Hands-On with My Friend from Outer Space, the Schwarz Etienne Roswell 08
Schwarz Etienne creates its own codes of haute horlogerie: refreshing, humorous yet serious watchmaking. The Roswell is their first collection entirely equipped with their own calibers created, produced and assembled in-house. It is beautiful, different and it oozes watchmaking passion.
The Roswell-08, unveiled at the beginning of 2018, finally lands on Earth. Coming out of its UFO (its box), it gently takes control of my wrist for a hands-on in line with the philosophy of the house from La Chaux-de-Fonds. To wear it is like trying a small space ship: it is intriguing, full of multiples details, and surprises a plenty…and there is a big motor inside. Let’s Take off!
A strong identity
As I wake up, my eyes open on my new friend from another world. He is looking at me from the night stand. His elegant brushed Havana brown face winks at me with its innovative date mechanism and escapement visible at 1 hour 30. It’s alive and smiles at me with its bright orange tone. I immediately grab him, and he lands on my wrist.
Its size, which I thought imposing at first, turns out to be perfectly adapted to my modest wrists. It must be the distinctive and recognizable shape of the case that makes it so slender. I recognize the same design of the UFO box…of which neighbors has been playing with since yesterday. The case is round, beveled, and salient. It imparts a surprising lightness to the timepiece, as if it could take off at any time. The contrast between its brushed stainless finish and the polished plunging lugs with their carved angles creates a beautiful harmony and an efficient comfort.
The dial’s construction with its flange adorned with luminescent appliques and a unique hourly number 12 offers balance and elegance. The Alpha hours and minutes hands, also luminescent, reinforce this sensation.
All these small details create a playful and homogeneous impression which make the timepiece endearing and unveils the essential in its center.
Indeed, the apparent caliber catches the eye. The self-winding ISE 100.11 is an evolution of the irreversible 100.00 caliber. It highlights two major animation dial-side: the escapement at 1h30 and the micro-rotor at 9 o’clock. These are complemented by two colorful (bright orange or pistachio green) and playful notes: the date disk located just above the regulating organ and its SE logo carved by a laser machine developed internally and the seconds dome. The real pleasure comes from the wheels of the date mechanism whose polished stainless-steel parts stand out proudly from the darker brushed dial.
A pusher smartly hidden in the interior part of the crown protector activates the gears. By the way, the crown protector is also profiled to remind you that you are driving a flying saucer. With each press, the hand finished levers, column wheel, springs, and jumpers are put in motion and the date moves forward. I admit, I made several full rotations. I am a big kid at heart! And no need to make sure it is before 10 o’clock or after 2 o’clock, the mechanism can be used at any time, it is unbreakable! Schwarz Etienne knows how to mix haute horology, usefulness, playfulness and reliability.
They are also good at differentiating and standing out, in perfect harmony with the brand’s philosophy. The Havana brown dial-matching veal leather strap is adorned with stitches of the same color as the dial’s date and seconds animations. The hand-sewn inner lining dresses up in full flashy colors (bright orange or pistachio green) for a last wink of the eye as you set your extra-terrestrial friend down. A final dive into the UFO world comes with the closing link of the comfortable double deployant buckle which is also profiled, beveled and shows off both polished and brushed finishing like the rest of the UFO.
This is the trademark of Schwarz Etienne: creativity, comfort, fun and haute horology. Different and refreshing. We want more. Yet, I had to give back my extra-terrestrial dress watch, regretfully!