After The Porthole, which we discuss in depth in the latest issue of Watchisthis?! Magazine, Dutch-based watch brand Pheidippides now launches The Hourglass. A totally different concept, yet designed and crafted with the same painstaking attention to detail.
When first seeing The Hourglass it reminded me of « Montre a Tact », a watch created by the godfather of independent watchmaking, and mentor of many great watchmakers, Svend Andersen. Although the concept is the same, the execution is different, and fortunately also the price tag. While Svend Andersen makes his watches completely by hand, Pheidippides uses a clever combination of Swiss parts and German jewelry makers to create his watch.
This works surprisingly well, with as a result a watch who’s fit and finish looks far better than its price tag would indicate. The « dial » of the watch shows nothing but a large bar, which is, in fact, the hour hand. You can check the hour in more precise fashion by turning your wrist slightly and look between the lugs of the watch. This is a unique way of telling time that gives the watch a lot of character and is actually much more practical than you would initially think. The only pity is that Pheidippides didn’t make a clear marking on the case so the hours can be ready slightly easier. (Note: after publication of this article Pheidippides has said that they will address this issue with the production model)
The craftsmanship on the watch is outstanding, with the sapphire box on top of the case as the main attraction. It takes quite some skill to fabricate such a sapphire crystal, but it really makes the watch. The case itself is pretty straight forward not to draw a lot of attention away from the time display. The short lugs not only keep the straps snug to the case but also make it sit nicely on top of the wrist. The back of the screw down case shows the STP5-15 automatic calibre which is nice, yet soberly finished. The movement’s design follows that of ETA’s 2824-2 and is produced by Swiss Technology Production, which is part of the Fossil-group.
The Hourglass is available in 5 subtle pastel tints that work really well with the design of the watch, especially the sapphire box. In fact, it gives The Hourglass a bit of a modern Miami Vice-flair. I have read on social media that some people find the price of 1.195 euros’s for the early bird special and 1.295 euro’s for the tier after that too much. A ridiculous statement if you ask me. Take that money to a local jeweler, or even check online and you will be surprised how little watch you will be able to get in comparison to The Hourglass. Of course, there are plenty of offerings that offer a regular dial, but you will be hard-pressed to find something as unique as this one.
That being said, The Hourglass might not be a watch for everyone, but it will those who can appreciate its unique complication and execution very happy!
For more information on The Hourglass click here