When it comes to music, to me, variety is key. I listen to different types of music depending on my mood. As music helps deal with emotions for a lot of people, it can also serve as inspiration. Inspiration for a watch for instance, although at first, it seems difficult to capture music’s spirit in a watch. Swiss family-owned watch manufacturer Delbana has attempted just that with the Recordmaster and Recordmaster II Limited Edition watches. The inspiration behind it? Vinyl records, hence the name Recordmaster.
Delbana’s history goes back 90 years and is closely linked to Delma, as both brands are owned by the same family since they merged in 2001. The brand has always aimed at making luxury watches affordable, without compromising on quality or reliability. The Recordmaster collection, consisting of two limited editions, takes inspiration from an original Delbana watch from the 1950s. This period was also one of the most successful eras for the company. The two watches are both tied in with music through their dials.
The Delbana Recordmaster
The dial in the Delbana Recordmaster features a distinct grooved track mimicking the grooves of a vinyl record. Remember, back in the 1950s the LP was the most widely used musical recording method. The cassette tape or compact disc was still quite some years away. Even today the vinyl record is still used and loved by many, as it has seen a resurgence in recent years. There’s something very appealing as to playing a vinyl record, with all the characteristic elements that come with it.
The grooved track features applied, polished hour indices and numerals. On the outside of that is a minute track with luminous dots for every 5-minute interval. As we’ve explained when previously covering the Recordmaster, this too ties in with the musical theme, as they are reminiscent of notes on sheet music. The dial’s centre section is done in silvery-white, with a guilloché-like pattern. Time is indicated with cathedral style hour and minute hands filled with Super-LumiNova, and a bright red seconds hand completing the retro-vibe.
The Delbana Recordmaster II
Following the Delbana Recordmaster is the Recordmaster II, which drastically changes the style of the dial but is still tied in with music. Where the first model is inspired by the Long Play record, the Recordmaster II’s dial is made to resemble the record players or turntables, vinyl music was played on in the same era. Often done in black and chrome for a sleek, modern (at the time) look, the dial is simpler in execution. The matte black dial has an outer minute track with numerals instead of the luminous roundels of the Recordmaster. The Arabic hour indices are relatively large, and coated with Super-LumiNova in vintage minty green. The hands are carried over from the Recordmaster.
Although the style is very different, both watches ooze with vintage appeal. The Delbana logo is done in a vintage font, for instance, dating back to early Delbana watches. Both have their own attraction, and some might feel for the livelier Recordmaster, while others might opt for the cleaner, more subtle Recordmaster II.
Modern dimensions and mechanics
Size-wise Delbana departures from the original models the Recordmaster watches are based on. The stainless steel case is increased to 40mm in diameter and 11.5mm in height. It is fully polished and topped with a domed sapphire crystal. The bezel has a thin profile, giving way to the dials as much as possible. The ridged crown is decorated with the Delbana logo. The Recordmaster and Recordmaster II’s case has a see-through caseback revealing the modern heart inside.
Both watches feature the same mechanical engine, a modern Sellita SW 200 movement. This automatic movement is a sensible and reliable alternative to ETA’s 2824. Running at a frequency of 28,800vph and providing 38 hours of running time, it gets the job done. Delbana has fitted it with a customized rotor. It displays central hours, minutes and seconds, and also displays the date through an aperture at 3 o’clock.
Both Delbana Recordmaster watches are attached to a black patent leather strap, another nod to the past. Patent leather is a type of leather that’s coated and finished to a high gloss. The material was particularly popular amongst rock and roll fans in the 1950s and 1960s so it seems fitting to tie it in with the musical theme of the rest of the watch. It is secured to the wrist with a steel pin buckle.
Delbana limits the Recordmaster and Recordmaster II watches to 90 pieces each, in remembrance of the brand’s 90th anniversary. It retails for a very sensible CHF 750 or EUR 790.
For more information and orders, please visit Delbana.ch.