Zeitwinkel is slowly establishing itself as a producer of fine quality watches. The unusual name refers to a unit of measurement used to calculate the “true local time”. This terminology relates to the way a sundial displays time and the seasonal variances. Currently the company’s headquarters are located in the picturesque location of St.-Imier (near La Chaux-de-Fonds) in Switzerland.
What initially intrigued me about Zeitwinkel was their low profile within the industry. Most brands I feature spend a lot of money on marketing campaigns and ambassadors. The two founders (Ivica Maksimovic and Peter Nikolaus) decided early on to grow the company organically by word of mouth. Effectively they wanted to be recognized for the quality of their watches. In my opinion the wonderful 273° is a great example of their talents.
Back in May I wrote an article entitled Baselword 2013 showcasing ten exceptional new watches. The exquisite 273° was featured in this editorial because of its understated charm. It also was one of the smallest models on the list. Dimensionally the timepiece measures a modest 42.5mm x 13.8mm. These proportions should appeal to wide audience and potentially the unisex market. I would also imagine this watch would be fairly comfortable to wear. Primarily this is down to the size of the piece and elegant shape of the 316L stainless steel case. Hopefully in the near future Zeitwinkel will produce a version of this watch in solid titanium.
The 273° is the company’s flagship model and in my opinion the best looking. Impressively Zeitwinkel have kept the layout of the dial minimalistic and as a result it is very effective. The stylish dial (black, blue or white) is composed of a small second counter, retrograde power reserve and bold day/date window. I love the simplicity of the design especially the delicate diamond shaped hands and indexes. The overall composition is incredibly refined and perfectly executed. This beautiful watch bridges the gap between classical and contemporary styling.
To power the watch Zeitwinkel have developed a sophisticated in house automatic mechanical movement. The Caliber ZW0103 comprises 49 jewels and oscillates at a frequency of 28,800 vibrations per hour. All the components are hand crafted including the German Silver Bridge and plates. This skillfully decorated mechanism is visible through the sapphire crystal case back. The 273° features hours, minutes, small seconds and a power reserve of 72-hours. It also has a quick date setting function and is water resistant to a depth of 50 metres.
The 273° comes with a choice of hand sewn calfskin leather, Louisiana alligator or black rubber straps. Priced for the discerning at: CHF 10,750 (approximately $11,950).