Schwarz Etienne is a a brand that has been flying under the radar for the past few years, however, there are some very legitimate reasons why it deserves a closer look. Take for instance its in-house developed and manufactured movement, and the fact that it’s one of the few Swiss manufacturers who actually make their own balance springs! We go hands-on with the Schwarz Etienne Roma Power Reserve.
Visiting the Schwarz Etienne production facilities is an eye-opening experience. The level of vertical integration is rather unexpected for an independent watchmaking company manufacturing only a few hundred watches a year. This is the result of a plan launched in 2008 to develop and produce movements in-house. Today, the movement portfolio is structured around a family of high-end calibers and Schwarz Etienne even manufactures its own hairsprings.
The first thing to catch your attention about the Schwarz-Etienne Roma Power Reserve however, is its pretty face. The silver color dial features different finishes, creating a rich sense of depth, in particular the guilloche pattern radiating from its center. The applied hour markers and hour/minute hands (lance/alpha type) are finely faceted and rhodium plated. The large seconds at 6 o’clock creates a nice balance, and at 2 o’clock the 4-day power reserve is shown.
The elegant round case is crafted in stainless steel and measures 42mm in diameter. It features thin, elongated straight lugs that are subtly fluted on the outer edge, and the sapphire display-case back is secured by 6 screws.
The movement – calibre MSE 111.00
The Roma Power reserve is built around the magnificent hand-wound MSE 111.00 caliber made of 230 parts. This large twin-barrel movement (30.40 mm) ticks at 3 Hz. with a healthy power reserve of 4 days. The architecture of the movement is superb with bridges for every wheel of the gear train. It is nicely decorated with Geneva stripes and hand chamfering on the bridges. The barrels are snailed and the jewel sinks are finely polished. The balance wheel with adjustment screws incorporates the brand logo which is a nice (and rare) touch.
The balance wheel and hairspring of Schwarz-Etienne movements are manufactured in-house by the brand’s sister company E2O Innovation that is also managed by Mauro Egermini, CEO of Schwarz Etienne. Mind you, not many watch brands have the knowledge and skills to manufacture their own balance and hair spring, and most companies rely on Nivarox for these parts. The Schwarz Etienne balance comes with timing-adjustment screws, and is decorated with the brand’s initials. The hair spring is a a flat hairspring and the entire balance has an impressive inertia of 16 mg/cm2.
The Schwarz Etienne Roma Power reserve is worn on an alligator strap with a dark blue lining – using colored lining (different for each model) is a brand signature and also a nice touch. It is secured with a steel folding buckle engraved with the brand’s logo.
The Schwarz Etienne Roma Power reserve is also available in pink gold and with a black dial. For more information, visit www.schwarz-etienne.ch
Technical specifications – Schwarz-Etienne Roma Power reserve
- Case: 42 mm diameter x 12.13 mm thick – steel case – sapphire crystal with antireflective coating – sapphire case back – water resistant to 5 ATM / 50 m.
- Movement: in-house mechanical movement with manual winding MSE 111.00 – 30.40 mm x 5.35 mm – 4 days power reserve – 21’600 vibrations/h – 38 jewels – Functions: hours, minutes, small seconds and power reserve indication
- Strap: black alligator leather with blue lining with steel folding buckle.
- Price: CHF 10.460 (before tax)