Recently I had a chance to preview one of the most intriguing objects that I have seen in quite a while; the Anura Rafael Write Time. I call it an object because the Write Time doesn’t quite fit into one category. An incredible display of craftsmanship, it’s a fountain pen that transforms into a watch, or a watch that transforms into a fountain pen, depending on your perspective. Semantics aside however, it is an utterly fascinating example of unbridled creativity and artistic expression combined with the technical know-how required to execute such an ambitious project.
The concept for the Write Time was born from the fertile mind of watchmaking engineer Anura Rafael, who has spent the last 15 or so years working behind-the-scenes contributing to numerous horological projects for some of the world’s best-known brands. With the launch of the Write Time he also launches his own eponymous brand, with the goal of focusing on the development and design of his own products, watches and movements.
Speaking of movements, you may have noticed already from the photos that the Write Time is equipped with quite a complex one. Two-years in development, the whole concept was designed by Anura himself and is built around an innovative linear movement that is shaped like a tube. Its gears are mounted vertically and are powered by a one-minute tourbillon, all of which is clearly visible for the enjoyment of the observer thanks to the sapphire capsule in which it is housed. The time display meanwhile, consists of three rollers with hand-engraved and hand-painted numerals.
Comprising no less than 472 parts, the movement shows an unusual architecture. The balance wheel of this fascinating movement oscillates at 28’800 vibrations per hour, offering a power reserve of 48 hours provided by two barrels in series. At its extremity, a large fluted crown enables the winding of the movement and the setting of the time. What I particularly like about the design, in addition to its unusual dimensions, is the fact that the time can be read easily regardless of whether the time capsule is on the wrist or on the end of the fountain pen.
Equally as attractive is the apparently simple way you transition between writing instrument and wrist watch. As you can see from the photos, the Write Time comes complete with a leather watch strap fitted with an 18k rose gold outer case, a sort of holster if you will. The intricately designed pen meanwhile, is also made of 18k gold and encased in the same alligator leather the watch strap is made of. The gold nib is available in different sizes depending on the client’s preference, and it comes with either a piston filler or a cartridge. Rotatable rings, based on a patented internal-tooth lock washer system are used to quickly and easily lock and unlock the time capsule in place on the wristlet or the pen. As a sort of personal signature, the lock washer teeth will be unique and personalized for every single piece manufactured.
The whole set comes with a tastefully designed leather travel case, which will safely house all the elements together with an inkpot. As an added touch, there are also several additional compartments and trays, which allow for the storage of other prized possessions. I think it’s particularly important to note also that all parts of the watch, the pen and the case are manufactured by selected craftsmen from the Jura mountains, ensuring this offering is 100% Swiss Made.
Each Anura Rafael Write Time piece will be created on an individual commission basis, allowing the client to have extensive input into exactly how he or she wants his or her finished piece to look. This customized co-creation process offers a wide choice of possibilities including choosing the materials, the colors, the finish, the movement, the nib and the travel box. Best of all, this means each piece will be bespoke, with no two models being exactly alike. Pricing starts from CHF 245,000. For more information, please visit www.anurarafael.com.
Technical specification – Anura Rafael Write Time
- Convertible pen/wristwatch with sapphire time capsule.
- Time capsule, pink gold and sapphire, 60mm, conical, max diameter 34mm, water resistant to 30m.
- Movement, ARS001/T, mechanical with manual winding. 28’800 vibrations per hour, 42 jewels. Digital indication of the hours and minutes on three discs, one-minute tourbillon.
- Pen, pink gold and alligator leather, 18k pink gold nib, 188mm.
- Wristwatch ‘case’, pink gold, 55 x 42mm.
- Alligator leather strap with pin buckle.
- Retail price, as of 245’000 CHF.