Introducing the Ophion OPH 786 Vélos

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Ophion, a small brand based in Spain, has announced the latest version of their OPH 786, dubbed the OPH 786 Vélos. Ophion makes watches in a somewhat ornate, classic style reminiscent of pocket watches, and they use modern manufacturing to mimic the look of traditional hand finishing. Ophion is very transparent about their processes, the sourcing of components (they’ve partnered with some excellent firms), and why they exist in the first place. Regardless, the resulting watches are full of charm and don’t look like anything else currently on the market at the price point. We’re big fans of the brand here on Worn & Wound, with our coverage starting way back in 2015 when they kicked off with their 960 model, a stunning dress watch boasting a killer movement, excellent finishing, and an aggressive price point. Let’s take a look at Ophion’s latest.


Ophion 786 Vélos

  • Case Material: Stainless steel 
  • Dial: Blue, silver, or salmon (with guilloche); blue or anthracite (with radial brushing)
  • Dimensions: 39mm wide x 10.5mm tall x 46.7mm lug-to-lug
  • Crystal: Domed sapphire crystal with exterior ARDUR scratch-resistant, anti-reflective coating and interior anti-reflective coating 
  • Crown: Push/pull
  • Movement: Soprod (originally Technotime) hand-wound with 5-day power reserve made in collaboration with MHVJ
  • Strap/bracelet: Leather  
  • Price: 2,580-2,870 Euros (depending on variant)
  • Availability/Expected Release: Open for pre-order/expected delivery December 2019/January 2020

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The OPH 786 Vélos is available in a total of five dial variants, all of which are constructed in multiple levels and feature diamond polished, applied Arabic numerals in a Breguet-like font. Depending on your own individual taste, you can choose a dial with modern and sleek radial brushing in anthracite or blue, or more traditional guilloche patterns in blue, salmon, or silver.

The guilloche effect is achieved with a CNC machine, not a rose engine, a cost saving measure and a strong alternative to the much cheaper stamped guilloche effect usually seen at this price point. For me, the guilloche patterns are the more interesting look, and I think pair well with the Vélos case, which features prominent teardrop lugs that give it a touch of vintage formality we don’t often see in the enthusiast-driven segment. While not as explicitly inspired by the Breguet Classique as previous Ophion efforts, it’s still very much in the same ballpark, at least in terms of visual impact.

The Vélos features a new, ornate case with individually welded teardrop lugs.

Ophion has paid particular attention to the handset of the Vélos, and indeed “velos” is the Greek word for arrow, the inspiration for the skeletonized, oversized, concave hour hand. All of the hands in the series have been finished in rhodium or have been heat blued, depending on the dial variant chosen .

Ophion is able to achieve such high-end quality because they’ve partnered with some serious manufacturing firms. If the case reminds you of a Voutilainen, that’s because it’s produced in collaboration with  Voutilainen-Cattin S.A. in Switzerland. The dials are made by CADOR GmbH in Germany, the hands by Estima AG in Switzerland, and then, of course, there’s the movement. Powering the watch is a five-day, hand-wound Soprod caliber (originally Technotime) made in collaboration with Manufacture Horlogère du Vallée de Joux, or MHVJ.

Unlike a lot of brands, both large and small, Ophion is upfront about what is and is not completed by hand when it comes to movement and dial finishing, and make no bones about the fact that rather than sparing no expense to do everything the old fashioned way, they’ve used modern manufacturing techniques to get a particular look at a competitive price point. The polished chamfers, for example, are made with the assistance of a machine, but the beautiful finish on the bridges is hammered by hand. Brushed and sandblasted finishes contrast surprisingly well with the more formal work on the bridges, and the whole thing comes together nicely. Ophion’s goal here was to emulate the style of finely finished pocket watch movements, and that is certainly the impression one gets when viewing the Vélos from behind.

Starting at 2,580 Euros for the radial dials (the guilloche dials are 2,870 Euros), the Vélos is not inexpensive, but it also doesn’t have a lot of competition. Watches in this style with traditional finishing done completely by hand will easily set you back five figures. Ophion has teamed up with excellent partners and employed smart manufacturing here in the service of delivering a watch that’s luxurious through and through, aesthetically pleasing, and well made, just in a different way for a different clientele. If past releases are any sort of indicator, then the new Vélos series is sure to impress in the metal, and we look forward to seeing them in the future. Ophion

Zach is a native of New Hampshire, and he has been interested in watches since the age of 13, when he walked into Macy’s and bought a gaudy, quartz, two-tone Citizen chronograph with his hard earned Bar Mitzvah money. It was lost in a move years ago, but he continues to hunt for a similar piece on eBay. Zach loves a wide variety of watches, but leans toward classic designs and proportions that have stood the test of time. He is currently obsessed with Grand Seiko.
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