While most watch companies are rated by how complicated and intricate their timepieces are, the folks over at independent brand Ochs und Junior strive in the other direction- simplicity. Truly and avant-garde brands, they have over the years garnered a loyal following for their unique approach to watchmaking.
Beginning with their philosophy, it was their goal to create pieces with only essential parts, meaning the fewer components the better. Strange to think that most watches use the number of parts as a selling point whereas here is a brand striving for the opposite. Furthermore, customization was a big part of how Ludwig Oechslin wanted to run his brand and as a result, you can create and request all kinds of dial design and case material.
The example you see here today is a result of this and one that perfectly encapsulates the philosophy of Ochs und Junior. This is an Annual Calendar model housed in a sterling silver 925 case and rust treated dial. That’s quite a lot to digest but let's start with the mechanics- an annual calendar is considered a high-end complication that takes into account 30 and 31 days of the month, needing only to be adjusted once a year in February. While Patek Philippe uses 154 parts to produce their annual calendar, Ochs und Junior only uses six individual parts using a gear system. This is incredibly forward-thinking and impressive and is in line with the less the better, improving reliability and servicing times.
Looking at the dial, the layout is as simple as it gets with dots on the outside indicating the day of the month, the top inner sub-dial indicating the month and the bottom inner sub-dial showing the day of the week. And just like that, it is immediately understandable.
Aesthetically the watch is super rugged, with a sterling silver case that has developed a beautiful patina. The rust dial was a custom order and has a beautiful texture to it contrasted with the cold silver steel hands and dots. Ochs und Junior watches do not come with papers and exist as a watch only, showing how extreme the brand is going with simplicity.
You either love or hate Ochs und Junior but you have to commend their forward thinking and beautifully unique complications and timepieces.