Ludwig Oechslin has achieved an astronomical moon indication based on just four individual components. Intelligent minimalism and aesthetic clarity.
Ludwig Oechslin already made a huge impression with the Freak and the Trillogy of Time he created for Ulysse Nardin.
Later he created the MIH Watch with an annual calendar comprising of only 9 components and later the Ochs und Junior Anno Cinquanta where the annual calendar needs only 5 components! Now Ludwig Oechslin’s quest was to find the best way of portraying just the moon, clearly and distinctly. An astronomical moon indication, but based on a brilliantly simple mechanism…
Ludwig Oechslin’s latest concept watch, created for his Ochs und Junior brand, is the Luna Mese idea. The Ochs und Junior Luna Mese is an astronomic moon phase watch capable of indicating the relative positions of the sun, Earth and the moon. It accomplishes this using just four components – and that includes the functional dial!
The hour hand indicates the position of the sun, while the centre of the watch represents Earth, with the moon rotating around it. When the circular aperture in the dial is entirely filled with orange and located exactly opposite the hour hand, then it’s a full moon. When the circular aperture in the dial is entirely empty and located exactly beneath the hour hand, then it’s a new moon.
Here’s a graphic explanation (click image to enlarge)
The lunar disk with its 59 teeth is bonded to the hour wheel and thus directly linked to the correctly positioned hour hand. The moon disk with its 58 teeth rotates more slowly than the hour hand: it is linked to the lunation disk below it via a small interme- diate wheel. It takes exactly 29.5 days for the lunation disk and the moon disk above it to line up precisely and indicate the full moon.
The small intermediate wheel is integrated directly within the back of the functional dial – no screw coupling is used. Four components!
Any analogue wristwatch can be used to work out where North is using the hour hand and the position of the sun. The Luna Mese idea can do this even at night using the position of the moon.
How to navigate with your wristwatch (click to enlarge)
The white gold dial and lunation disk are heated to 950°C, a process which creates a wonderful dark-grey patina that’s different every time. Every dial is a one-off! The date disk and moon disk, both also fashioned from white gold, are left as nature intended to create an interesting contrast.
The orange-coloured seconds dot on the white gold cap at the centre of the watch rotates above the clean-lined white gold hands. Inside the solid silver case ticks a self-winding ETA calibre 2824, which drives the moon module.
Silver was chosen as it’s a softer metal that acquires a patina of marks and scratches over time as its owner goes through life. Usually, it’s thought that scratches spoil a watch – not so at Ochs und Junior, where they are seen as expressions of experience and beauty. Ochs und Junior uses soft, plant-tanned leather for its straps and for the wallets the watches come in.
The Ochs und Junior Luna Mese details – shown in a cartoon strip illustrated by Sjoerd van Rooijen.
The Luna Mese idea and all the other timepiece innovations by Ochs und Junior are available exclusively from Embassy.
The Luna Mese idea can be bought for CHF 21,900 (inc. 7.6% VAT).