Independent watchmaking is one of our favourite topics at MONOCHROME. It has always been part of our DNA, and we have a deep love for everything made with soul and passion. But, we’re also realistic, and many of the watches made by independent watchmakers we’re talking about are inaccessible for most of our readers. Still, some indies are committed to producing affordable watches, such as Spanish brand Ophion. We’ve been particularly impressed by its latest creation, the OPH 786 Velos, a watch with an incredible level of detail considering the price. So, what happens when you give this watch as a base to Amr Sindi (a.k.a The Horophile) and Pietro Tomajer of The Limited Edition? The result is a very sharp, modern yet subtle edition named the Ophion Gilt Spectre Limited Edition.
Collecting independent watchmaking is often a rather expensive hobby… If you think about the leading representatives of this game, such as FP Journe, Urwerk, De Bethune, MB&F, and many, many more, you’ll often end up with watches in the high 5-figure price range – if not more. Yet, there are other much more accessible alternatives around, and Ophion is a brand that, since its creation in 2015, has always made an impression on us. The brand’s latest watch, the OPH 786 Velos, made more than just that. It is a stunningly detailed timepiece with a striking dial, an impressive movement, and a manufacturing process that involves some great names too. And it is available for a reasonable price (around 3,000 EUR before taxes).
With this watch as a base, Amr “The Horophile” and Pietro “The Limited Edition” have decided to work together with the brand to create an eye-catching, contemporary edition. Combining classical dress watch design codes with modern elements and using state-of-the-art manufacturing processes and refined details, the Gilt Spectre edition makes an impression and sets itself apart from the rest of Ophion’s production.
The base, the OPH 786 Velos, is still clearly recognisable, yet this Ophion x The Horophile x The Limited Edition comes with more than just a few design tweaks. First of all, its compact 39mm case is now made of grade 5 titanium with a bead-blasted finish, resulting in a unique dark grey colour and a fine matte finish with some shininess – something classic sandblasting doesn’t offer. The bespoke case still has its smooth pebble shape, with its onion crown and retro-styled, individually welded teardrop lugs. And if you want to know, it is manufactured by Voutilainen & Cattin SA (Kari’s case manufacture). The case, with 50m water-resistance, features a domed sapphire crystal on top and a see-through caseback revealing the movement.
Another unique feature of this Ophion Gilt Spectre Limited Edition is its dial. The classic Velos was available with a guilloché-like or a circular brushed dial. This edition comes with an anthracite dial with a vertical-grained brushed finish. The tri-dimensional look of the original model has been retained, with the silver-coloured, laser-cut chapter ring and minute track. In the same vein, the highly attractive Breguet numerals, individually applied to the dial, have been retained to emphasise the classic look of this Ophion x The Horophile x The Limited Edition model. To give this Gilt Spectre edition its personality, the hands and the numerals are now gold-coloured – a warm colour that contrasts with the otherwise monochromatic look of the watch.
Under the caseback is an impressive hand-wound calibre manufactured by MHVJ and Soprod in Switzerland. This base calibre measures 30mm in diameter, thus looking great in this compact case. It is equipped with two barrels, providing a solid 5-day power reserve, and it beats at 4Hz. Importantly, this base calibre is then disassembled by Ophion, with the original elements replaced by custom-made bridges, featuring an evenly applied hammered effect and diamond-cut bevels – the look is thus reminiscent of old pocket watch movements.
Giving the final “modern classic” touch to this Ophion Gilt Spectre is a matte, suede grey leather strap. And as indicated on the back, most parts are either Swiss or German-made, except for the strap produced in Spain.
Availability & Price
Only 40 pieces of the Ophion Gilt Spectre Limited Edition with The Horophile will be made. It will be available from The Limited Edition and priced at GBP 3,250 (excl. taxes).