As a bit of an automotive enthusiast, rust terrifies me. It is the cancer of all mechanical art. One which we seek desperately to avoid. To see it celebrated openly seems simultaneously beautiful and sacrilegious. If any niche could pull off the celebration mechanics and rust, it would be independent watchmakers. Ochs Und Junior are a very small Swiss family independent who seek to create watches from only essential componentry: modern, minimalist haute horology. That philosophy shines through even if the finish may be a bit polarizing.
The concept of celebrating a minimal amount of moving parts stands totally opposite to the rest of Switzerland. This is Lange’s antithesis. An annual calendar complication need only be adjusted in February, capable of tracking months with 30 or 31 days. The outside ring indicates the day of the month, the top subdial indicates the the month, and the lower subdial indicates day of the week. This is accomplished with a base ETA 2824 and six additional components. That is precision engineering. I’m paraphrasing, but Steve Jobs used to say that busy design is easy. Clean and minimal is difficult. Watchmaking as a whole hasn’t really been in line with that philosophy. I wouldn’t be surprised if Ochs Und Junior start something of a ‘movement’ (you can shoot me now for that pun, I deserve it).
I don’t really know how to describe the condition of this piece. It’s already clearly fucked, but intentionally so. The dial is rust-treated and was custom ordered as such. The process is ongoing and patina will continue to develop. The same can be said of its sterling silver case, which has already begun to tarnish lightly. The whole package is offset by a matched strap. Ochs Und Junior don’t do boxes or papers, so you trust the retailer. That’s something you can do in this case, as S. Song is very, very well-regarded.
Find this Annual Calendar here from Ochs Und Junior for 11000 USD.