This is one rare breed of watch. Ochs und Junior is a brand created by two smart minds and focused squarely on simplifying the complexity of watchmaking. With a philosophy of “Rigorous Simplicity,” its watches are – well — simply interesting. Devoid of a brand name on the dial, and of most other dial clutter, these watches are striking. That may well be because Ochs und Junior timepieces are designed by famed watch-world award winner Ludwig Oechslin (who designed many a winner for Ulysse Nardin over the years, including Moonstruck, Freak, and more), who believes in the ultimate simplification of mechanical watch functions.
Instead of starting with a caliber and adding module after module of levers, springs, and more, Oechslin starts out differently, with a custom-made gear system to keep things uncluttered and simple in the Ochs und Junior watches. The brand offers an annual calendar timepiece that – while based on an ETA 2824 movement –consists of just three additional moving parts that enable the calendar to work.
Because the focus of the brand is to express the watch functions in the clearest most technically elegant manner, priority is given to functionality. In its moonphase watch, for instance, an analog date spiral ring provides more of an intuitive sense of the date and passage of a month. The spiral around the dial for the date consists of 31 apertures to accommodate all month’s lengths.
An initial glance at one of the brand’s watches, for instance the moonphase shown here, is a little jarring. It is clean, elegant and – askew. Instead of markers at every hour, or every five minutes, there are just six markers placed at 10-minute increments. The concept of an “intuitive” date seen through apertures as a color instead of actual numerals may also put off the person who is incredibly literal and needs numbers. However, all of these factors contribute not only to the simplicity of the watch, but also the decidedly different and the immediately identifiable appeal.
Each watch is customized precisely for its owner. Co-founder Beat Weinmann works directly with buyers to accomplish a watch made to their specifications, whether it is a patina dial color, a dial element, the materials, case size, or some other element. To make things even simpler, Ochs und Junior offers a lifetime warranty on each part it manufactures – including the custom-designed functions, cases, buckles and crowns.