12. time-keeper

Portfolio - less, please!


March 2017

Portfolio - less, please!

he trend seems to be reversing.

Slim, simple and nano are the newest buzzwords. After a long decade when everything had to be bigger and better, we’re on the rebound, and less is definitely more. After an era of increasingly complexity, more complications, more functions, more displays, more components, XXL sizing, busy dials and inflated prices, the needle is swinging back towards a more elegant and understated style, with reduced sizes, a renewed taste for ultra-thin cases, and prices beating a hasty retreat. But there’s also a demand for lightness, refinement and technical simplification, and promising new research points the way to something people are calling “nano-horology”.

But, as we will see in the following pages, “less” can sometimes be more complex than “more”. Ludwig Oechslin, the master of simplification, puts it like this: “To make things simpler, you have to think harder.” Designing a “simple” three-hander that will stand out from the thousands already in existence can be far more difficult that stuffing a dial full of scales and counters. The same goes for slimness, lightness, and reducing the number of components, and equally for the avenues of research leading to nano-horology, such as the explorations of Greubel Forsey (and others who continue to work behind closed doors).