Ochs Und Junior is brand that is synonymous with both minimalism and functionality. Known for both its Annual Calendar and Moonphase pieces, Ochs Und Junior managed to simplify sophisticated complications yet again. This time, with the new Perpetual Calendar.
Ochs Und Junior Perpetual Calendar
Designed by Ludwig Oeschlin, it promises to be provocative. And it delivers. It does not look like any perpetual calendar in existence. It looks…perhaps too austere. Minimalist.
This is not the first perpetual calendar designed by Dr. Oeschlin, the first was the Perpetual Ludwig by Ulysse Nardin. It caused a sensation back in the day, because it was the first perpetual calendar where the user can adjust the date freely, back and forth through the leap years. Prior to this, adjusting a perpetual calendar’s date backwards was a big no-no, as it would frequently jam or break the levers within the mechanism, requiring a trip back to the manufacture to readjust and fix. But the Perpetual Ludwig could be adjusted at will with the crown back and forth. Subsequently there are other perpetual calendars which offer this flexibility. The most advanced to date, in our view is the Moser Perpetual 1, with its Flash Calendar.
The new Ochs und Junior Perpetual Calendar as seen in the picture, follows the brand’s philosophy of simple, clean, and yet functional design. At a casual glance, it looks like a regular watch, albeit with an ultra modern design. But hiding behind the facade is a perpetual calendar – a very classical complication.
How does it work?
The month and date are read off the dial itself. Well the date is displayed using the 31 holes that surround the minute markers. Note that the minute markers are only indicated at 10, 20, 30, 40, 50 and 0. Unlike most which mark every 5 minutes. This makes it easier for the eye to clue in on the date. In the picture above, its the 10th.
The month, on the other hand, is displayed using the four perforations that are fitted on a disc just above the pivots for the hands. The outermost dot moves in 12 discrete steps and points to the relevant month. In the picture, this is currently at 6, so its June. Interestingly, the same disc carry four perforations which act as a leap year indicator as well. When the outermost dot is orange, its a leap year. When its clear, its an ordinary year.
The watch is a perpetual calendar, so it accounts for the days of each month, including leap years for February automatically. But unlike Moser’s Flash Calendar, it drags through all the dates along the way. For eg, in an ordinary year, the Ochs und Junior Perpetual, the calendar will show Feb 28 and transition to 29, 30, 31 and finally 1 March. All these occur within about 2.5 hours, reaching 1 March at about 2:30am. For a leap year, it the same process from Feb 29. In the Moser Flash Calendar, it instantly jumps from 28 or 29 to 1. In both systems, the calendar jumps backwards going from 1 March to 28 or 29 Feb. This is useful when travelling, and going from East to West crossing midnight along the journey.
The exact minute is read using the date holes, which are spaced at 2 minute intervals. Holes mark even minutes and gaps odd minutes. A seconds disk with a milled eccentric dot is located just above the 6 o’clock marker. It is not possible to read the time to the exact second, as this only indicates the watch is running.
In addition, the power reserve is read off the small disc below 12 o’clock, when the dot is right, its full power. When its left, its low power.
The base movement is the Ulysse Nardin’s UN-118. This is a robust movement, and well tested in Ulysse Nardin’s Marine Chronometer. The movement runs a power reserve of approximately 60 hours. Interestingly, only 9 additional parts are added to achieve the perpetual calendar. Certainly a very minimalist approach. A hallmark of the Ochs und Junior. This approach also assures better reliability, as fewer components translate to fewer problems.
Finally, the 42mm watch is fitted with a Grade 5 Titanium case, and paired with a stunning grey patina dial. The hands are in platinum, with rhodium markers, and orange dots for date/month/leap year display. This piece is priced at CHF 20,240 (export price excluding VAT), and it can be paired with either a sturgeon/leather/suede/rubber strap. Please check out their website here for more information.
Ochs Und Junior Perpetual Calendar Technical Specification
- 42mm grade 5 titanium case with screw-down crown.
- Dial, date disk, month disk, leap year wheel, seconds disk, power reserve indicator in gray patina.
- Markers in rhodium.
- Hour and minute hands in brushed platinum PT950.
- Date and leap year dots in orange.
- Choice of strap – sturgeon, leather, suede, rubber.
Here are some videos from Ochs und Junior which explain how the timepiece is put together and how it works: