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Ochs und Junior Selene Nebra Moonphase Pays Tribute to Oldest Celestial Calendar

Ochs Und Junior Selene Nebra Moonphase

This might sound like a big claim but the Ochs und Junior Selene Nebra is a tribute to the first known horologists in all of history. But then, what would you expect from a watchmaker so interested in the history of timekeeping as Ludwig Oechslin, the mind behind Ochs und Junior. Specifically, the watch is inspired by an artefact called the Nebra Sky Disc, a bronze disc that dates all the way back to c. 1800-1600 BCE – the Early Bronze Age – and which has golden depictions of stars (including a cluster of seven assumed to be the Pleiades), a lunar crescent and what is either a full moon or the sun.

Nebra Sky Disc

Nebra Sky Disc

The Sky Disc is essentially the earliest known example of humanity recording astronomical phenomena. More than that, arcs along the periphery of the disc are assumed to represent the solstices, making it a form of celestial calendar – a really early, nascent version of horology. How that translates into the Ochs und Junior Selene Nebra is that they’ve taken its proto-moonphase complication and turned it into a fully-fledged moonphase – by reinterpreting their moonphase watch in the style of the Sky Disc.

Ochs Und Junior Selene Nebra Moonphase Piece Unique 2013

Ochs und Junior Selene Nebra Moonphase, Piece Unique, 2013

Aesthetically, the dial is heavily influenced by the materials and colours of the Sky Disc with a blue-green colouration based on the bronze patina. Then the golden decorations of the artefact are represented by the gold leaf coated hour markers, 18k gold hour hand, 18k gold minute hand and 24k gold rotating date indicator. There’s then a central moonphase complication with a platinum disc representing the moon and a black disc representing the absence of the moon. Quite simply when the silver disc is full it’s the full moon and when the black disc is full it’s the new moon.

Ochs Und Junior Selene Nebra Moonphase

In terms of structure, the Ochs und Junior Selene Nebra is available in two sizes. There’s a 42mm diameter version and a 39mm diameter version, both produced in lightweight and robust titanium. Housed inside the case is the ETA 2824-2 equipped with Ludwig Oechslin’s 5-part epicycle moonphase, which will remain accurate for 3,478.27 years before it is off by one day. The term ‘perpetual moonphase’ isn’t really used in watchmaking but that’s what this is.

Ochs Und Junior Selene Nebra Moonphase

Oechslin’s moonphase function

In terms of pricing and availability, the Ochs und Junior Selene Nebra Moonphase has a limited order period from now until January 6th 2024 at a price of CHF 8,100 including VAT or CHF 7,520 without (approx. £7,350/£6,800). I should also address the fact that this is not the first time that Ochs und Junior have produced the selene nebra, in fact it was first released more than a decade ago. However, that original watch was a piece unique produced specifically for a collector interested in the Nebra Sky Disc and so this is the first time it’s been available in series. I really love this watch, it looks incredible, the accuracy of the moonphase is astounding and the history behind it is fascinating.

Price and Specs:

Model: Ochs und Junior Selene Nebra Moonphase
Case: 39mm or 42mm diameter x 11mm thickness, grade 5 titanium designed by Ludwig Oechslin
Dial: Nebra dial, date disk, seconds hand and moon disk with gold leaf markers and hammered 24k yellow gold sun and date dot, 18k gold hour and minute hand, platinum full moon
Water resistance: 100m (10 bar)
Movement: ETA calibre 2824-2, automatic
Frequency: 28,800 vph (4 Hz)
Power reserve: 38h
Functions: Hours, minutes, seconds, date, moonphase
Strap: Ecopell Olifant leather handmade by Sabina Bragger with buckle
Price: CHF 8,100 (approx. £7,350)

More details at Ochs und Junior.

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About the author

Michael Sonsino

As Digital Editor for Oracle Time, Michael needs an eye for detail, which makes it a good thing that his twin joys in life are miniatures and watches. He's a lifelong fan of fine timepieces, especially those of a more historic nature - if it has a twist of Art Deco, all the better. Recent purchase: Seiko Prospex 1959 Alpinist Modern Re-Interpretation. Grail watch: Vacheron Constantin Historiques American 1921.