The thing that makes the world of horology such an exciting topic to write about is the sheer amount of diversity. As well as the established brands and larger groups there are also plenty of independent watchmakers. I have recently showcased the talents of many of these extraordinary individuals in several editorials. The amazing fact is that some of these artisans have no formal training in watchmaking. Two great examples of this are Valerii Danevych (Retrograde Wooden Watch) who is a joiner by trade and electrical engineer Donald W. Corson.
Donald W. Corson established his own company (of the same name) nearly ten years ago in the picturesque location of Yverdon-les-Bains, Switzerland. Since 2004 he has channeled his enormous passion for watchmaking and created two sensational models-the UFO-Tourbillon and UFO-Regulator. The UFO-Tourbillon is a highly complex timepiece that incorporates a half-flying tourbillon. It also looks absolutely stunning and completely unique. The UFO-Regulator is equally impressive and illustrates Donald’s attention to detail and dexterity.
Both the UFO-Tourbillon and UFO-Regulator have a modest diameter of 42mm. These dimensions should appeal to a broad demographic although I normally prefer slightly larger timepieces. I would imagine the watches would be comfortable and lightweight to wear on a daily basis. This is primarily down to the elegant case and use of aeronautical-grade titanium in manufacture. Realistically these two watches could be worn for both formal and casual occasions. I think they would look amazing when sported with a cool white linen suit.
By looking at the appearance of the UFO-Tourbillon and UFO-Regulator it is clear that the aesthetics of the watch is very important to Donald. Each of the timepieces’ façades has been well executed and highly distinctive. The dials are composed of slate, which is rarely used in the watch industry. The only other brand (I am aware of) that has successfully utilised this fantastic material in its design is Tissot. Details like the unusual hands, domed Hesalite crystal and the engraved bronze plating (on the Regulator) are really striking. I also love the large aperture positioned at 10 o’clock displaying the majestic half-flying tourbillon. Overall the layouts are well conceived and phenomenally well finished.
To power the UFO-Tourbillon and UFO-Regulator Donald has devised two complicated movements. Both Calibers comprise 24 jewels and are manual winding. Every component of these mechanisms is entirely assembled, decorated and polished by hand. The level of craftsmanship is superlative and testament to the enormous skills of this atelier. Functionally the watches features hours, minutes, half-flying tourbillon (on the UFO-Tourbillon) and hours, minutes, seconds (on the UFO-Regulator).
These exquisite timepieces are incredibly exclusive and made to order. They are also equipped with leather straps and bead blasted titanium buckles. Priced at CHF 18,000 ($20,025) UFO-Regulator and UFO-Tourbillon CHF 38,000 ($42,256).