Schofield Watch Company Unveils the Obscura

Giles Ellis of U.K. based Schofield Watch Company had been working on what they are calling Obscura for 7 years. Just like some science fiction movies live in their creator’s imagination, until one day, the technology to bring them to life comes into existence. This new watch could only ever be made now, with the team and the combined experience they have accumulated over the past 15 years. As its name implies, it is obscure, subtly so and it is much more than the sum of its parts. The details reveal its full story.

Shall we address the elephant in the room? The case is made of Damascus steel, and if you have watched enough Forged in Fire, you might have a rudimentary understanding of how this steel is formed. However, this is not your typical Damascus, as instead of ubiquitous waves of contrasting steels, the pattern resembles cellular scales. Schofield’s metalworking partner, Vegas Forge, achieves this by using enormous Nazel Hammers to smash the different steels together. The familiar Schofield case is then fully machined and finished in Sussex by acid etching the surface to bring out the texture.


The case back features three smoked out sapphire display portholes that slightly magnify the elements of the manually wound Unitas 6498-2 movement that lies beneath. There appear to be some type of hieroglyphs on one side and circles that display semaphore flag positions on the other. A few of the latter appear to look like Pacman. Intended or not, obscure they sure are.  The entire case back is DLC coated and then surface ground to provide contrast with the embossed design elements.

The dark grey multi-level rhodium-plated dial has a fine matt texture and is one of the most colorful SuperLuminova displays I’ve ever seen, though you would be hard pressed to tell with the lights on. In the dark, it truly comes alive with no less than 5 distinct colors and an unorthodox time presentation. Unlike the hour hand, the minute hand does not glow, but rather blocks out a portion of the glowing minute track to display the minutes. The second hand is located at 6 o’clock and unlike traditional hands that somewhat resemble a lollipop, this one looks exactly like one.

Water-resistant to 200m, the Obscura measures 44mm in diameter, with a thickness of 15mm and a lug-to-lug distance of 52,7mm. It comes on a 24/22mm cloud grey leather strap with matching buckle. It is an unnumbered limited series of only 40 pieces and the price is £7,965 excluding VAT and it is available now. Schofield Watch Company 

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Based in Montreal, Quebec, Marc has been an enthusiastic watch collector for well over three decades. Having witnessed and participated in the birth of the internet watch community, he has played a role on multiple watch forums and his articles have appeared on-line and in print since the late 1990s. Today his passion for all things horological is as pronounced as it has ever been, while he continues his never-ending search for watch next.