This is the Ochs and Junior Anno, a timepiece which is complicated yet suprisingly uncomplicated.
In an industry obsessed with the complicated, Ochs and Junior focus on the uncomplex. In an industry preoccupied with boast-worthy numbers of components, Ochs and Junior are fascinated with reducing modules to their bare-bones minimum. In an industry characterised with snazzy boutiques, the shopping experience and global marketing, Ochs and Junior create timepieces which are almost bereft of branding and which are only available from their HQ or from their own website. This is a very unique business model, and these are very unique watches.
At the heart of the company are founders Ludwig Oechslin and Beat Weinmann, and of course their small team of highly talented individuals. Add to this a few carefully chosen and mostly small-scale suppliers and you have a watch business which is able to closely maintain it's production, it's quality and it's relationship with it's customers - past, present and future.
The Annual Calendar is a function which is capable of recognising the variations of each month with the exception of February and is one which will therefore only need adjustment once per year. In watchmaking, as with many disciplines it is much more of a challenge to simplify a mechanism that to make it more complex. Ludwig Oechslin’s module uses a simplified mechanism comprising only 3 moving parts, a mere 5 in total, compared to other annual calendar modules which number up to 40 individual components.
The Ochs and Junior Anno indicates the date, month and day using dot displays. On the inner dial, 31 date perforations curl playfully - but precisely - forming a subtle spiral. They form an alliance with the indices to aid readability. At the upper dial centre, are 12 perforations for the month display and on the lower, seven for the days of the week. Nothing detracts from the organised dial arrangement - there is no branding, the hour markers are diminutive and the hands take perfectly straight, no-nonsense forms.
The monoblock case is available in two sizes, 39mm and 42mm and is made from titanium, unpolished to display its icy raw-ness. Only a suprisingly generous and squared buckle opposes the overall roundness of this superb timepiece. Inside is a modified ETA 2824-2 calibre, chosen for its work-horse reliability - after all, the purpose of skinnying components to a minimum is not a pretentious exercise, but rather one which aims to preserve the longevity of each timepiece - simplification will ensure less wear and tear.
Not familiar with Ochs and Junior? Take time to get acquainted - the brand have a refreshingly friendly website detailing their history and an outline of the individuals involved - and some charming insights into to "Ochsen-world", put the kettle on and enjoy it here .