With a beautifully arranged dial, and featuring perfect proportions throughout, the Ophion OPH 786 Vélos Radial Anthracite edition has excellent dress watch credentials, but with a contemporary twist. An edition which showcases the design finesse and meticulous attention to detail for which this youthful independent watchmaking company are renowned, the model has been crafted using a blend of modern manufacturing methods and traditional watchmaking skills.
Founded in Madrid in 2015, Ophion are relative newcomers to the watchmaking landscape, yet they have already carved a new niche for themselves and have caught the attention of connoisseurs of horology throughout the world. By offering a contemporary prospective on how to achieve the finishing aesthetic one would expect to find at the upper echelon of the watchmaking scale, the company has engendered a collection of superb timepieces which are brimming with fine detailing and retro styling cues. Not limited to its impressive dial arrangement, the Ophion OPH 786 Vélos Radial Anthracite model is powered by a custom Swiss mechanical movement boasting a resolutely vintage pocketwatch character.
The watch carries a stainless steel case sized at 39mm across and 10.4mm high. Evoking the form of a gently rounded pebble, it has been given a polished finish which showcases its contours and its curvaceous tear drop lugs, which have been individually placed into position. Expertly manufactured by independent legend Kari Voutilainen’s Cattin company, the case is beautifully constructed and as a final flourish, is set with a flattened and fluted crown.
Beneath the gently domed sapphire crystal which features anti-reflective coating on both sides, a galvanised and circular brushed dial in a wonderfully muted anthracite tone lends instant refinement to the façade. Complementing the dial décor, are individually applied rhodiumised arabic numerals in the Breguet style, while an applied minute track and inner dial ring add a sense of depth to the display. From the centre, the trio of nickel plated hands are exquisite. Featuring a petite hammer tip, the slender seconds hand is elongated and it is paired with an equally refined minutes hand. Joining them, the sleek, open-worked form of the hour hand is not simply delightful, it also gives the collection its name - Vélos, the Classical Greek name for arrow.
Viewable through a sapphire caseback, the manual winding movement which has been manufactured by MHVJ and Soprod in Switzerland has a unique architecture. Disassembled in the Ophion atelier, the base calibre has been transformed, replacing the original main plate with custom made bridges. Reminiscent of the finishing found on fine old pocket watch movements, the bridges have surfaces which are finished by hand with a hammered effect, providing contrast to the machine polished chamfering around their edges. The pared back bridge design reveals the balance wheel which oscillates at a brisk 28,800 vib/h (4hz), and the two barrels, which deliver an impressive five day (120 hour) power reserve.
An excellent proposition from an exciting and evolving independent watchmaking company, the Ophion OPH 786 Vélos Radial Anthracite watch is presented on a brown leather strap and secured with a steel pin buckle.