Today we’re introducing the new ochs und junior moon phase that is now available in a 39mm sterling silver case, and that comes with a patinated blue dial. Since the very beginning of the brand, in 2008, there have been ochs und junior watches in both 39mm and 42mm, although the sterling silver 39mm case has never been used for the moon phase – it’s precise for the coming 3,478 years! Another first, is the use of precious metal, platinum, for the hands, date, sun and moon.
ochs und junior customisations
What ochs und junior offers, is probably the strangest type of luxury you can imagine. However when you’re not looking to impress by flashing a big watch with a well known name on the dial, you could very well be intrigued by the Luzern-based watch brand. We’ve called it Luxury 2.0 before, and our contributor Robin recently reviewed my own ochs und junior two time zones (with a stunning patinated brass dial) and he called it “taking customisation to the max“. The possibilities of customisation are not endless, although I don’t expect to see an 18k yellow gold, fully diamond-paved, ochs und junior. However within the boundaries of the ochs und junior style there are numerous options. Just think of the ochs und junior annual calendar with a rusted dial that one of our readers recently showed us.
That’s more along the lines of ochs und junior customisations. Pure, raw, no frills, the bare essence. When you look close you can still see the pattern of the drill on the Sterling silver case. There’s no finishing, at least not as we’re used to from any of the other brands in the business. The you can see on ochs und junior watches is not what you would expect from a watch brand. As said, a rusted dial is an option, or a hand-patinated brass dial or you can take it a few steps further like the ‘nebra wild‘.
This new 39mm ochs und junior moon phase features a brass dial, that is hand-patinated and show a dark blue/black/grey/anthracite colour. All depends on how the light shines on it. Also part of the typical no-frills attitude: no brand name on the dial, no logo on the crown, an un-engraved case back, and only the brand’s name branded on the underside of the leather strap.
Platinum for the first time! A small circle at the 12 o’clock position represents the sun, and the slightly larger circle on the rotating disc (now close to the 6 o’clock position) represents the full moon. Both the sun and moon, and the date-dot (now at the 28th position) are hammered pieces of platinum PT950. The new moon, opposite the full moon on the rotating disc, is now hidden behind the dial, and is made of patinated sterling silver 925.
The ochs und junior moon phase
The watch features one of the most precise moon phase indications available on the market, and does not have to be adjusted for the next 3,478 years. That’s impressive, especially when you consider that the entire moon phase indication is made of only 5 parts! The genius who created this is dr. Ludwig Oechslin, who developed the Ulysse Nardin Freak, the Trilogy of Time collection (a trio of watches named Astrolabium Galileo Galilei, Planetarium Copernicus and Tellurium Johannes Kepler), the MIH Watch and he’s responsible for creating all watches for ochs und junior. Besides a “no-frills” approach, he also lives by the rigorously-simple approach meaning that all complications must be constructed as simple as possible. Hence a moon phase of only 5 parts!
How does the moon phase indication work?
Let’s first explain the phases of the moon. The average time between two identical moon phases (from one full moon to the next full moon for instance) is 29.530587981 days. Most moon phase watches use gears that are based on a period of 29.5 days and thus they aren’t very precise. In fact, their calculations are off by 1 day after 2 years.
The ochs und junior moon phase calculates the difference between two identical moon phases to 29.5306122449 days, and thus has a deviation of 0.0000242639. As a result the moon phase indication is correct for 3,478.27 years before it is off by one day.
We’ll have to show you the photo from all the five functional parts, in order to explain how the moon phase indication actually works in the ochs und junior moon phase.
In the photo: underside of the dial, moon phase disc, ring with finger, wheel with 12 teeth, and a wheel with 14 teeth.
The large part on the left is the dial, the underside of the dial to be precise. Here you can see that teeth are machined on the inner ring of where the moon phase disc sits. The small ring, with one little finger on it (central part in the photo) is bonded directly to the hour pipe, and engages with a wheel bearing 12 teeth. This engages with a pinion with 14 teeth, which meshes with a wheel bearing 18 teeth, whose pinion with 14 teeth meshes with the fixed recessed ring gear with its 109 teeth machined into the underside of the dial. All clear? If not, don’t hesitate to ask. This is by far the simplest moon phase mechanism on the market, and at the same time one of the most precise (only to be ‘out-precised’ by the Chriistiaan van de Klaauw Real Moon.)
On the wrist: ochs und junior moon phase (blue patina) 39mm silver case
With its 39mm diameter the watch is relatively small, for modern standards, and the short lugs do not make it wear any bigger. Just fine I’d say, however I have a preference for watches that are not too large. For smaller wrists this is also a great watch, however it might be good to take note that it’s also available in 36mm and in 42mm.
The 22mm wide strap adds a ‘strong’ and robust feeling to the medium sized watch. It is closed by the ochs und junior buckle, which is different from all other buckles. Most traps have loops for securing the strap end. The extra-wide opening enables you to tuck the end of the strap inside against your wrist.
Compared to my own ochs und junior two time zones, which has a 42mm titanium case, the silver case looks very bright, almost whitish. It has a very appealing light and bright colour and this matches great with the solid platinum PT950 hands, sun, full moon and date dot. The already discussed patinated brass dial has a blue/grey/black colour and due to its natural colourisation it has a very warm and vivid look.
All together ochs und junior manufacture approx. 50 moon phase watches per year, and everything is individually manufactured by Peter Cantieni in Hinwil, Switzerland, and each moon phase watch is hand-assembled and hand-regulated by Sandra Flück at the ochs und junior workshop in Lucerne.
The new ochs und junior moon phase blue patina, in a Sterling silver case, and with platinum hands, full moon, sun and date dot, is a breath of fresh air in the sometimes gushy world of watches. I loved wearing it, and loved the luster of the Sterling silver case. It certainly gets the Monochrome stamp of approval! More info and all sales are directly through the website: www.ochsundjunior.ch