In the last few weeks I have had numerous conversations with the charismatic Oliver Ike. He is very passionate about the importance of Swiss watchmaking to the point of obsession. This incredible drive led him to develop his first company Ikepod. After his departure in 2003 he utilised his skills as a consultant for many high profile brands. I recently met up with a highly distinguished architect who raved about Ikepod and the immense talent of chief designer Marc Newson.
Oliver Ike’s latest project is a company called A Manzoni & Fils, which derives its name from a historic watchmaking factory located in Lugano, Switzerland. The debut model is called the Canopus Weekplanner Watch. Finland based designer and trained architect Ilkka Suppanen has devised this highly original creation. His studio has won numerous major awards for a broad spectrum of products including jewellery and furniture. Essentially the timepiece is still at the prototype stage as the company is still trying to secure sufficient funding. The indication at this point is that the model will be showcased at Baselworld in 2014.
The watch in its existing form is a culmination of three years research and development. The company states they have utilised the skills of exceptional craftsmen within the industry to produce the finest quality timepieces. Recently there has been an influx of industrial designers collaborating with watchmakers to produce some extraordinary results. The Canopus definitely is a great example of this creative influence within the marketplace.
Aesthetically the Canopus has a retro façade, which give the timepiece a sophisticated appearance. The case has been carefully sculpted out of 316L stainless steel. Apparently the smooth organic forms of a stone inspired the elegant design. With a diameter of 44mm and height of 10mm this isn’t a particularly large watch by current standards. Realistically these classical proportions will appeal to a wide demographic. On that basis this attractive timepiece could be worn for most occasions.
The pattern on the watch face pays homage to the boulevard flooring of Copacabana, Brazil. I love the dial consisting of three counters displaying the day, date and moon phase indicator. Another cool feature is the facility to tell the week and month of the year. The raised indices are very effective and give the watch a three dimensional appearance. Ultimately all these elements are cohesive and integral to the success of the overall composition.
The Canopus is equipped with a highly proficient calibre. Underneath the refined exterior is an A10 Soprod 25 Jewel mechanical automatic chronometer movement with an exclusively developed Dubois Dépraz module. Other pertinent features are the patented rapid bracelet change mechanism and a-spherical sapphire crystal. It is important to mention that every element of this superlative timepiece is manufactured in Switzerland.
Presently no definitive price has been finalized although the company has suggested it will be around the $15,000 mark.