Saint-Imier-based watchmaker, Zeitwinkel, introduced their first new watch in many years, this month.
In a mature industry, with too many brands to count, across every price point — the competition for the market share is fierce. Watch brands disappear quite often. Even amongst groups that own multiple watch brands, there’s significant cannibalization.
Naturally, when a brand goes under or temporarily shuts down, the physical and IP assets still exist, and sometimes the same or new ownership resurrects or restarts the brand when market conditions improve.
Zeitwinkel, who we’ve seen nothing new from in years — and may have halted operations — or at least creation of new timepiece designs, has come out with a new version of their skeletonized watch that features a sapphire dial.
Introducing the 273° Saphir Bleu. Offering in a 42.5 mm x 13.8 mm stainless steel case, the design is similar to the 273° Saphir Fumé, which debuted in 2015. In fact, it’s virtually the same watch, with the same in-house caliber ZW0103 manufactured movement which displays hours, minutes, small seconds, power reserve indicator, and a patented large-date display. The dial is exactly the same as before, with faceted diamond-cut faceted dagger-shaped indices, hand-applied to a sapphire dial that reveals the mainplate of the movement beneath. The lance-shaped hands are faceted and polished, the same as before. Really, everything is identical to the model from 2015, except they’ve changed the smoked gray sapphire crystal dial to a smoked blue color.
The Zeitwinkel co-founder, Peter Nikolaus, says “The process which allows us to achieve this special blue color and the LIGA process we use to apply indices and other dial components are very time-consuming. We can only make very few of these special dials every year, which subsequently limits the number of watches we can manufacture.”
With the 273° Saphir Bleu, you get a new blue sapphire dial, a manufacture movement with a respectable 72-hour power reserve, premium German silver mainplate and bridges, and upscale finishing. Ultimately, though, a sum of $15,500 — especially for a brand that may, or may not have, been in operation the past five years — is a considerable amount.
Photo by Zeitwinkel.