Designed in Sweden, made in Switzerland. Oskar Pascal is an independent watchmaking brand founded by Petter and Jakob Paulin in Stockholm. A few years ago, the Swedish brothers had the idea to create modular watches with added functionality offered by pods. For months, they refined their concept focusing on mechanical technology and ease of use, subsequently teaming up with a Swiss technological/manufacturing partner, Cyrano Devanthey. Their first watch is a versatile, functional, elegant yet robust chronograph. We had the opportunity to go hands-on with two of the OP483 versions crafted in ZR01 amorphous metal.
The Concept of Exchangeable Pods
Oskar Pascal watches started with the idea of bringing added functionality with a pod system. The idea is to bring straightforward, practical functions, with no app, no charging, and no digital connection. A patent-pending link system was developed to ensure a perfect fit of the pods to the case and leather strap. Every watch comes with the OP torque screwdriver to secure the links. So far, two types of pods are available. First is a GMT pod displaying a second time zone, courtesy of a miniature Swiss quartz movement – waterproof to 100m just like the watch case. The second is a NATO compass pod. The brand is working on providing additional options, in particular, hoping to develop a mechanical activity tracker/step counter.
The first Oskar Pascal watch to be fitted with these pods is a mechanical chronograph showing typical Scandinavian design. Characterized by simplicity, functionality, clean lines and attention to detail, the Oskar Pascal OP483 Chronograph is presented in a 41mm round case – as straightforward as it can be – with hooded lugs.
Its character is further enhanced with a no-nonsense, highly-legible dial with printed numerals and slightly recessed registers. The time indications are displayed by thin, elongated hands. Interestingly, the central chronograph is fashioned out of lightweight yet ultra-resistant carbon fibre painted in blue. It is 0.28mm thin only for a weight of 0.002g and it is fitted to a custom-made centre canon in German Silver.
On the wrist, the Oskar Pascal felt particularly ergonomic and comfortable, much more than I expected given the articulated pod system of the strap. And if you’d like to skip the pods (which besides the functionality also change significantly the look of the watch), there is always the possibility to opt for a regular calfskin strap that is also nicely connected to the case thanks to an integrated insert.
High-tech amorphous metal alloy
The Oskar Pascal watches we had for review were OP483s made of ZR01, a high-tech zirconium-based alloy. This amorphous metal is 3D-printed by SLM (selective laser melting) process with 720 layers per case. Cases are then machined and finished. Unlike conventional metals, amorphous metals do not have a crystalline structure. The defects in the lattice structure of conventional metals weaken their mechanical and electromagnetic properties. With no imperfections or impurities, amorphous metals don’t exhibit these flaws. As such, ZR01 offers superior durability, resistance to corrosion, bio-compatibility and magnetic properties. Its hardness of 483 Vickers, which is about 3 times that of stainless steel, ensures excellent scratch resistance.
Vaucher automatic chronograph
Under the hood of the Oskar Pascal Chronograph is a high-end automatic movement, customized and manufactured by Vaucher Manufacture Fleurier. With a diameter of 28mm and a height of 6.07mm, this modular chronograph runs at a 4Hz frequency and stores up to 50 hours of power reserve. The two barrels ensure a stable power supply to the regulator. The balance wheel has variable inertia weights. The movement is visible via the exhibition caseback, displaying a customized rotor and nice finishes with Geneva stripes and perlage.
Availability & price
The Oskar Pascal OP483 chronograph is released in a limited edition of 483 watches in total – either in micro-blasted, mirror-polish or anthracite DLC-coated ZR01 alloy. The first watches have been delivered. Price starts at EUR 23,800 depending on the options. The OP483 Chronograph Ultra Shine we had for review retails for EUR 29,600 with its GMT and Compass pods. There are also steel versions (OP190) retailing from EUR 13,200.
For more information, please visit www.oskarpascal.com.
09/12/2022 - update of the prices, which have been significantly reduced