Ochs & Junior Dial It Back With Pure Settimana Raw

Designing a simple watch is a great deal more difficult than designing a complicated one. Give it a try – sketch out a basic three-hander and see how you get on. With this level of simplicity every single choice you make matters. Just take the length and shape of the hands, where they intersect with the minute track – even whether or not you’ll have a minute track at all. Not as easy as it looks.

Now imagine you’re going to strip back your watch design even further. No numerals. No date window. But there’s a twist – you need to come up with a way to show the days of the week without showing the days of the week.

In the words of the meme: I’ll wait.

This is just what polymath and designer Ludwig Oechslin has done with the pure settimana raw. As the name suggests, it’s a watch that will tell you what day it is as well as the time. But it does it in a way that reflects the cyclical nature of the week we’re all so familiar with – no matter what you do, sooner or later it’s Monday morning again. Or, if you’re less of a cynic, Friday afternoon.

Herr Oechslin has form in this area – all the watches he’s designed have this spartan, stripped-back approach. And it’s not just limited to design; it extends to the mechanics of watchmaking too. He believes that there’s no need for all that tomfoolery with levers and cams. Why on earth do that stuff when cogs and epicyclic gears will do a better, more reliable, more direct and simpler job? One gets the sense that Breguet would definitely approve.

This means that rather than having to create a movement from scratch or add complicated modules, Ochs und Junior can take a traditionally basic engine and simply adapt it. So, for example, the pure settimana raw uses a Sellita SW 200-1 but with the addition of that day-of-the-week feature.

The stripped back idea persists with the brass dial. Rather than faff about with printing and finishing, it comes straight out of the CNC machine that produces it and gets a nickel coating before being fitted to the watch. The stand-out hands are rounded batons but still luminous thanks to a black SuperLuminova coating – including the second hand and the day of the week dot. 

The case follows the whole plain-and-simple suit. O&J are keen on titanium as a case material, so the settimana comes in a choice of 36mm or 40mm unadorned grade 5 titanium. It’s the same stuff you’ll find on jet aircraft and in oil and gas pipelines. The strap, as on earlier settimane, is plain fabric but this time in a rather appropriate black.

Your new settimani will arrive after around 4 weeks in its own leather pouch, handmade by designer Sabina Brägger who also produces those straps. You can, if you like, choose other colours too.

Should you buy one?  There are few opportunities indeed to get your hands on something truly different in Watchworld – there’s so much derivative stuff out there. This is a watch that’s not just different for different’s sake, it’s a beautifully conceived, designed and executed example of serious form-and-function watchmaking. The design thinking extends – unusually – to the movement as well. It’s a yes from us. Ochs & Junior

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Mark developed a passion for watches at a young age. At 9, he was gifted an Omega Time Computer manual from a local watch maker and he finagled Rolex brochures from a local dealer. Today, residing in the Oxfordshire village of Bampton, Mark brings his technical expertise and robust watch knowledge to worn&wound.
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