Ochs und junior are known for approaching the telling of time in a very pared back form, with distinctive aesthetics to match. It is difficult not to be able to tell that a watch is from the brand, even with the ability to customise your watches. This approach to function is perhaps best encapsulated in the form of their perpetual calendar.
In their latest horological adventures, they have released a new model which combines a time zone function (which they already have in another model with a date function. A historically conventional type of GMT/ dual time zone watch shows the second time zone via either a sub dial or an additional hand. Ludwig Oechslin has chosen to indicate both the current time and the second time zone via a single hand.
So how do you use it, and how do you tell the time?
The hands display the first time zone. The number inside the open hour hand indicates the second time zone. The timezone disc is adjusted so that the difference between the two time zones is displayed at 12 o’clock.
If the second time zone is behind, you subtract from 12, and the difference is set at 12 o’clock. Both time zones are 12 hour indications. As the open hour hand passes over the timezone disk, the second time zone is displayed proportionally within its frame.
The time on the watch is 09:09 (home)/ 05:09 (second time zone), with a time difference of +8 hours.
The new two time zones + date watch uses the same analog date display as the twelve part perpetual calendar I referred to earlier, which means that the 30+1 holes that swirl around the perimeter of the dial, displaying the date, are familiar. The 10 minute markers serve as reference points. e.g. marker indicating 30 minutes also shows the 15th day of the month.
These same date holes also do duty as the minutes markers. They are spaced at two minute intervals, which means that the holes are read as the even minutes and the gaps, as the odd minutes.
Just above the 6 o’clock marker is a seconds disc with a milled dot. Its rotation shows the watch is running.
The dial includes the use of green Super-LumiNova, although you can request blue.
The two time zones + date watch allows the two eponymous functions to be set in the same crown position. You can set the timezone by turning the crown counter clockwise in position 1, and the date by turning the crown clockwise in position 1.
The timezone disc is controlled by the date disc. Changing the direction of rotation whilst setting the watch causes the direction gear to slip out of its coupling, and cancels the connection between the timezone disk and date disk. Force is therefore only applied to the timezone disc during its adjustment.
Movement-wise, it uses a base Ulysse Nardin UN-118 calibre, with additional parts designed by Oechslin. As is customary for ochs und junior, they publish details of who makes every part of each watch, on their site. For this new watch, the following parts were designed by Ludwig Oechslin, and manufactured by Helfenstein Mechanik AG :
Power reserve indicator
The watch itself is hand-assembled and regulated at the ochs und junior workshop in Lucerne. A lifetime warranty covers all parts invented by Ludwig Oechslin, and the watch (the entirety of which is made in Switzerland) is covered by a two year guarantee.
The two part case, designed by Oechslin, is 42mm with a thickness of 12.5mm and available in either Grade 5 titanium or sterling silver. The screw-down crown is also designed by Oechslin, and the case has a water resistance is 100m. Strap-wise there are dozens of options, and they come on a buckle designed by Oechslin in either Grade 5 titanium or sterling silver, although other metal can be requested.
As with their other watches, you can customise your order through their website (you can run riot with 20 to 24 colour options for various parts of the dial) or directly if your preference cannot be found there. However, there are some ‘standardised’ models that are priced so as to give you a general guideline about pricing :
1. Rose gold – PVD Grade 5 Titanium case with screw-down crown. Hand-patinated dial, time zones disc, date disc, seconds disc, power reserve indicator. Rose gold-plated hour and minute hands, time zone numbers, markers, dots, choice of strap. 10,000 CHF (including VAT)/ 9,200 CHF (excluding VAT).
2. Black/ White – Black PVD Grade 5 Titanium case with screw-down crown. Black dial, time zones disc, date disc, seconds disc, power reserve indicator. White Super-LumiNova hour and minute hands, time zone numbers, markers, dots, choice of strap. 10,000 CHF (including VAT)/ 9,200 CHF (excluding VAT).
3. White/ Black – Black PVD Grade 5 Titanium case with screw-down crown. White dial, time zones disc, date disc, seconds disc, power reserve indicator. Black hour and minute hands, time zone numbers, markers, dots, choice of strap. 10,000 CHF (including VAT)/ 9,200 CHF (excluding VAT).
I had a play with the customiser, and with a price of of 9,400 CHF (including VAT)/ 8,700 (excluding VAT) came up with a model that had a Grade 5 Titanium case, German silver time zone disc, white time zone numbers, orange markers, orange hour hand, orange minute hand, green smoke seconds disc, white seconds dot, green smoke power reserve disc,white power reserve dot, white date disc, hammered platinum PT950 date dot, ‘Tweety’ leather strap.
The one I ‘created’ at the top of this article, in the PVD gunmetal case, is 10,000 CHF (including VAT)/ 9,260 (excluding VAT).
[Photos from ochs und junior]