Ochs und Junior watches, conceived by the lateral-thinking watch designer Ludwig Oechslin, draw their effect from the intelligent, elegant simplification of both mechanics and design.
Ochs und Junior has inaugurated a new head office and centre of operations at 49, Zürichstrasse, Lucerne: the retail concept represents a departure from the norm as practised by other watch brands, and is the first to be launched.
This is the place to discover – over the finest espresso in Lucerne – custom-built watches featuring a host of innovative functions, including the world‘s mathematically most precise moon phase indicator and an annual calendar indicator based on just three components. The showroom also sells a range of other items that the makers of Ochs und Junior consider to be complementary to their timepieces.
Ulysse Nardin came on board in April 2012 and is now a participant in the Ochs und Junior venture. This closes a creative circle: Ludwig Oechslin has designed a number of speciality watches for the prestigious Le Locle-based watchmaking company in the past. The strategic partnership also means that Ochs und Junior can build its concepts around the recently launched Ulysse Nardin calibre UN-118 self-winding mechanical movement.
The new showroom
On busy Zürichstrasse, surrounded by excellent restaurants, architecture practices, advertising agencies and furnishing stores, Ochs und Junior has opened a unique venue – a first for the watch industry. This is the pulsing heart of the Ochs und Junior story, where new concepts are developed, launched, retailed and enjoyed.
Visitors will not fail to notice the furnishings, which include a four-metre-long table and a vintage Florence Knoll sofa suite. Fortified by a coffee from the restored 1960 Gaggia espresso maker, they are invited by Managing Director Beat Weinmann to discover and understand Ludwig Oechslin‘s innovative mechanisms and try their hand at assembling a watch using original components. Simple white display windows thrust the Ochs und Junior products into the limelight. They can be bought on the spot. Alternatively, the prospective purchaser can assemble his or her personalised Ochs und Junior, consisting of a combination of functions, dial colours, hand/index colours, strap colours and case materials; the finished watch is then shipped within 6 to 12 weeks.
Also available at the showroom are personal favorites of the Ochs und Junior staff, including German-made Ilmia sneakers, logo-free Indiana skateboards, Wald-Haus and Christian Deuber lamps, Nina van Rooijen leather shopping bags, and freshly ground Black & Blaze coffee.
The 180 square-metre venue is also home to Bea Weinmann‘s photography studio. She creates the images of Ochs und Junior watches for publicity and the website. The Lucerne showroom is thus a key component of the Ochs und Junior venture. With a concept based on small batch production, it offers innovation, pro- duction, communication, distribution and service from a single source. Transparency and personal contact are cornerstones of the company, both in the showroom and via the internet.
Ochs und Junior retails its watches directly to a small but growing niche of individualists; there are no middleman mark-ups. Soon to come on stream is a specially developed web shop. The showroom is also available for hire for events, workshops and photo shoots.
Tuesday to Friday 10h00 to 12h00 and 14h00 to 18h00
Saturday 09h00 to 16h00 or by agreement
Ludwig Oechslin creates clear design idioms for Ochs und Junior that require no logo. He develops useful, intelligent functions and thinks in terms of technical innovations. His credo is one of rigorous simplification. Here follows a rundown of the main Ochs und Junior functions:
The selene tinta features the most mathematically accurate moonphase indication ever found in a wristwatch. It would take 3478.27 years for the calculation of the moonphase to be out by one day!
Ludwig Oechslin realises his innovative display using just five components (and that includes the functional dial). Unlike conventional moonphase watches, the indication in the selene tinta is placed centre stage. The watch also features the novel Ochs und Junior date spiral – a function that indicates the date without resorting to lettering or numbering.
The moonphase and date functions are child‘s play to set.
Retail price of the Ochs und Junior selene tinta in titanium: CHF 8000 (inc. 8% VAT)
Retail price of the Ochs und Junior selene tinta in silver: CHF 10,000 (inc. 8% VAT)
Visit the Ochs und Junior website for details of this watch: www.ochsundjunior.ch/en/watches/tinta/ selene-tinta/index.htm
The anno‘s annual calendar function is nothing if not radical. Conventionally, an annual calendar in- dication requires around 40 components – Ludwig Oechslin has managed it with just three.
The rear of the dial forms an integral part of the mechanism. Machined into it are axes around which move new types of cogwheels for the calendar function. The date itself is indicated via an orange dot moving under spiral of perforations around the edge of the dial; this concept was first seen in the Ochs und Junior mese and selene.
An orange dot moving anticlockwise in the the circle of twelve perforations indicates the month, while another orange dot moving anticlockwise in the seven-aperture circle indicates the weekday. Reading the indications soon becomes second nature.
The Ochs und Junior anno cinquanta was launched in 2009. Its annual calendar indication is based on the same principle of perforations plus orange dot, and is powered by a Paul Gerber mechanical movement. The anno tinta has been pared down even further to bring it closer to Ludwig Oechslin‘s original prototype. There is no more radical function than this. The anno tinta will be launched separately in May.
The prices will be as follows:
Retail price of the Ochs und Junior anno tinta in titanium: CHF 8000 (inc. 8% VAT)
Retail price of the Ochs und Junior anno tinta in silver: CHF 10,000 (inc. 8% VAT)
Time and date: the two most-used functions in a wristwatch. A date display that is easy to read is conventionally achieved through the use of over-large numerals. Oechslin has come up with an more readable approach: an analogue interpretation of the date along the same lines as the time display. Arranged around the dial are 31 perforations forming a slight spiral. The orange indicator that travels beneath the perforations shows the date in a highly legible way, and it is thanks to its special shape that the 31st and 1st are indicated separately, even though their perforations are positioned one above the other. The ten-minute indices – whose lengths vary according to where they are in the spiral – help the eye navigate the perforations: reading the date becomes entirely intuitive, and from all angles.
Retail price of the Ochs und Junior mese tinta in titanium: CHF 6000 (inc. 8% VAT)
Retail price of the Ochs und Junior mese tinta in silver: CHF 8000 (inc. 8% VAT)
Visit the Ochs und Junior website for details of this watch: www.ochsundjunior.ch/en/watches/tinta/ mese-tinta/index.htm
due ore tinta
Two time zones at a glance – and just one pair of hands. All the user has to do is set the inner time ring to read the difference between the two time zones. What could be simpler?
Retail price of the Ochs und Junior due ore tinta in titanium: CHF 6000 (inc. 8% VAT)
Retail price of the Ochs und Junior due ore tinta in silver: CHF 8000 (inc. 8% VAT)
Visit the Ochs und Junior website for details of this watch: www.ochsundjunior.ch/en/watches/tinta/ due-ore-tinta/index.htm
The selene, anno, mese and due ore models can be personalised prior to purchase. Alongside titanium – widely regarded as, functionally, the optimal material for a watch – precious silver is also available as an alternative. Two case diameters are available – 39 and 42 mm – as are a choice of around 20 colours for the eco-tanned leather straps.
The dial colour can be made as individual as the wearer‘s face. It is available in any Pantone colour, or a hand-pa- tinated brass dial is also an option. Then there is the choice of hand and index colour, of which ten are available. The watches come in recycled board packaging, with the instructions hand-stamped on the side; optionally available is an eco-tanned leather pouch in the same colour as the strap.
The custom-built watch takes between six and twelve weeks to produce. www.ochsundjunior.ch/en/watches/tinta/ tinta/index.htm
Participation of Ulysse Nardin
Ulysse Nardin and Ochs und Junior have agreed on closer collaboration going forward. Ulysse Nardin has established a long-term strategic partnership with Ochs und Junior. The partnership strengthens cooperation between the two companies at a technical level, and with Ludwig Oechslin in view of his retirement as Director of the Musée International d’Horlogerie (MIH) in 2014.
As part of the agreement, the new Ulysse Nardin calibre UN-118 movement launched at Baselworld 2012 will be made available to Ochs und Junior.
www.ulysse-nardin.com | www.ulysse-nardin.ch/en/swiss_watch_ma- nufacturer/News___Events/News/Marine_Chrono- meter_Manufacture.html
Ochs und Junior
Ochs und Junior was founded in 2006 by Ludwig Oechslin, Beat Weinmann and Lucerne-based watch retailer Embassy. The innovative venture based its business model on ultra-short production runs manufacturing watches for sale direct to the public, with no middleman margins.
Until the company‘s online webshop comes on stream, the new retail showroom on Lucerne‘s Zuerichstrasse is the only place where these watches are available.
Everything Ochs und Junior produces is sold and shipped worldwide. Ochs und Junior stands for exclusivity, as represented by its one-and-only retail location.
Ludwig Oechslin develops timepieces offering ad- vanced functional benefits. His clear designs communicate a distinctive identity. The timepieces require no logo on the dial. Instead, the Ochs und Junior logo is literally branded onto the back of the eco-tanned strap – a sign of the company‘s unconventional nature.
Responsible for the company‘s concept and marketing is Lucerne watch expert Beat Weinmann. He was appointed Managing Director of Ochs und Junior AG on April 1, 2012 and is a partner in the company alongside Ludwig Oechslin, Kora Imesch Oechslin and Ulysse Nardin.
Ludwig Oechslin is the Swiss watch industry‘s lateral thinker. As a doctor in theoretical physics, a qualified astronomer and mathematician and an expert in classical and ancient studies, he utilises his extensive training and experience to produce innovative wristwatches, adopting an approach that is at variance with the general thrust of Switzerland‘s watchmaking industry: he likes to keep things simple. Generally speaking, for a watch to be thought highly of, it usually has to be complex and incorporate as many additional complications and components as can fit into a tiny space.
Oechslin, by contrast, has other interests and priorities. A challenging remit prompts him to create a solution that is ingeniously simple and uses fewer components than seems possible. His annual calendar, for instance, is composed of just three parts; a conventional approach would generally require up to around 40. His moonphase indication – which is over three times more accurate, mathematically speaking, than any other similar indication – consists of just five components including the dial. Complications in mechanical wristwatches such as calendars conventionally incorporate levers and springs. Oechslin‘s studies of astronomical devices, and his restoration and documentation of the Farnese astronomical clock in the Vatican between 1978 and 1982, taught him that gears are a better solution for a wristwatch; he now bases his designs on that insight. His novel combinations of cogwheels and epicyclic (planetary) gearing are so straightforward that they can be manufactured by any competent engineering workshop, and offer excellent operational reliability. Ludwig Oechslin is responsible for all of Ochs und Junior‘s technical innovations and functional designs.
This Lucerne watch expert was a founder of Ochs und Junior alongside Ludwig Oechslin and watch retailer Embassy. Beat Weinmann worked for Embassy in Lucerne for 16 years and was involved with Ludwig Oechslin in launching the MIH watch.
Since spring 2012 he is the Managing Director of Ochs und Junior, in which he also has a share. He also heads the company‘s production activities, develops its communication and retail concepts and advises Ludwig Oechslin on market trends.
The components for the Ochs und Junior watches are manufactured in small batches by Hinwil-based precision toolmaking specialist Peter Cantieni. The company‘s philosophy is not to polish away the traces of the machining process on the titanium and silver cases and buckles: it is proud of the workmanship achieved. It also underscores the company‘s transparency. This is an entirely new philosophy in wristwatches. The tinta collection and settimana junior are powered by the proven ETA calibre 2824 self-winding movement.
The tinta models are assembled by master watchmaker Marion Müller in her workshop at Kappel am Albis, Switzerland.
Ochs und Junior AG