An exceptional piece from youthful independent watchmaking company Zeitwinkel, the 273° Black watch demonstrates their design acumen and mechanical deftness. Exhibiting remarkable craftsmanship throughout, the piece is defined by the understated beauty of its dial, and the desirability of the model is enhanced by its superb in-house automatic mechanical movement, which is finished to the meticulous standards for which Zeitwinkel watches are renowned.
From their founding in 2006, Zeitwinkel have always stood apart from other small series watch manufacturers. The brainchild and passion of a group of friends, the company have creativity and authenticity engrained within their DNA, so much so, that even their typeface has been designed in-house. With a portfolio brimming with superb timepieces, each characterised by clean styling, meticulously decorated in-house calibres and uncompromising attention to the minutiae, the company have earned a cult following around the world. The company’s name translates from German to English as “time angle” and every Zeitwinkel timepiece is hand assembled, often by a single watchmaker, at their Saint-Imier manufactory. The 273° Black model is an exceptional piece from this exciting independent watchmaking marque.
The watch is housed within an elegant yet contemporary rounded stainless steel case, sized at 42.5mm across, with a height of 13.8mm. It features contrasting finishes, with a high polish on its perimeter elements and matte on the recesses within its middle and lugs. Overall, the styling of the casing is classically simple, yet it is in fact a highly complex construction with more than 80 stages involved in the production of every example, after which each of the 26 individual components which make up the design are assembled, primarily by hand. The crown carries satisfying proportions, and for ease of use, it has been engraved with twelve deep grooves.
Boasting a stunning dial aesthetic with a black galvanised finish, the façade of the watch has splendid equipoise. At the top left sector, the double aperture large date is set deep into the surface. Accompanying it, and neatly recessed between the one and two o’clock, the arc-shaped power reserve display is indicated by a slender hand, while at the six o’clock location a small seconds dial takes up position. Stretching along the shapely form of the hour and minutes hands are 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 for the wearer. 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.
A caseback sapphire crystal showcases Zeitwinkel’s excellent in-house ZW0103 movement. Equipped with an open-worked micro rotor, one can have the pleasure of an almost uninterrupted view. 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 company hold a patent for the technology used in the large date mechanism of this calibre. Beating at 28’800 vib/hr, the movement achieves a generous 72 hour reserve of power.
A superb timepiece, which exemplifies the inimitable style of this independent watchmaking company, the Zeitwinkel 273° Black comes presented on a hand-sewn, responsibly sourced calfskin leather strap secured to the wrist with a stainless steel folding clasp.