Secret Deals
Close
Sign up for email alerts.

Want first access to
our secret deals?

By signing up, you agree to receive emails from Ethos Watches. Read our privacy policy for more details.

aa4afb382b

Round-UpHow Do You Read Time: A Peek Behind The Unconventional Displays Of Ressence, Trilobe and Urwerk

In the last decade or so, the world of horology has seen unprecedented ways of displaying time on wristwatches, and nobody’s complaining. From Ressence’s patented time display, Urwerk's wandering hours, to Trilobe’s circular discs, let’s take a look at these unconventional displays how the times are a-changin’

May We Recommend

Three hands, a date display at three, and you’re good to go, right? Perhaps even a balance wheel at 12, a tourbillon at six, and maybe even retrograde minutes if you’re really looking to spice things up. Though that may have been the norm for the longest time, the last decade has seen some significant changes in the world of horology, especially when it comes to the displaying of time. The insurgence of newer, more experimental independent brands, and accolades that brands such as Ressence, Urwerk, and Trilobe have already bagged stand as testament to the fact that newer designs are being received well by watch enthusiasts. Today, let’s take a closer look at how the aforementioned brands are changing the landscape with their unconventional displays of time.

Trilobe Nuit Fantastique unusual- time display colours dials green finishing
The insurgence of newer, more experimental independent brands, and accolades that brands such as Ressence, Urwerk, and Trilobe have already bagged stand as testament to the fact that newer designs are being received well by watch enthusiasts. Seen here is a Trilobe Nuit Fantastique watch, with three different discs for the hours, minutes and seconds

Wandering Hours And Unconventional Displays Presented By The Unique Urwerk

When one thinks of astronomical influences in the world of horology, their manifestation usually looks like a moon phase on a watch. For Urwerk, however, their demonstrations of sci-fi, futuristic architecture, and ancient astronomical instruments are unlike anything else out there.

  • The Watch Guide

    This is the UR-120, an awe-inspiring timepiece that features a 60-minute track on the right side of the timepiece starts at the one o'clock position and ends at five

  • The Watch Guide

    The 44mm case of the timepiece is crafted in steel and titanium & has a black DLC finish

  • The Watch Guide

    Once a 'wandering hour' reaches five o'clock, the next one is ready to display the hours starting at one

  • The Watch Guide

    the hour satellite mounted on planetary gears splits open, taking on a V-shape. Each of the two studs rotates on its own axis to display one-half of the next numeral

  • The Watch Guide

    The watch features 30m of water-resistance and is powered by the automatic calibre UR-20.01

  • The Watch Guide

    The lugs of the watch are inspired by the attachments on the Sputnik satellite. Apart from the lugs, the crown is also uniquely fitted at the five o’clock marker

Urwerk were founded in 1997 with one goal—according to the brand—‘to design and craft haute horlogerie timepieces blending tradition with futuristic vision’. Urwerk have been causing a stir in the horological world, and for good reason too. Take, for example, two of their timepieces: the UR-120 and UR-100V.

The UR-120 features ‘satellites’ that display the hours. The 60-minute track on the right side of the timepiece starts at the one o’clock position and ends at five. Once a wandering hour reaches five o’clock, the next one is ready to display the hours starting at one.

That’s not all; the hour satellite mounted on planetary gears splits open, taking on a V-shape. Each of the two studs rotates on its own axis to display one-half of the next numeral. A lyre-shaped spring then shuts off the satellites.

In the UR-100V, telling the time is somewhat the same, though with two new elements that personify the brand’s signature space-time concept. The wandering hour, which coincides with the 60-minute track, tells the time (while the pointer under the hour signifies the minutes).

  • The Watch Guide

    In the UR-100V, telling the time is similar as it is in the UR-120, though two new elements that personify the brand's signature space-time concept

  • The Watch Guide

    The UR-100V comes with a case size of 41mm, with a case and bracelet rendered in titanium

  • The Watch Guide

    Powered by the automatic movement UR 12.01, which gives the watch a power reserve of up to 48 hours

  • The Watch Guide

    The added elements feature two special counters. One displays the distance travelled by Earth along its own axis over the course of 20 minutes (555km). This counter is visible between nine and 11 o'clock. The second counter, visible between one and three o’clock, shows the distance travelled by Earth around the sun in the same 20 minutes (5,740km)

  • The Watch Guide

    The movement is controlled by a crown set at 12

The added elements feature two special counters. One displays the distance travelled by Earth along its own axis over the course of 20 minutes (555km). This counter is visible between nine and 11 o’clock. The second counter, visible between one and three o’clock, shows the distance travelled by Earth around the sun in the same 20 minutes (5,740km).

When talking about the changing landscape and the newest horological innovations, not mentioning Urwerk would be criminal. Each timepiece is worthy of a detailed dissection.

Take a closer look at other novelties from Urwerk

The Ever-Rotating Dials In The Unconventional Displays Of Ressence

Let’s jump to timepieces from independent watchmaking brand Ressence, founded in 2010. The brand believe that ‘behind their minimalistic design, the true purpose is to provoke wonder’. And boy—how they’ve succeeded!

  • The Watch Guide

    This is the Ressence Type 8, a minimalistic timekeeper, which delivers on both aesthetics and mechanical aspects of watchmaking

  • The Watch Guide

    The central hand displays the minutes, while the only sub-dial on the watch displays the hours, with the brand's logo acting as the 12 o'clock marker

  • The Watch Guide

    Crafted entirely from grade-5 titanium, the 42.9mm case contributes to an extremely light overall weight and along with the strap included, the watch weighs just 42gm

  • The Watch Guide

    There are no apparent lugs; they are hidden behind a small ‘skirt’ extending from the round case body

  • The Watch Guide

    Type 8 is powered by an automatic movement, based on an ETA calibre 2892/2 with a 36-hour power reserve

The brand’s signature move is its patented Orbital Convex System (ROCS). This uses rotating discs with graphical indications, making it seem like the dial itself is in motion. It’s a mesmerising, two-dimensional visual effect that often almost looks digital in nature, which just adds to the mystique.

Some timepieces also feature an oil-filled capsule system to eliminate the visual distortion caused by the reflection and refraction of light (Type 5; pictured below). When wound through the caseback, the sub-dials revolve around themselves. The central hand displays the minutes; some timepieces, such as the Type 5, feature an oil temperature-indicating sub-dial, and running seconds and the hours sub-dial is prominent too, though not fixed to one position.

The Watch Guide

The Ressence Type 5 timepiece features an oil-filled capsule system to eliminate the visual distortion caused by the reflection and refraction of light

The Watch Guide

The central hand display the minutes, in the picture above, the sub-dial at what seems to be six is actually the oil-temperature indicator. The running seconds and the hours are displayed by the two dials at two and eleven respectively. Although keep in mind, the positions of the sub-dials changes as the watch is wound (while it is not in the 'locked' position)

The Watch Guide

With innovative measures, such as their interesting time display and the use of oil to counteract the refraction of light to assist divers with better timekeeping, Ressence watches have already been making waves

With innovative measures, such as their interesting time display and the use of oil to counteract the refraction of light to assist divers with better timekeeping, Ressence watches have already been making waves. Other interesting aspects including the e-crown continue to fascinate us, and we’re always excited to see what the future holds for the brand.

Spinning The Wheels Of Time Are The Unconventional Displays Of Trilobe

The youngest brand on this list have garnered an astonishing amount of attention in a very short time. Founded in 2018, the brand have already earned accolades for their unique and unconventional displays of time. For instance, the Nuit Fantastique watches tell the time with a dial comprising a mechanical integration of four circular parts.

It tells the time like this: the outermost ring with hours rotates at the periphery of the dial, and the brand’s logo is fixed at 12 points at the current hour. Two off-centred circles depict the minutes and the seconds, with the one on top being the aperture that tells the minutes, and the seconds being displayed through a disc. Get this: each disc actually rotates counter-clockwise.

  • The Watch Guide

    This is the Nuit Fantastique by Trilobe. The outermost ring with hours rotates at the periphery of the dial, and the brand's logo is fixed at 12 points at the current hour. Two off-centred circles depict the minutes and the seconds, with the one on top being the aperture that tells the minutes, and the seconds being displayed through a disc

  • The Watch Guide

    With a 40.5mm case size and a thickness of 9.2mm, the watches sit comfortably on your wrist, wrapped around it with a leather strap

  • The Watch Guide

    The Nuit Fantastique Secret features watches that carry a rendition of the star map for a particular date and place. Personalised, brilliantly executed, deeply meaningful for each person, this line spells sheer elegance

  • The Watch Guide

    The Nuit Fantastique timepieces are available in various colours like the Grained Green pictured above

  • The Watch Guide

    Trilobe have already bagged accolades for their ingenious time display, made all the more special by the fact that all the apertures rotate counter-clockwise

Not only have the brand fruitfully experimented with unconventional displays of time, but the gorgeous aesthetics they use along with it work especially well in their favour. For example, the Nuit Fantastique Secret features watches that carry a rendition of the star map for a particular date and place. Personalised, brilliantly executed, deeply meaningful for each person, this line spells sheer elegance.

The emergence of such daring independent brands is fairly new in the world of horology. Be it Russian watchmakers Konstantine Chaykin—with whimsical displays—or Swiss brand Armin Strom, with their incredible unconventional displays that are skeletonised, the boom we’re experiencing in independent watchmaking is nothing short of extraordinary.

Sure, the artistry behind each of these brands’ mechanics and designs is to be marvelled at, but there’s a bigger point to be made here: innovation such as this will only continue. It’s an exciting proposition, which will bring with it some unheard-of ways of telling the time. In a way, brands such as the one’s we’ve focused on today act as the herald of a dynamic era in watchmaking, and perhaps the best is yet to come.

Shop The Story

Leave a comment:

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *