As time goes by, it is getting more and more difficult to categorise watches into different segments. As access to technology is getting easier by the day and there is literally no linit to the extent watchmaker would go to make exceptional devices, the Haute Horlogerie industry is gradually entering an era where breaking conventions is the new way to go. There are numerous brands that specialize in this particular area. However, there are those that are impossible to not mention.
These brands have shown a tremendous amount of persistence, courage, and ingenuity in their approach to the surreal art of luxury watchmaking. Without a further ado, let the watches do the talking.
Breaking Conventions: Swiss Watches That Dared To Be Different
Ulysse Nardin Freak X
When Ulysse Nardin launched the Freak back in 2001 for the very first time, it was clear that the brand capable of much more than making dress watches. The watch became a symbol of a leap that had been not seen before. In addition to the timepiece’s unique and atypical take on tourbillons, what really impressed about the watch was the fact that it was the first one ever to use silicon parts.
Ulysse Nardin’s list of accomplishments keeps growing by the day in the form of Freak watches. The collection house to some of the most fascinating as well as technologically advanced. One such line of watches is the Freak X.
The timepieces in this series are absolutely stunning in the sense that you literally will have no words to describe the watch. Launched back in early January in 2019 (when the world was still standing on its feet and not lying flat on its face,) the watch was a sheer piece of spectacle. The watch used a calibre UN-230 which was essentially a merger between the in-house manufactured UN-118 and the Freak Vision UN-250.
In the watch, the minutes are indicated by the central bridge while the shorter hour indicator is anchored to a wheel right at the center of the dial. All that being said, the key takeaway is that it is still quite impressive to make a watch where the display is basically the tourbillon movement inside it. The Freak X sure did play a role in bringing back Ulysse Nardin into mainstream luxury watchmaking.
Roger Dubuis Excalibur Diabolus In Machina
Launched in the year 2020 itself, the timepiece is a 45 mm masterstroke from the Swiss horologist Roger Dubuis. As a matter of fact, this is exactly what one should expect from a brand such as Roger Dubuis. The watch is essentially an oversized skeleton flying tourbillon watch that is encased inside a proprietary substance. The watch has also been dubbed as brand-defining as it adds up a lot of crucial elements together to create something never seen before. Furthermore, the watch also has a minute repeater.
If you know about Roger Dubuis watches, you would know that the brand is known for references that are all about space. The timepieces have tourbillons that are not only highly skeletonized but also have more air than metal between the case. This watch, however, is all about density. The reference has the typical criss-cross bridges, like one can usually find in RD timepieces, but instead of opening things up they obscure one another and draw the users’ focus on the movement.
The crown is basically a function indicator that tells whether the watch is in winding mode or setting mode. This is really utilitarian if you think about it. It prevents users from accidentally changing the timer while the minute repeater in turned on. The minute repeater trigger at 10 o’clock also has an in-built mechanism that prevents a partial activation.
The watch uses a calibre RD0107, a movement that offers the usual hours, minutes, and running seconds. The mechanism offers a flying tourbillon, a minute repeater, and lastly, a function indicator. The 60-hour power reserve is more than decent whilst the 3 Hz frequency is just enough to keep the device going.
SevenFriday P3C/04 Red Carbon
Now, SevenFriday devices are not your everyday Swiss watches but they do what they are meant to with finesse. The newest in the list of avant-garde SevenFriday watches is the P3C/04 Red Carbon. The timepiece does its best to incite a feeling of rush and adrenaline in watch enthusiasts. The 47.6 mm x 47 mm timepiece uses a automatic MIYOTA 82S7 movement with a power reserve of up to 40 hours. The watch offers a water resistance of about 100 meters as well.
The most striking element in this watch is not the use of a non-Swiss movement, which is what people usually focus on in the case if SevenFriday devices but the implementation of the red colour scheme. Just like matador uses the colour red to lure a bull, the watch uses the crimson hue to its advantage and adds a flair of extravagance.
The timepiece uses a Strap in genuine in-layed genuine red seat belt nylon material, black semi-matt leather, and a yellow SEVENFRIDAY logo. To sum it up, the watch breaks numerous Swiss watchmaking conventions and dares to be different, a trait that is apparently getting quite popular these days.