ochs und junior the new Moon Phase Patina
High-contrast with no added color
Ludwig Oechslin’s new moon phase patina features a high-contrast dial executed entirely in one material: brass. Just two metals are visible on the watch — brass (all dial components including hands) and titanium (case, crown, buckle).
Ludwig Oechslin developed the single-metal solution for moon phase patina’s dial so that he could control the entire process of making ochs und junior prototypes in his workshop in La Chaux-de-Fonds. The brass dial is hand-patinated through an antique sculpture restoration process, turning it a dark grey color. Then the indices, date dot, and moon are milled-out to reveal the metal beneath. The hand-satinated brass hour and minute hands are rendered instantly visible by handpatinating the brass second hand.
Each ochs und junior moon phase patina is a unique piece due to natural differences in the hand-patination and satination processes.
A single-metal solution for dial contrast is just the beginning of the rigorous simplicity of Ludwig Oechslin’s modern moon phase watch.
1. rigorously simple engineering
The ochs und junior moon phase has the world’s most accurate moon phase calculation in a wristwatch, even though it uses just 5 parts.
In 3,478.27 years, the prediction of its moon phase calculation will deviate from the actual path of the moon by a single day. A conventional moon phase calculation deviates by one day after about 2 years. More precise wristwatch moon phase indications deviate by one day after 122, 500 or 1007 years.
Ludwig Oechslin accomplishes the ochs und junior moon phase’s extreme increase in accuracy and extreme reduction in parts by using rigorous mathematics and epicyclic gearing instead of the conventional watchmaking solution of levers and springs.
He is able to conceive novel solutions like these because of his wideranging background, which includes a doctorate in theoretical physics and experience restoring the Farnese astronomical clock in the Vatican.
His experience has taught him that gears are a far more reliable way to execute functions.
2. rigorously simple design
Ludwig Oechslin designed the ochs und junior moon phase for maximum legibility and functionality.
The dial layout reveals the relative positions of the sun, moon and earth.
The non-alphanumeric date spiral allows the date to be read intuitively and the time to be read without distraction.
The date perforations are exactly two minutes apart on the dial for added readability of the exact minute and second.
The dial has no logo; none is needed. Ludwig Oechslin creates clear design idioms which are instantly recognizable.
3. rigorously simple production
Ludwig Oechslin’s technically elegant designs allow ochs und junior watches to be custom-manufactured with high reliability in extremely small production quantities (ochs und junior produces no more than 300 watches per year).
The epicyclic gears of the moon phase function, case, dial, crown and buckle are manufactured outside the watch industry by Peter Cantieni (pictured), whose primary job is machining ultra-precise parts for the Swiss Formula One team Sauber.
ochs und junior’s cases have visible machining marks that show theprecision of Peter Cantieni’s workmanship.
A lifetime warranty is offered on all ochs und junior components.
While others think that a watch has to be complicated and contain as many parts and functions as possible to be considered high-quality, Ludwig Oechslin, by contrast, has other interests and priorities. His thought processes lead him to develop the simplest combination of parts for superior reliability and fewer interfaces.
Oechslin’s studies of astronomical devices and his restoration and documentation of the Farnese astronomical clock in the Vatican between 1978 and 1982 taught him that gears are a better solution for functions than the levers and springs more conventionally used for wristwatches. He now bases his designs on that insight.
His novel combinations of cogwheels and epicyclic (planetary) gearing use far fewer parts than traditional watchmaking complications and offer excellent operational reliability.
Ludwig Oechslin is responsible for all of ochs und junior’s technical innovations and functional designs.
• Model: selene
• 39mm or 42mm
• Titanium case, crown and buckle (also available in silver)
• 5 part moon phase function by Ludwig Oechslin
• All dial components executed in hand-patinated or satinated brass
• Custom color options also available online
• Base movement: ETA 2824-2
Price: 8000 CHF in titanium, 10,000 CHF in silver (incl. 8% Swiss VAT)