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Today is different than most days. Today I sit under a waxing crescent enjoying the tidal pull of the moon at 25% full. Even though it has a long way to go, I can feel the effects of the full moon already weighing on my mind. It slows my senses and twists my logic; it warps my comprehension and impales holes in reality. I feel as if I am losing grip on the world around me, and plunging into a darkness of fear and trepidation.

Moon Crescent Astronomical object Atmosphere Black-and-white

I have put my mind to a task, and been left wanting. Math, it seems, is still my mortal enemy for it has foiled my attempts to understand something as simple as a gear train calculation. Any horology buffs out there might scoff and say “It’s simple, how could you not understand it?” To them I say, yeah, most calculations are simple, and this one appeared as so from the first moment I set my mind to the equation. But shortly thereafter I found out I had been dearly mistaken. Maybe I didn’t notice something that is painfully obvious; maybe I was using the wrong calculations? Maybe the information I had was not the whole story and there is a missing link that would make it crystal clear? Whatever the reason, I failed not through lack of effort.

Google was my friend today, querying terms that I remembered from school, and relearning things that I had since forgotten. I discovered that planetary gear systems used slightly different calculations based on where the driving force was coming from. That didn’t help in the end, as the answers I was getting never matched anything that I was looking for. Woe is me; I shake my fist towards the sky and howl! HOWL! HOWWWWWWWWLLLLLL!

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Well enough with the dramatics, let’s get to it. The reason we are here today is to discuss a watch very interesting to me and that is the Ochs und Junior Moonphase, or previously known as the Selene Tinta Moonphase. This watch has the distinction of being the most accurate moonphase watch ever made… and quite possibly the LEAST complicated moonphase ever created as well! Those are a couple big claims so how do they stack up? Well, utilizing only 5 components the moonphase is accurate to one day in 3,478.27 years. I’ll let that sink in for a second. Kind of amazing, yes?

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This amazing feat of mathematics is what has me stumped. Not because I don’t believe it, actually I think it is most likely true that complications are more complicated than they really need be. It has me stumped because I cannot do the calculations to get to that number of how accurate it is. Let’s give a rundown of how it works. Here are the parts…

Auto part Clutch part Circle Metal Fashion accessory

The smallest part attaches directly to the hour wheel and (verified by a watchmaker friend of mine) rotates 24 times in one day. Now according to a video I have seen from the brand, it is stated that it rotates twice in a 24 hour period. First issue. I will be enquiring to Beat Weinmann as to the correct function asap. Regardless of that fact, I did run the calculations using both numbers, neither netting me the right answer so don’t say HA, that’s where you messed up. Moving on, the first wheel of the planetary gear train is a compound gear, or in watchmaking terms, a wheel and a pinion. The wheel has 12 teeth which mesh with the finger attached to the hour wheel. The pinion has 14 teeth (leaves) which mesh with the next gear in the series that has 18 teeth. The pinion of the third gear again has 14 teeth (leaves) and these mesh with an outer ring gear containing 109 teeth. Simple and straight forward yet I am left baffled by the calculations. Nothing I or my watchmaking associate can do will get us the right numbers. I may be missing something but I cannot figure it out. Five hours of my time and 2 hours of my friends’ could not crack it so I lay myself before thee defeated in this hour. I will rise again to accept the challenge when I am not under a deadline and still needing to go buy groceries for the week.

Circle Button

Even though I cannot figure out the calculations, I’m reasonably sure someone on Watchuseek will know the answer or I will be enlightened by someone soon and my knowledge will grow. Obviously they are not selling a watch that does not keep excellent accuracy for the moonphase, I simply am failing to calculate it correctly but that does not diminish my love for the complication! This is why I bring it to your attention today. Clever and ingenious design, with mechanisms and gear systems, is what makes me get all giddy like a 5[SUP]th[/SUP] grader with a brand new Superball. Sometimes, late at night, I watch videos of machinery that is extremely specialized just to see how people thought of using the same components to do completely different things. I love how things work, and the Ochs und Junior Moonphase is engineering design at its best. Check out this video by the folks at Hodinkee talking with Beat Weinmann about the brand and the Moonphase-


The Moonphase demonstrates very plainly that, while there are many ways to make a date, most of them are superfluously cluttered with components that can be fettered out. It would be interesting to see Ludwig Oechslin’s take on a seemingly irreducibly complex mechanism such as a minute repeater. He already made an annual calendar with only 3 extra parts, so I bet his ideas would be crazy simple. These are things I admire because it follows one rule that I try to employ whenever possible – Keep it simple, stupid. Engineers out there will have heard this mantra repeated throughout school and the good ones took it to heart. There are many times that a task can be accomplished in fewer steps, with fewer parts, or relying on fewer systems. Why use six gears when two will do, why have four legs on a chair when 3 work just fine. Sometimes the situation calls for complexity, but many times it really doesn’t and you can abandon the grand plans in favor of something more elegant, less complex, and hopefully, incredibly clever.

Button Circle Fashion accessory Metal Party favor

This philosophy extends to many parts of Ochs und Junior and their timepieces. The dials are designed to be functional, with posts on the rear to hold wheels and gears, and holes milled to act as indicators. No need to have a bunch of little numbers attached and multiple components to simply locate a ring that needs to spin. The case backs are solid and keep water out… all they need to do. In fact, the case is only two main components, instead of the sometimes dozens that other cases employ. It really is all about simplicity. Some watchmakers or WIS will say it lacks the finishing quality that defines high end timepieces, or that the way it is made by haute horology houses is more precise and will last longer. To them I say eat shorts. If you want you can polish and bevel and grain all the pieces of an Ochs und Junior and make them shiny just like an AP or a PP and then shove it in a safe and say “Oh look how pretty it is! Well it’s in the safe, but someday you can see how pretty it is!” Now this isn’t to say I don’t love those watches, I do, but Ochs und Junior is about something different.

Ring Fashion accessory Material property Jewellery Metal

Product Auto part Automotive piston Steel Metal

They are about people who want a nice watch that works well, sells for a good price, and is something that they can wear for real life. Maybe you wouldn’t wear one to a wedding (I would, but that’s me) but anywhere else in the world these watches would work great. The machined cases are even left unfinished, not because they like things to look raw or unfinished, but because the machining is so accurate and clean that they look great right out of the machine. Not many brands can say that. Being a machinist myself, I know what the right feeds and speeds can do to a piece of metal, to where if you program it correctly, you can even get your Côtes de Genève right from the mill (yes I have done that before… my employers haven’t noticed yet) That is workmanship in its truest form, making a part so well that there isn’t any finishing to be done.

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Meow meow meow meow mrrow meow meow. Wait, what the heck, get away from the computer you silly feline. Ok, on to the breakdown!


  • Wowza Factor – 4.5 This watch is known as a sleeper. It might not garner the attention a bling encrusted gold behemoth with tourbillon, but it makes up for that with honesty and integrity in its purpose.
  • Late Night Lust Appeal – 1.55 g[SUB]n[/SUB] » 15.200 m/s[SUP]2[/SUP] This watch is a sleeper for a reason, it has demure and utilitarian looks, but can slam your butt back in your seat like a Bugatti accelerating to 100km/h in just 2.4 seconds.
  • M.G.R. – 56.7 The base movement is an industry standard 2824-2, so no complaints there. But the kicker is the date and moonphase additions utilizing only 6 extra parts combined!
  • Added-Functionitis – Moderate With an added date and moonphase only consisting of 6 extra parts and with the moonphase being accurate to one day every 3,478.27 years, this watch definitely requires judicious application of extra strength ‘Gotta-HAVE-That’ cream for the serious horological swelling that will occur.
  • Clams Per Pound – $10,000 The most accurate moonphase in a wristwatch and the least complicated one at that definitely deserves the asking price! You are paying for the ingenuity, not a bunch of extra parts!
  • Ouch Outline – 3.89 – Clipping the Cuticles Too Deep Anybody that does their own grooming knows how painful that can be and I would take it time and again, I would be able to count the days till the full moon while I bleed!
  • Mermaid Moment – Wait, you said only 5 parts? And it’s how accurate??? The moment you hear the simplicity behind the moonphase of this watch you will say one of two things: A- “That’s pretty darn good” or B- “Holy poop!”

Glasses

Oh, sorry Ludwig, didn't mean to weird you out there! (I think he thinks I'm a dork)

Overall this brand and this watch are amazing not for the complexity and the sheer manpower it takes to finish it, but for the simplicity and ingenuity it takes to complete such complications with such few parts. They are rigorous in their reduction and hold themselves to a level of workmanship that many should strive for. Not needing to finish the case or other parts because they are made well in the first place is something this guy can appreciate. Alas though, I still must know the calculation and I vow I will not rest until I discover the truth! Curse you mathematica!!!!!!

As always the photos are not owned by me and are found freely on the interweb.

Have an awesomely great week & DFTBA!

Cheers & Happy Watching,

Joshua

-------------------------
www.ochsundjunior.ch
 

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I love this watch.

Kindest Regards,
Portauto
 

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I received delivery of my Ochs und Junior Moonphase last month and its truly stunning in the flesh. Photos do not do it full justice as can be said for most fine watches.
I must admit a moonphase from the likes of PP, AP, VC, JLC were on my horological wish list but a little out of my reach.

When I read about Ochs und Junior on Hodinkee earlier this year I was simply captivated by the brand and what it stood for. The very fact that a small group of master craftspersons are involved in each stage of the watch's
manufacture means a lot to me. The entire process of deciding the configuration of my Moonphase was also a great pleasure. Beat and his team are to be highly commended for stellar service and a truly magnificent timepiece I shall treasure for the rest of my life.

Anyway, enough ramble from me. A few amateurish pics on my behalf. I could not wait until a full moon in Sydney last week to take a few shots of my Moonphase and our heavenly neighbour...

Watch Analog watch Fashion accessory Watch accessory Strap Watch Analog watch Watch accessory Fashion accessory Strap Analog watch Watch Watch accessory Fashion accessory Strap Watch Analog watch Watch accessory Wrist Darkness
 

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Congratulations Orsoni on the arrival of your Moonphase. Its truly a stunning piece and not your typical watch.
I like the colour of the hands and indices on your model. Is it purple?
I call it art on your wrist:)
 

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It really is all about simplicity. Some watchmakers or WIS will say it lacks the finishing quality that defines high end timepieces, or that the way it is made by haute horology houses is more precise and will last longer. To them I say eat shorts. If you want you can polish and bevel and grain all the pieces of an Ochs und Junior and make them shiny just like an AP or a PP and then shove it in a safe and say “Oh look how pretty it is! Well it’s in the safe, but someday you can see how pretty it is!” Now this isn’t to say I don’t love those watches, I do, but Ochs und Junior is about something different
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Congratulations Orsoni on the arrival of your Moonphase. Its truly a stunning piece and not your typical watch.
I like the colour of the hands and indices on your model. Is it purple?
I call it art on your wrist:)
Sorry for the delay. It has lavender hands on a gray dial.
 

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Another proud owner from Down Under. My new to me Moonphase (Selene Tinta):
 

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Very nice! My first go around I went with the smaller sized 39 mm selene, thinking the 42 mm model would be too large. But I didn't realize the very short lugs would greatly impact its wearability and it wore a bit small. Fortunately a friend and fellow addict loved it and took it off my wrist. Incoming is a 42 mm, silver cased (the first was titanium) moon phase piece as pictured, can't wait to strap it on!!
 

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Cheers!

I actually saw your Perpetual for sale drhr just as I was negotiating for mine, and was very much so thinking about buying it until I noticed it was 39mm. I have a 7.5in wrist and think the 42mm wears brilliantly. There's not a lot of bezel, so you'd think it would wear quite large, but the short lugs reduce this impact. Really good size for it.

Love the combo you've gone for. If I was purchasing new that's what I most likely would have gone for as well (though the choices do make it hard!) :-!
 
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Cheers!

I actually saw your Perpetual for sale drhr just as I was negotiating for mine, and was very much so thinking about buying it until I noticed it was 39mm. I have a 7.5in wrist and think the 42mm wears brilliantly. There's not a lot of bezel, so you'd think it would wear quite large, but the short lugs reduce this impact. Really good size for it.

Love the combo you've gone for. If I was purchasing new that's what I most likely would have gone for as well (though the choices do make it hard!) :-!
Yes, you've nailed it with this sentence. Ah, live and learn for me! And choices? Unlike a lot of brands, these guys almost give you too many options with regard to color choices for dial, hands and strap . . . congrats again on a great acquisition!
 

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Yes, you've nailed it with this sentence. Ah, live and learn for me! And choices? Unlike a lot of brands, these guys almost give you too many options with regard to color choices for dial, hands and strap . . . congrats again on a great acquisition!
Thanks mate :-!

It's so tough to decide whether to get something completely custom and unlike anyone other, or go for one of their gorgeous stock models such as you've gone for. I don't think you can go far wrong either way. Be sure to post up some pics when it arrives!
 
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Thanks mate :-!

It's so tough to decide whether to get something completely custom and unlike anyone other, or go for one of their gorgeous stock models such as you've gone for. I don't think you can go far wrong either way. Be sure to post up some pics when it arrives!
Yeah, my first go around I was really after a "color combo" and that was fine but somehow the patinated dial just drew me in with this one. Beat tells me sometime in June, will definitely post pics and impressions!
 
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Despite enjoying my black contrast dial Moonphase for just over a year I too started to yearn for the patinated brass look. I also found the 39mm size case wore slightly smaller on my 7" wrist. I think the black dial also contributed to this effect as well. So after a few emails with Beat and a relatively short turnaround I have a "new" Ochs again:)
Before:
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After:
Watch Analog watch Watch accessory Fashion accessory Strap Watch Analog watch Strap Watch accessory Fashion accessory Analog watch Watch Watch accessory Strap Fashion accessory Watch Analog watch Watch accessory Wrist Blue
 

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Patinated 42 mm on sturgeon leather's been in awhile. The silver case is tarnishing up nicely. As much as I enjoyed the "colors" I have to say that this one gives me the most delight. Neat watches guys, a bunch of recent candids . . .
 

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Watches are looking great guys! Looks like we're all in patina-town now :-!

Would love to keep abreast of how the silver patinates, love the finish as it sits now but I'm also a big bronze fan and love to see how a case develops over time.

I recently ordered another Sturgeon for mine as the previous one was too short. Love this combo:
 

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Beautiful shots drhr. The 42mm case looks perfect on your wrist. Looks like you have a gold sun!
Great wrist shot phunky_monkey as well!

I think both you guys have convinced me to get a sturgeon strap as well:)
 

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Beautiful shots drhr. The 42mm case looks perfect on your wrist. Looks like you have a gold sun!
Great wrist shot phunky_monkey as well!

I think both you guys have convinced me to get a sturgeon strap as well:)
Yeah, gold and it pops, love it! Yes for the sturgeon!!
 
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