Saturday, June 17, 2017

The First Titan - Ophion OPH 960

Ophion according to various sources is an elder Titan and to some, creator of the universe and also the creator of all gods including Chronos, the father of time. So what better way than to name their brand Ophion - being the "father" to Father Time! And the brand was born.

Back in November of 2016, I had the chance to meet with Miguel, one of the founders of the brand. Founded in Madrid, Spain, the timepieces are designed by Miguel and his collaborators and then assembled in Germany. The inspiration for their first timepiece, the OPH 960 comes from the 1960's. That's why the first timepiece was named - the OPH 960. Ophion wanted to offer a classical timepiece with an interesting movement but at a very affordable price point.
 photo Ophion OPH960 08_zpsxyizkoid.jpg

The 43mm OPH 960 taking its cues from the 1960s comes with a domed dial, polished index, Dauphine hands and also domed sapphire glass on the front and see through sapphire case back featuring a not so usual movement. There are interesting features on the OPH 960 - for instance, the luminous markers on the side of the inner case instead of on the markers. Not something you will notice until the sun goes down. The luminous markers are coated with Superluminova C3.
 photo Ophion OPH960 01_zpsfmzzfqsd.jpg

The dial is clean and the timepiece is classic and very legible. The case and dial are from Germany.
 photo Ophion OPH960 02_zps2hyd2ztt.jpg

What is worth noting is the dial and the markers. What is also interesting is how the minute and second hands are also curved to "hug" the domed dial.
 photo Ophion OPH960 06_zpsmjhyjkj0.jpg

First the markers. Notice how the markers are polished and they don't sit evenly on the domed dial. Details like this makes the timepiece special.
 photo Ophion OPH960 04_zpsuufs7z6v.jpg

The dial is textured and the logo is also coated with Superluminova C3.
 photo Ophion OPH960 05_zpsxr9vkodj.jpg

Now for the movement - Swiss made Technotime. Instead of using ETA based or UNITAS based movements, the folks at Ophion chose Technotime. Given the price point in mind, they decided on the Technotime for several reasons - one is the fact that it comes with a 5 days power reserve.
 photo Ophion OPH960 12_zpsnh7cbfyb.jpg

Secondly, the movement architecture is also rather unique - the butterfly in the centre of the movement is seldom seen in many other Swiss movements. And with Technotime, they would custom finish and decorate the movement for Ophion. how much customisation you might ask? The main bridge and the balance bridge with the custom made straight in line brushed finish, the chamfering and polishing of the edges, the blue thermal screws, the perlage under the balance wheel, and the sunburst decoration on the twin barrels. Not bad huh?
 photo Ophion OPH960 13_zpsf8lr8pqd.jpg

And the finishing on the movement is not bad for a timepiece at this price point. See it for yourself...
 photo Ophion OPH960 11_zps25kz23ay.jpg

Well polished finish...
 photo Ophion OPH960 15_zpsbafxsuq5.jpg

The OPH 960 is priced at €1,300 (if I recall correctly) and they are produced in batches of 30 or more depending on demand. But the minimum order quantity is 30. The movement and hands are made in Switzerland, the strap from Spain and the case and dial are from Germany. The company that provides the case also assembles the timepiece.

After their successful launch of the OPH 960, they have now developed a new Ophion OPH 786 which is now open for orders. With the OPH 786, there is more decoration for the dial and the movement but it is still under €2,000. The OPH 786 is inspired by the 1700 era with a very well made guilloché dial. The idea is to offer a true guilloché dial in an affordable timepiece. Miguel has always been in love with guilloché dials but all the affordable watches have stamped guilloché that does not reflect the light in the same way. Another great value timepiece from Ophion. Kudos to Miguel and the folks at Ophion for their very affordable classic timepieces.