Pared down to the essentials, Ludwig Oechslin‘s latest calendar indication adds no unnecessary complexity. Featuring a highly innovative date indication, his ingeniously simple annual calendar is being launched in the autumn by Lucerne watch brand ochs und junior – and the watch can be personalized via the internet.
Ludwig Oechslin has spent three years fine-tuning his wristwatch calendar function and paring it down to its bare essentials. Based on just three moving parts (see graphic below) plus the functional dial, he has succeeded in creating an annual calendar function that would otherwise require anything up to 40 components. Oechslin‘s anno is an elegant, easy-to-read solution that presents information in the right order: first the time, then the date, followed by the weekday and month as ancillary indications.
The 31 date perforations, arranged as a gentle spiral, are ingeniously aligned with the indices for easy readability. The date is recognized purely by position. Increasing subtly in length as the spiral progresses, the 10-minute indices mark the 5th, 10th, 15th, 20th, 25th and 30th of the month. The 31st and 1st are in line with each other.
The date perforations are each exactly two minutes apart on the dial for added readability of the exact minute and second. The month indication consists of a dot moving anticlockwise around a circle of twelve perforations. The weekday indication consists of another dot moving anticlockwise around a circle of seven perforations.
Between 6 in the morning and 6 in the evening, the indication consists of a single dot. Between 6 in the evening and 6 in the morning, the indication consists of two dots, i.e. the next day is shown as approaching as the current day is drawing to a close. This day/night display helps the user set the calendar correctly. The user can decide which day of the week should be represented by the uppermost perforation.
Retail price of the ochs und junior anno
Titanium CHF 8000 (incl. 8% VAT)
Silver CHF 10,000 (incl. 8% VAT)
The ochs und junior online design tool uniquely offers customers the chance to visualize and personalize their watch. The all-new website allows users to experiment with and specify the special function of the watch, the case size and various colors – for the dial, hands/ indices, date dots and strap. Customers can choose any color from existing standardized color charts.
Alongside the anno annual calendar watch, Ludwig Oechslin has developed three other innovations: the selene is his moon phase watch with an incontestable mathematical accuracy of one day in 3478.27 years. The due ore is his fabulously simple dual time zone watch. The mese is his watch featuring a date function. For each of the models, the customer can choose the color of the dial, the hands and indices, the date dots and the strap. The cases are available in 42 or 39 mm and in titanium or silver. The custom-built watch takes between 10 and 12 weeks to produce.
ochs und junior also offer a selection of readymade watches in various color combinations; these can be ordered online or by visiting the oxloft centre of operations in Lucerne. These watches are available off-the-shelf.
All watches come with a trademark on the dial. All, that is, apart from ochs und junior. The distinctive design follows the function and is rigorously free of any visible logo. That said, one does exist – it‘s literally branded with a hot iron on the underside of the eco-tanned strap. The two-part case and the clasp are left unpolished to show the accuracy of the workmanship. Like exposed concrete in architecture, ochs und junior likes to show what it‘s made of. All ochs und juniorspecific components – that‘s almost everything apart from the movements – are custom made by master metalworker Peter Cantieni in Hinwil, Switzerland. He crafts high-tech titanium components for the Swiss Sauber Formula One team and prides himself on his ultra high quality output.