed all that much. Yet somehow, it’s a statement that cuts to the core of what DWISS is. Aside from a typo of its home country, obviously.
Following in the oversized footsteps of the likes of MB&F, DWISS timekeepers are instantly recognisable for the sole fact that they look like nothing else. Part of that is the big, faceted, industrial school of design they employ; moreso however it’s that their timekeeping methods are distinctly unusual.
The RW1-SW-Automatic is a prime example. Using two satellites, each displaying 6 hours our of the 12-hour cycle, the watch tells the time by reading off the minutes using the hour. It’s a wandering hours technique you’ll probably have seen before via Urwerk; the difference is that while those impressive chunks of cutting-edge horology cost tens of thousands, the RW1-SW will set you back just $1,790 – or in our money, just under £1,420.
That price difference though doesn’t necessarily ensure a dip in quality; they’re just very different businesses. To keep costs this accessible, DWISS uses third party movements, specifically, in the RW1-SW, the ETA 2824-2 Elabore – one of the finest stock movements out there.
There are other examples of the mix of idiosyncratic design and impressive value-for-money too, be it the RS1-SL and RC1-SB with their unique, mysterious timekeeping displays, or the simpler, small seconds RS1-SB or -BB that let their chunky, industrial designs speak for themselves. Both use stock movements and yet both have been lauded with more than their fair share of design awards.
These aren’t the sort of pieces that are merely pumped out either; each collection is strictly limited, partly to ensure the quality of each, partly to maintain the level of creativity needed to consistently break the mould in this way.
Whether you appreciate the kind of bold, innovative timepieces that DWISS produces or you prefer the more classical end of the spectrum, one thing’s for certain: this is a brand to watch.
More details at DWISS.