Home / Reviews / ZEITWINKEL 273º SAPHIR BLEU


Exhibiting outstanding attention to detail and design finesse throughout, the 273° Saphir Bleu watch by Zeitwinkel is a remarkable timepiece. Featuring a sapphire dial in a stunning shade of blue, the piece showcases a dial side view of its mechanisms, including the company’s patented large date indication. Renowned for their high quality craftsmanship and meticulous finishing, this watch is a superb demonstration of the watchmaking acumen of this exciting, youthful independent company

With a name which translates from German to English as “time angle”, Zeitwinkel are a uniquely creative and authentic watchmaking company. Defined by their complex construction processes, clean styling and impressive attention to the minutiae, particularly when it comes to finishing techniques, every Zeitwinkel watch is meticulously assembled, often by a single watchmaker, at the company’s Saint-Imier manufactory. Founded in 2006, the company have a refreshingly transparent ethos when it comes to the business of making their timepieces, garnering them a cult following around the world. Originality is deeply engrained into their DNA, so much so, that even the typeface used on their watches is an in-house creation. This Saphir Bleu watch is an exceptional addition to the company’s flagship 273° collection.

The watch is presented in a rounded stainless steel case sized at 42.5mm across and resting 13.8mm high on the wrist. With matte finishes on the recesses within its middle and lugs, and high polishing elsewhere, the profile of the casing is enhanced.  Exhibiting purity of design, the case 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 satisfying proportions. Finished with a matte and polished outer, upon which the Zeitwinkel branding is represented in miniature, it serves as a reminder that no detail has been overlooked in the overall styling of this timepiece.

The dial of the 273° Saphir Bleu is crafted from transparent sapphire with an intense blue tint.  No less complex than the case, a 20 step manufacturing process is required for each dial. The result of this diligent craftsmanship is a surface which has an illusory character, depending on the viewing angle. With just a subtle wrist movement, it transforms in an instant, from transparency to opacity, and from deep blue to a brilliantly vivid tone, all the while revealing the mechanisms of the movement and the mesmerising perlage decoration upon its plates. In a perfectly balanced layout, the dial carries a large date aperture on the top left sector, a small seconds counter at the six o’clock and a power reserve arc at the 2 o’clock position. Paying particular attention to achieving excellence in every tiny detail, the hour and minutes hands have been crafted to have two straight surfaces, each set at a perfect angle to one another. At any given moment only one side will reflect the light thus providing legibility to the wearer. Completing this distinctive dial arrangement, the indices and appliqués are achieved via a lithographic electroplating process.

The dial side view of the Zeitwinkel calibre ZW0103 movement is complemented by an equally impressive view through the sapphire crystal caseback. Allowing for stability and robustness, the calibre is constructed using the three-quarter plate discipline, and its plates and bridges are made from untreated German silver upon which immaculate chamfering and decorative techniques have been applied, despite the added difficulty of achieving such finishes on this type of material when compared to brass. Beating at 28’800 vib/hr, the movement achieves a generous 72 hour reserve of power.

A superb timepiece with a compelling dial aspect, the Zeitwinkel 273° Saphir Bleu comes presented on a hand-sewn calfskin leather strap secured to the wrist with a stainless steel folding clasp.


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