Introducing the Laine 1817

Hand-engraved for under US$5,000.

Finnish watchmaker Torsti Laine, who last year introduced the finely finished Classic Chronograph, has just announced his second act: the eminently affordable Laine 1817.

A hand-wound, time-only wristwatch with an elaborately decorated movement based on the Unitas 6498, the Laine 1817 is inspired by early 19th century pocket watches. Ironically many of these pocket watches were English rather than Swiss, but most shared a similar style that’s been reinterpreted for the movement of Laine 1817.

Laine 1817 watch 3

Based on the Unitas 6498, the movement contains many of the decoration techniques typically found on pricier watches. The barrel bridge is hand-engraved the fleurisanne style, a flowery, relief technique named after the Swiss town of Fleurier where it originated. Fine finishing is also evident on the polished countersinks for screws and jewels, polished bevels for the three-quarter plate, as well as black polished screw heads.

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The only obvious giveaway that it’s a Unitas underneath the decoration is the smooth, three-spoke balance wheel and accompanying Etachron stud carrier and regulating pins.

Fitted with sapphire crystals front and back, the steel case is 41mm in diameter and 12.2mm high, in a style typical of generic cases made for the Unitas movement.

Laine 1817 watch 1

Each watch is made to order, with several options available. Dials are either black or white lacquer, with several choices for hands, including Breguet and dauphine. And the movements can be finished with plating in either yellow or red gold, or rhodium. The series is limited to 10 watches in each colour of movement finish.

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Price and availability 

The Laine 1817 is available direct from Laine Watches, priced at €3900 or SFr4170 before taxes.


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