Compared to all the watch brands who claim to sell affordable luxury, Ophion actually delivers by selling a High End movement at a High Middle price.
After successfully crowdfunding the launch of their model OPH 960 in Summer 2015, Spanish-based brand Ophion is upping the ante with a second act. By the account of independent watchmaking journalist Grégory Pons (www.businessmontres.com), two new watch brands are being launched every week. Of those, many belong to the minimalistic micro-brand wave that promises “affordable luxury“, but the reality is that it is all exaggeration and hyperbole.
Luxury is by definition not affordable, and when the trained eye realises that all those minimalistic brands are actually selling Low Middle End watches at Low Middle End prices while claiming that the customer is actually getting a higher quality, we seriously beg to differ. It’s basically a zero-sum game, and the undiscerning customer is tricked into thinking that they are getting Middle End or High Middle quality.
That is not the case with Ophion. For their 2015 collection, they sought one of the most expensive mass-produced automatic movement, the Technotime TT 718. Just to give the reader a scale of comparison, Technotime movements have been used in High End by brands such as Bell & Ross, DuManège, Peter Speake-Marin or Yeslam. In watches that retail above USD 7,500.
As for Ophion, they manage to keep their direct sales prices below USD 2,000, which means that the customer gets a High End movement at a High Middle price, and that my friends is a rare and genuine example of affordable luxury. The new Ophion 786 pays tribute to 17th century pocket watches, which visual cues are currently used by brands such as Breguet, Kari Voutilainen and Urban Jurgensen:
Interestingly, some of these watches were sold by Abraham-Louis Breguet in a pioneering crowdfunding model that predated Kickstarter by several centuries.
The movement has been customised for the occasion by Technotime, who has recently been purchased from the Chung Nam Group by Spanish-owned Festina Group. This version uses a double barrel that offers a power reserve of 120 hours.
In the spirit of 17th century pocket watches, the bridges are worked in a very geometrical way, and finished with a random “snowflake” surface.
The direct sales price starts around USD 1,500, and production will start as soon as pre-orders reach 30 pieces. Buyers will be able to choose from 9 different combinations of dial and strap colour. For details please go to Ophion-Watches.com.