CIGA Design may be a young brand, but it is making strides in the horological scene with its quirky and unusual offerings. Their latest concept may be the craziest one just yet.
CIGA Design Magician
Following the wild success of the Blue Planet, which was awarded the Challenge Watch Prize Winner of the 2021 Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève, CIGA Design had gone ahead further with a new concept: Magician.
The Magician aims to break the mould, with a timepiece that features three interchangeable cases. This allows the user to effectively have three watches with the price of one, and also enables owners to change the style of their timepiece to suit their taste and fashion style as and when it is needed. The idea is certainly novel on paper.
Case, Dial and Hands
The base of the timepiece features the module which holds the movement and dial. Circular in nature, the base module features an avantgarde design that matches the contemporary cues of the Magician.
The key highlight here is the interchangeable case. In the package, the Magician is offered with three different case options: Round, Square, and Tonneau. This allows the user to switch the look of the timepiece, just by introducing a new case to the base module. This can be done rather easily and intuitively, as the module features a mechanism that is not dissimilar to the quick strap change system that has been employed by various watch brands. In the case of the Magician, this is achieved by a pair of spring-loaded buttons.
The three cases do significantly change the look of the timepiece. Our personal favourite is the tonneau case, as it features an angular design, with recessed cut-outs, that looks rather cool. If we have a small qualm, that would be the size of the cases – it ranges from 44mm to 46mm, which wears a little too large on some of our wrists.
Moving on, CIGA Design had opted for a skeleton dial to fit the cutting-edge nature of the watch. According to the brand, the skeleton dial is used to evoke the three-dimensional impression, with the movement appearing to be suspended in air as well. The base module also features a minute track on the peripheral, to allow the owner to read the time a little more accurately. Overall, we feel that the design of the dial was executed pretty nicely, although legibility is perhaps not the best when it comes to telling the time.
Complementing the movement is a pair of skeleton hands, which are filled with luminescence to tell time in the dark. In the middle, the watch also features a rotating gear which completes a revolution once every 60 seconds. The centre gear also features a skeleton design, and it is filled with luminescence material as well.
We understand that the watch is powered by the brand’s self-developed CD-03. The watch is available in both manual-winding and self-winding variants, in which the latter was sent to us for this particular review.
The time-only movement has an autonomy of around 40 hours, which is fairly decent. Finishing-wise, the movement is what one expects at this price range. However, special mention must be made on the front side of the CD-03, which features a cross-motif and a frosted bronze base plate. Otherwise, it is pretty industrial, which is acceptable for a three-figure timepiece.
The CIGA Design Magician is priced at S$865. It is undoubtedly a cool watch, and a great timepiece for someone who wants something dynamic and fun.
In this space, there is only so far one brand – to the best of our knowledge – that features interchangeable cases: Hegid. Hegid’s version is much more conservative, featuring designs that are more familiar looking. However, the key difference here is the price point; the Hegid retails at €3,650 (approximately S$5,200). This is markedly higher than the Magician, although the French counterpart edges a little in terms of refinement.
There is something refreshing about CIGA Design and their watches. The Magician is certainly a very cool watch, with a pretty novel concept. We do expect more manufacturers and micro-brands to latch on this idea, and we are pretty eager to see how the rest will execute this idea.
The Magician certainly offers an interesting value proposition, considering that one effectively gets to own three watches, at the price of a single timepiece. The only two drawbacks are that it is a little large dimensionally-speaking, and that the design may not be everyone’s cup of tea. But hey, these things are subjective, and we are certain that CIGA Design will leverage on their know-hows to expand this collection to cater to a larger scope of collectors.