By Dhananjay Pathak
In case you are a watch enthusiast and also happen to be inclined towards learning the art of watchmaking, chances are that you are aware of WOSTEP. WOSTEP stands for Watchmakers of Switzerland Training and Educational Program, a prestigious institute which offers renowned professional qualification in the maintenance and care of fine-quality watches. To put things into perspective, WOSTEP has been in existence since the 1960’s and has produced some of the finest watchmakers in the Swiss watch industry such as Peter Speak-Marin, Stephen Forsey, and Stepan Sarpaneva to name a few. The exciting news this time around is that WOSTEP has collaborated with 16 WOSTEP alumni to create a unique commemorative timepiece of the WOSTEP school watch called The WOSTEP Nr. 100 especially for the Only Watch 2017 auction. This watch features a massive 54mm stainless steel case and a striking enamel dial and a manually wound movement. So, let’s have a closer look.
Let’s begin by talking a little about the white enamel dial on the WOSTEP 100. The dial on this watch has been created exclusively for the Only Watch Foundation by Donze Cardan’s (Member of the Ulysse Nardin Group) using the popular “Grand Feu” technique. In this technique the dial is first applied with oxides by a master artisan and is then heated to temperatures ranging between 800 – 900 degrees Celcius multiple times, till the desired colors and hues are achieved. This is also probably the reason why enamel dials have a magical depth and warmth unlike any other deals out there. The hour markers on this watch have been presented in the form of big and bold printed Arabic numerals whilst the minutes can be read using the rail road style minute track on the outer periphery of the dial. Seeking some inspiration from the pocket watches in the past, the watch has a subsidiary seconds dial at 6 which again has a rail road style track of its own. Now coming down to one of my favorite details on this watch, the handset, which has been nicely done and offered by the folks at Audemars Piguet. The blued pomme style hour and minute hands and the thin baton style seconds hand fit well in the overall aesthetics of this watch, and offer a touch of charm and elegance to the dial.
As mentioned in the beginning, the WOSTEP Nr.100 for Only Watch is huge as it comes in at 54mm and which I believe has been done on purpose to make the watch highly legible and is also the reason that this watch does not come fitted on a strap. One of the reasons for the big size can be attributed to the wide bezel of this watch which beholds the signatures of the 16 WOSTEP alumni’s who have contributed towards the development of this watch, which in turn makes this watch all the more special. Though I am not very happy with the size of the watch I must say that this watch is impressively thin at 9.7mm and that I feel is courtesy the manually wound movement that powers this watch, which has been nicely decorated and can be looked at through the sapphire crystal exhibition case back. The watch is powered by the Calibre W-01 which operates at a frequency of 2.5 Hz, offering a power reserve of 46 hours.
The WOSTEP Nr.100 for Only Watch 2017 is not a watch for everyone and neither is it meant to be, as the WOSTEP school watch is strictly limited to the candidates who participate in the training program at WOSTEP and is being offered out of WOSTEP for the first time. So in case you really want to get your hands on this unique watch or seek inspiration in any of the 16 Alumni’s who have signed this watch, the Only Watch 2017 auction is the only chance. The estimated auction price of this watch would be in the range of 12000 – 22000 CHF.