Collaborations are the way forward in the watch world and most certainly seem to be successful, well in most cases at least. And in the recent past, we have seen some interesting ones, particularly amongst the Independent Watch brands. Watch enthusiasts are more often than not, limited and restrained when it comes to exploring the world of the Indies, independent watchmaking as known to most of us, simply because it may be financially inaccessible. Availability, well that’s another story.
That being said, today we are witnessing yet another exciting collaborative effort between young watchmakers Ophion, The Limited Edition and The Horophile, Amr Sindi (AKA The Horophile, a life dedicated to the discovery of the unexpected and the ultimate beauty in watchmaking and any form of art).
Pietro Tomajer (TLE Co-Founder) says, “Scouting the hidden gems of the world of independent watchmaking has been a passion and a mission over the first 7 years since the inception of The Limited Edition, the online retail platform we created in 2015 for the promotion of the art of independent watchmaking currently serving over 1000 collectors all over the world. My personal affinity to Amr’s work since he launched @thehorophile over 10 years ago has taken us, from different viewpoints, to incorporate our common interest in underground forms of art and music, and transfer it into watchmaking. We found in Ophion a very promising canvas, to be able to express both Amr’s artistic touch and sense of aesthetics and our own urge to offer the best possible value to collectors. I sincerely hope you will like the result”.
To sum it up, what we are looking at is a classical dress watch with state of the art manufacturing processes and the subtle application of in-house hand finishing, in a forty-piece limited edition manufactured in sandblasted Grade 5 titanium – The Ophion Gilt Spectre watch.
Who is Ophion?
Established in 2014, with its headquarters based in Madrid, Ophion is a brand with a singular approach to its watchmaking, and whose uncompromising attention to detail and distinctive, distinguished styling have rapidly earned it a strong following among discerning collectors around the world.
“As a small manufacturer, we always wanted to reach as many new people as possible, but who could have imagined how much more difficult a task that would prove to be, when all of our time was consumed, entangled in the complications and problems of producing and distributing watches. This commitment to what is, in reality, the essence of our business, unfortunately, relegated our wishful thinking about sharing the merits of the watch world to a secondary place”, Miguel Morales Ribas (Ophion Founder).”
Morales further states that the final result of the Gilt Spectre Limited Edition has surpassed his wildest expectations. With some little tweaks of their OPH 786 Vélos, the final timepiece reaches a whole new level of specialness and uniqueness, resulting in a model which is the embodiment of the Ophion DNA, yet which is also completely new and different. One which shows in every detail the true passion behind all the people that have collaborated to bring it to life. Well, let’s find out.
The Ophion Gilt Spectre
Equipped with a Swiss-made manual winding movement, which beats within a bespoke case of Grade 5 titanium manufactured by independent legend Kari Voutilainen’s Cattin company, this is a watch of alluring aesthetic style and technical sophistication.
Measuring 39mm across and 10.4mm tall, the rounded pebble-smooth case has been sandblasted to give it’s silver-grey colour a fine matte finish. The bulbous teardrop lugs are individually welded onto the case and accentuate the classic retro styling of the Gilt Spectre edition.
Beneath the gently domed sapphire crystal which features anti-reflective coating on both sides, the anthracite dial has a vertical grained brush finish, onto which the silver coloured laser cut chapter ring and gold Breguet style arabic numerals are individually applied, adding a sense of depth to the display. The long and slender minute hand that curves downwards at its tip and the hour hand that features the Vélos skeletonised arrow design are also gold in colour.
On the underside, a sapphire caseback provides a view of the manual winding movement which has been manufactured by MHVJ and Soprod in Switzerland. The base calibre has been disassembled by Ophion, with the original main plate replaced by custom made bridges, which are evocative of those found on fine old pocket watch movements, and feature surfaces which have an evenly applied hammered effect, contrasting with the machine polished chamfering around their edges.
The paired back bridge design reveals the balance wheel which oscillates at a brisk 28,800 vib/h (4hz), and the two barrels, which deliver an impressive five day (120 hour) power reserve.
A fabulous piece by one of independent watchmaking’s most exciting young brands, the Gilt Spectre Limited Edition by Ophion, in a special collaboration with The Limited Edition and Horophile, is manufactured in an exclusive edition of only forty pieces. Presented on a grey suede strap with pin buckle, it is elegant and beautifully proportioned.
“I met Pietro several years back when Baselworld was still a thing and, perhaps unsurprisingly, it just so happened to be at the booth of an independent brand. Since that fateful encounter, we’ve kept in touch and often exchanged about the world of independent watchmaking, and particularly, some of the up-and-coming indie brands and watchmakers that are offering truly remarkable work at previously unheard of price-points. Fast-forward to late 2020 and several live chats later, we decided to join forces and create something together. One brand that really stood out to us was Ophion, and particularly their Vélos model. I had already been considering one for a while, but I wanted to give it my own twist where dark tones and unusual surface finishes are contrasted by warm, luminous rose gold accents. I couldn’t be happier with the result, and especially to have done it with my passionate friend Pietro and the team at The Limited Edition.’
– Amr Sindi ’The Horophile’
At RRP £3’250.00 + taxes (approx INR 3,26,879 + taxes), featuring nuances and detailing that are found at the highest end of the watchmaking scale, it represents exceptional value for money.