“Accessible” and “High-End” are not words that generally go well together… Quality normally comes at a cost. A case made by an expert watchmaker, a guilloché dial and a hand-enhanced development are often indications of a 5-digit sticker price. Getting a charge out of the flavor of independent watchmaking, the restrictiveness and the craftsmanship require profound pockets. A pitiful reality. However, not for Ophion, a youthful brand made in 2015 and that, from the earliest starting point, grabbed our eye. In 2018, it did it once more, with its subsequent watch . Furthermore, this year, Ophion presented a watch that pushed the idea of “accessible high-end” a lot further. This is the Ophion OPH 786 Velos and today we investigate it, in the metal.
Before we start with the review of this watch, let’s play a little game… What whenever requested that you put a cost on a watch done in a little arrangement, with a case presented by Voutilainen’s defense making company, with independently welded tear hauls, highlighting a guilloché dial, applied (and on certain adaptations thermally blued) Breguet markers, a 3-dimensional dial design with a few layers and a development hand-got done with a pounded surface. I can’t sort out the number that will be in your psyche with exactness, yet I’m effectively speculating you are not envisioning a moderate sticker price. Indeed, today, we’re going to exhibit that these highlights don’t essentially cost in excess of a standard, mechanically created watch.
Ophion was brought into the world in Spain, a country that we don’t normally partner with watchmaking. All good, the watches aren’t delivered there (parts are done in Switzerland and Germany) however this is the place where the organizer, Miguel Morales Ribas, comes from. Driven by his energy for watchmaking, he chose to make his own image considering moderateness and quality adding a few highlights of conventional high-end watchmaking in the equation… which might have driven the cost up, yet it didn’t.
Passionate about watchmakers like Journe, Ferrier or Voutilainen, the thought was to discover approaches to catch their soul however not the cost. This implied discovering answers for cut costs, without ignoring the general sensation of eliteness. The two first parts in the Ophion story, the OPH 960 and the OPH 786 , were at that point persuading, however the freshest model, the Velos, pushes the idea in another (and noteworthy) bearing. Since this time, in addition to the fact that he took motivation from these expert watchmakers, he even figured out how to include one of them in his most recent project.
The Ophion OPH 786 Velos
This new model is a development of the 2018, not “Velos” in those days, watch delivered by Ophion. The vast majority of the highlights are shared however the new Velos has calibrated each and every part of the watch to bring much more horological joy: upgraded case; advancement of the dial and its format; new handset and markers; refined examples and execution; considerably more regard for the beautification of the development; and a slight yet advocated cost adjustment.
A attractive, perfectly executed case
Starting with the case, you’ll most likely see a specific similarity with watches made by Kari Voutilainen (or Urban Jurgensen). The round profile of the focal holder, the curved bezel and for the most part the tear hauls are recognizable components that are not simply an accolade for Kari’s work… It is crafted by his own case-making company. For this new model, Ophion has banded together with Voutilainen & Cattin SA, a company halfway claimed by Kari and had some expertise in the event that making, which creates and completes cases for numerous watch brands, presently including Ophion.
Typical in Kari’s plan language, the instance of the Ophion OPH 786 Velos depends on a focal compartment that is rock formed with no sharp points and altogether cleaned surfaces. This smooth shape is likewise repeated in the crown, which has a level onion profile and is finely scored. The case gauges a sensible 39mm breadth, pleasant extents for a cutting edge dress watch, which will fit most wrists. The general execution of the case is, as you would anticipate from Voutilainen & Cattin, flawless and exact, with a lovely polishing.
The carries are the principle fascination on this case, those tear hauls that will quickly converse with high-end watchmaking fans. Once more, these are commonplace to Kari’s work – and furthermore Urban Jurgensen, since Voutilainen used to work for this brand, and later did prototyping and one of a kind pieces for them. Executed in cleaned steel like the remainder of the case, the carries are independent modules, manufactured and welded to the case by hand. Presumably about the excellence of the execution, or the visual magnificence of these tear carries, which give the Ophion OPH 786 Velos definitely more appeal than the past models that pre-owned more standard cases. The apparent quality takes a gigantic leap, which drives this watch into an alternate category… and outwardly, it is essentially a blowout for the eyes.
The trust the jury to decide wisely is perfectly executed and proportional. The watch sits pleasantly on the wrist, as the carries are inclined and the tie sits low working on this issue. About this, Ophion settled on a rather moderate decision here, with gator lashes (cowhide leather with an example as standard or veritable crocodile as an alternative). In the event that the nature of the lash isn’t to be discussed, I would by and by go for something a smidgen more easygoing, less severe and without an example. A straightforward, top notch matte and level calf leather would be more proper as I would like to think. Yet, that’s a highly emotional remark.
Textured dials, loaded with details
Just like the past model, this new Ophion OPH 786 Velos has a ton going for its dial, with layers, applied tracks and markers, designs, numerous finishings… The actual dial and every one of its components are obviously a long ways past what you’d hope to find in a sub-3k watch. Additionally, similar to its archetype, two diverse dial designs are accessible. Not shot here, however introduced in our presenting article, is a brushed galvanic dial, with a roundabout example. For this review, we’ve chose to zero in on the guilloché dial, accessible in three tones; silver, blue or salmon, with thermally blued or rhodium-plated applied elements.
Guilloché is a customary method that is, in high-end watchmaking, executed by a hand-controlled machine known as a motor turning lathe. The interaction, what begins with a gold or silver dial plate, makes dreary themes by etching the metal. It is a complex, tedious cycle that requires highly gifted specialists yet that outcomes in sublime dials with the remarkable appeal of a carefully assembled object. This is the method utilized by Breguet or Kari Voutilainen (him once more) in his dial-making company Comblemine. To reduce expenses, most standard companies utilize an alternate, a lot less expensive procedure to acquire such examples; by stepping the dials in a modern way. The outcome is undeniably less exact and itemized, without the sharp etching impact of hand-guillochage.
What Ophion is doing is a transitional arrangement that makes this profound, sharp surface without the expenses of a hand-executed motor turning measure. The dials of the OPH 786 Velos are acquired by utilizing a CNC machine. Thusly, the dial is still appropriately engraved (machine-etched), implying that material is eliminated, making profound entry points and the brilliance and reflections coming about because of these examples, without the need of utilizing an exorbitant method. For its watch, Ophion picked a cross weave (likewise named panier design), a conventional theme which is finely executed here.
And this is only the start. On top of this designed dial plate are various applied components. New to this model are the “Breguet” numerals, with a profound profile and exact execution. As Miguel calls attention to, the watches you see here are still models and the eventual outcomes will have significantly more point by point numerals. These are accessible either in silver tone (rhodium-plated, on the blue model) or thermally blued (on the silver and salmon dials). They are shading coordinated with the hands, which not exclusively are definitely executed yet additionally highlight another plan – the new hour hand gives its name to the watch, Vélos, which comes from the old style Greek signifying ‘arrow’.
In expansion to that, Ophion depends on its typical 3D dials, with different applied components, for example, the raised tracks – one for the minutes, on the outskirts, and one to stamp the focal point of the dial, which combines a precious stone cleaned slope and a round brushed top surface, and that includes a cartouche with the name of the brand.
Three tones are accessible with this designed dial, all got by galvanic treatment, bringing about metallic tones and reflections. Every form has its own character, with an individual inclination for the salmon model… Yes, the exemplary steel/salmon/blue files combination is consistently a champ. Altogether, the degree of detail on this dial is basically dazzling, in this value range at any rate. Absolutely, you’ll discover greater refinement at Breguet, more high quality parts at UJ… however in the 2K-4K Euros range, there are very few watches that can compete with this OPH 786 Velos. Period!
Now that we have covered the habillage parts, you may believe that, to control the expenses, this watch is furnished with a standard programmed Sellita or ETA development. Indeed, you’d not be right. Indeed, for clear reasons, the developments are re-appropriated, indeed, the developments start their lives as modernly delivered ébauches and indeed, the engineering is utilized by others. However, numerous parts are select to the brand and the completing isn’t your exemplary machine-made Geneva stripe.
The base development utilized by Ophion OPH 786 Velos is equivalent to the two past watches of the brand, a hand-wound, 4Hz recurrence and 5-day power save motor (twin-barrel) once delivered by Technotime, presently made by Soprod. There’s as of now a considerable amount to adore here, with this long independence physically twisted development, with a huge breadth that pleasantly fits the case. Nonetheless, the interest isn’t just here.
What’s exceptional in this development is the thing that other brands don’t use; restrictive, inside planned extensions with a balanced format and a finger-style show. This design is suggestive of antique pocket watches of the English school of watchmaking or some Breguet models (generally the souscription watches). Along these lines, the cockerel (the scaffold that gets the equilibrium wheel) has this commonplace British-enlivened plan, with an opened focus territory and a ventured architecture.
When it comes to the enhancement, Ophion went for strong and refined methods. The 3 fundamental extensions highlight a remarkable example that takes after the antique pounded strategy – obviously, executed here in a more current way. The edges and the screw spaces are inclined and cleaned, pleasantly appearing differently in relation to the matte upper surfaces. The flanks of the scaffolds have a straight graining as well. At long last, the chicken combines cleaned slants, straight-brushed top surface and grained flanks, with a curiously large cleaned screw.
Once once more, this development is another part that truly astonishes us at a watch in this cost range. Enormous, reasonable with the style of the watch, flawlessly completed and selective, it will satisfy the individuals who are looking for something other than a standard programmed ETA base.
You’ve presumably comprehended that we are genuinely dazzled by Ophion’s most recent offering. Whatever you take a gander at, there’s unbelievable scrupulousness, once in a while found in watches in the 2k-4k Euros classification. What’s significantly more noteworthy is that this watch is enitrely created in Europe – as gladly engraved on the caseback; 70% Swiss – 30% German.
Quality separated, the Ophion OPH 786 Velos marks a positive advancement as far as plan, with more rationality between the dial, the (great) case by Voutilainen & Cattin, the numerals and hands, lastly the development. This watch is proportional, brimming with appeal and references to high-end watchmaking, exquisite yet with a curve and, valid statement, its own personality.
Is it awesome? Nearly, as I’d by and by changed the lash for something less moderate and might want the counter intelligent covering on the sapphire precious stone to be somewhat more proficient – particularly obvious on the blue model… But truly, these are minor defects that won’t change my positive assessment on this watch, which cost about equivalent to a mechanical “luxury” watch from a standard brand. High-end watchmaking made accessible.
Price and availability
The Ophion OPH 786 Velos can be requested from the brand’s site here . It is valued at EUR 2,580 (excl. charges) for the outspread dials and EUR 2,870 (excl. charges) for the guilloché dials.
More subtleties at www.ophion-watches.com .