Exhibiting superb design, and excellent attention to detail throughout, the Zeitwinkel 181º Silver wristwatch demonstrates the distinctly modern styling and high quality craftsmanship which have earned this youthful independent watchmaking company a cult following throughout the world.
Zeitwinkel, whose name translates from German to English as “time angle” was founded in 2006 by a group of friends. Since then, they have engendered a sophisticated portfolio of timepieces, characterised by clean styling, beautifully decorated in-house calibres and uncompromising attention to detail. Every watch that leaves the company’s Saint-Imier manufactory is meticulously assembled and tested, often by a single watchmaker. From the beginning, Zeitwinkel have displayed refreshing creativity and authenticity and they value their autonomy so highly that even their typeface is a unique in-house design.
The Zeitwinkel 181º Silver comes presented in a rounded stainless steel case sized at 42.5mm across and resting 11.7mm high on the wrist. With matte finishes on the recesses within its middle and lugs, and high polishing elsewhere, its profile is enhanced. Exhibiting purity of design, the casing is in fact a highly complex construction. A multi-step process of more than 80 stages is required before the 26 individual components which make up its design are assembled, primarily by hand. The crown is grooved for ease of use and it carries unexpectedly satisfying proportions, elevating the overall styling of the case to that of classical elegance with a contemporary twist.
Beneath the gently convex sapphire crystal, the galvanised silver dial is understated and its indications carry perfect proportions. From the centre, and stretching along their shapely form, the hour and minutes hands have been endowed with two precisely straight surfaces, set at a perfect angle to one another. At any given moment, only one edge will reflect the light ensuring readability. On the lower dial, the generous off-centred small seconds dial has been decorated with fine guilloché snailing, and its petite hand has been enhanced with a blue finish. At three o’clock, the large date window is recessed within its aperture. Finishing this discreet dial layout, the appliqués on the perimeter are faceted, and are complemented by diminutive examples at every quarter mark on the seconds subdial.
Visible through the rear sapphire crystal caseback, the Zeitwinkel ZW0102 in-house calibre demands closer inspection. Allowing for stability and robustness it is constructed using the three-quarter plate discipline, and its plates and bridges are made from untreated German silver upon which immaculate chamfering and hand-decoration techniques have been applied, despite the added difficulty of achieving such finishes on this type of material when compared to brass. Notably, the soft patina of the silver lends itself wonderfully to the skilful finishing, and with the addition of an open-worked rotor, almost every nuance can be appreciated. Beating at 28’800 vib/hr, the movement achieves a generous 72 hour reserve of power.
A remarkable piece which underscores the pursuit for watchmaking excellence undertaken by this exciting independent watchmaking company, the Zeitwinkel 181º Silver wristwatch comes presented on an ethically sourced calfskin leather strap secured to the wrist with a stainless steel folding clasp.