Schwarz Etienne presents a revisited version of its Roswell watch transformed by a spectacular and unprecedented staging of the date mechanism. Here’s a hands-on review of the new Schwarz Etienne Roswell 08.
If you are a regular reader of MONOCHROME, you should already be familiar with Schwarz Etienne. The brand, founded by Paul Arthur Schwarz and his wife Olga Etienne in 1902, is now part of Raffaello Radicchi’s independent group of watchmaking companies. Schwarz Etienne is a brand with strong potential and a high level of vertical integration, as evidenced by the in-house production of balance wheels and hairsprings.
Launched in 2015, the Roswell collection was inspired by the American Roswell UFO mystery and the case features rounded, dynamic curves evoking a flying saucer. The name ‘08’ makes reference to the date of the Roswell events (8 July 1947).
Schwarz Etienne is known for showcasing horological complications and revealing its mechanisms in a highly original way. Case in point, the new Roswell 08 features an entirely revisited and redesigned date mechanism with an architecture that plays with contrasts, volume and colors (the model is presented in two versions: one with Alien green accents; the other with orange touches). All the components are crafted in perfectly finished steel and stand out from the darker finishes of the movement. In particular, the star/column wheel (used to drive and index the date disc), the jumper, the springs, and the levers steal the scene. Not only is it beautifully designed, but the date mechanism also incorporates several innovations and features for enhanced functionality and increased reliability.
The motion driving the date mechanism is transmitted from the central hour wheel and the time required to get the date to jump is optimized after every other complete rotation of the hour wheel. The jumper to index the date is activated by the intriguing star/column wheel at 5 o’clock. A disc framing part of the movement and revealing the date appears at 2 o’clock and is slightly inclined at a 10° angle for enhanced legibility.
An original and discreet seconds indicator at 11 o’clock (in green or orange), a micro-rotor and the balance adorned with the Schwarz Etienne logotype further enliven the movement. Elegant Alpha-type hands painted with luminescent material indicate the hours and minutes.
Caliber ISE 100.01 is part of the modular family of movements that was born in 2012 with the launch of the Manual Schwarz Etienne, a 13’’ ¼ caliber with a vintage look and six bridges. Like all the automatic calibers of the family, the space of one of the two barrels is used to incorporate a micro-rotor. Caliber ISE 100.01 operates at 21,600 vibrations per hour and boasts a power reserve of 86 hours.
The Roswell 08 is housed in a round, 45mm steel case. Its pure and modern curves contrast with the dynamic, angular lugs. The knurled crown is integrated into a guard and the lower pusher allows for the quick correction of the date. An all-or-nothing mechanism ensures a complete function at each press on the pusher. The case back is secured by six screws and the watch is water-resistant to 5 ATM. The case back features the brand logo presented through a sapphire glass over a futuristic sci-fi inspired pattern.
The Schwarz Etienne Roswell 08 is worn on a cinnamon color calfskin strap with a green or orange lining, a signature feature of the brand’s leather straps. It is secured with a folding buckle adorned with the SE initials. For more information, please visit www.schwarz-etienne.com.