While historically a movement and components supplier, Schwarz Etienne has produced timepieces under its own name for some years now. Some of its watches feature original designs with a touch of traditional watchmaking, an example being the recent collaboration with independent watchmaker Voutilainen.
Now, it is continuing the collaborative design approach in its latest release, the Geometry. Unveiled as a limited edition in two colourways, this collection showcases a dial penned by Eric Giroud, the designer best known for his work for contemporary brands like MB&F. Described as “deconstructed”, his dial design takes inspiration from the branch of mathematics that’s all about precise alignment and arrangement of lines to form shapes.
In recent years, a growing number of watch brands, including Louis Erard and Bulgari, have embraced geometric dial designs to produce some standouts in their collections. As evident in its latest creation, Schwarz Etienne also aligns with this trend.
What sets the Geometry apart is the combination of traditional decoration with modernist style in its contrasting utilisation of fluted lines and clous de Paris patterns. Between the two iterations, the silver dial is particularly captivating. The subtle contrast between the textures and colours are simultaneously cohesive and balanced, creating something pleasing and elegant out of what could be a very busy dial.
With a price tag of US$23,490, the Geometry is expensive in comparison to the brand’s time-only models, which have the same movement but with fewer embellishments on the dial. The comparison is true against even similar watches from other brands. Given that the dial appears to be done by automated CNC engraving (and even though the dial disc is solid gold), the price can’t be justified by artisanal work, so it isn’t a value proposition.
Mr Giroud’s design draws inspiration from geometry, a branch of mathematics primarily focused on the characteristics of space. However, he takes a unique approach by “deconstructing” the design through playful experimentation with the arrangement of diverse geometric shapes.
The Geometry makes its debut in two dial options: silver with a dark blue small seconds dial and “salmon” with an anthracite seconds display. Both dials are a disc of solid, 18k gold.
The dial is divided into four sections, each showcasing a unique guilloché pattern including fluting, azuré, and clous de Paris, while the minute track and seconds dial are sandblasted. The dial is further complemented with lance-shaped hands made of rhodium-treated brass.
The Geometry has a polished steel case measuring 39 mm in diameter and a height of 11 mm. It is powered by the ASE 200.002, an in-house automatic calibre developed by the brand featuring a micro-rotor that offers an impressive 86-hour power reserve.
Key facts and price
Schwarz Etienne Geometry
Ref. WRO23MA14SSVEBCLT (silver)
Ref. WRO23MA08SSVEBCLTD (salmon)
Diameter: 39 mm
Height: 11 mm
Water resistance: 50 m
Movement: ASE 200.02
Functions: Hours, minutes, and small seconds
Frequency: 21,600 beats per hour (3 Hz)
Power reserve: 86 hours
Strap: Leather strap with folding buckle
Limited edition: 100 pieces of each dial
Availability: From Schwarz Etienne retailers
For more information, visit Schwartz-etienne.ch.
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