Schwarz Etienne is sort of a hidden gem in the Swiss watch industry. Not only a brand, it is part of a watchmaking group that manufactures watches and movements in-house (including production for third-party brands, such as MING) but also hairsprings (with sister company E2O innovations). The group even manufactures CNC machines to produce watch components. And the brand has a few friends in the industry, such as renowned watchmaker Kari Voutilainen… And that gave birth to the Schwarz Etienne Roma Synergy, a watch combining talents with a guilloché dial by les Ateliers Kari Voutilainen. Today, we present a very special ‘Cherry Red’ version, a piece unique that demonstrates what the brands can do regarding customisation.
What you’re looking at today isn’t a watch that you’ll be able to buy. It is, in fact, an order from a client who wanted a special treatment for his Schwarz Etienne Roma Synergy, resulting in a unique dial colour. What it is, however, is a demonstration of what the brands can do regarding custom-made watches. So now you know… If you love the Schwarz Etienne x Voutilainen watch and want something truly different from “standard” models, it is possible.
Basically, the watch is the same as before. As such, it is housed in a compact case with a 39mm diameter and a height of 11mm, made of polished stainless steel, with a sloped bezel and elongated lugs that are stepped on the outer edge. The watch is elegant on the wrist, yet with a twist. The Schwarz Etienne Roma Synergy does feel special and different, with presence and a certain distinctive appeal… but always with a restrained character.
Where it really stands out is on the dial side. Before even mentioning the special colour, the Roma Synergy offers depth and visual balance with multiple layers and, surprising at first, an oversized subsidiary seconds that fills the lower part of the dial entirely – something that drastically changes from the ubiquitous sub-seconds lost in the middle of the dial. Then, it features dynamic polished and faceted hands, as well as a pleasant combination of applied markers and Arabic numerals.
For this collection, Schwarz Etienne has enlisted the talent of Kari Voutilainen, one of the most respected and talented craftsmen in the industry, to create guilloché dials. The watch has been infused with some Voutilainen DNA and shows different guilloché patterns creating an interesting sense of depth, with guilloché soleil (sun) for the outer circular section, écaille de poisson (fish scales) for the centre part, and vague (waves) for the large seconds sub-dial. And of course, being a unique piece made on request for a client, there’s this intense, original but highly attractive ‘Cherry Red’ colour that creates a watch like no other.
The sapphire caseback reveals the true savoir-faire of Schwarz Etienne regarding mechanical movements. The watch houses the automatic, in-house calibre ASE 200.00, wound by a micro-rotor. Running at 21,600 vibrations/hour and boasting a power reserve of 86 hours when fully wound, this high-end movement is presented in a new light, to match with the decoration of the dial. The bridges are finely bevelled and adorned with a guilloché pattern radiating from the balance wheel. The ratchet features a characteristic Voutilainen finish too.
As mentioned, the present Cherry Red Schwarz Etienne Roma Synergy by Kari Voutilainen is a unique piece, already sold to its future owner. However, it opens the road to more special orders… Let your imagination run wild and create the watch you’d really like to have. Maybe a green dial edition, or a different guilloché pattern, something with contrasting gold elements? It’s entirely up to you.
The regular Schwarz Etienne Roma Synergy by Kari Voutilainen was offered at CHF 27,400 (excl. taxes) and the price of such a unique piece will depend on customisation options. For more details, visit www.schwarz-etienne.ch or contact the brand at [email protected].