The Zurich-based watchmaker sets a new market standard by using coloured forged carbon bezels in its latest release, all for under 2,000 Swiss francs.
For the 26 years now that Emmanuel Dietrich has been in the watch industry, his goal has been straightforward: to create timepieces that are a living presence on the wrist.
When I think of “living” timepieces, the first brand that comes to mind is HYT, because it literally looks like there are life-giving substances flowing through the capillaries of their watches. Admittedly, Dietrich timepieces are not as mechanically advanced, but they definitely have a liveliness about them.
This is especially true with the new and improved O.Time collection, which now features new variations with forged carbon bezels, with or without colour infusions. Forged carbon is an alloy first developed for high performance cars, made of short carbon fibers and a special binding material. The result is a very light material that is basically resistant to everything.
To achieve the effect, a tiny part of the binding material is coloured and mixed with a neutral one, making a coloured mass appear randomly on the finished bezel in unique patterns. According to the nature of the process, it’s impossible to replicate the color patterns meaning each timepiece has a unique look.
For the O.Time 1, instead of using coloured binding material, the watchmaker mixes it with Superluminova, providing an extra pop of colour. The watch really comes to life at night thanks to this special glow into the dark effect, while readability is also improved.
On the inside we still have the relatively modest but very durable Miyota 82S7 movement. The automatic calibre has been modified to provide an open view of the escapement dial side. Skeletonized modifications are complemented by a the star-shaped second wheel on the dial without making the watch look cluttered.
The O. Time range also allows users to change straps in the blink of an eye without the use of any tools, making their look very customizable. For the most demanding customers, there’s even the offer to have the straps custom-designed.
I’m a big fan of the refreshed carbon look of the collection, not least because forged carbon is usually reserved for the high end luxury brands like Richard Mille and company. But here we have a collection that ranges between 1850 and 1950 Swiss francs, using a high tech material unique to its price range.
The collection definitely wears more luxuriously than it’s price would first suggest. The watch is even comfortable and very light on the wrist. So maybe it’s fitting that the brand’s website doesn’t end with the traditional “.com” address; it ends with “.luxury”