Zeitwinkel 273° Saphir Fumé Watch – A Smoked Beauty With An Elegant Heart

By John Galt

When writing about watches we get plenty of press releases and every so often when you open it you have to stop and stare. This was one such piece.

At first glance you think that it’s just a skeleton watch but this piece is a lot more than that, it a smoked approach I personally have not come across before, yes it is skeletonised but the unique part being the smoked sapphire crystal that comprises the dial.


The smoked dial is a perfect shade so as to be light enough for one to peer into its heart and dark enough that the hands on the dial really catch the eye, a particular highlight is the Interplay of light and shadows in the decoration when the watch is moved.


The bevelled silver lancet hands on the main display look just about perfect and are sized excellently with the minute hand stretched to the outer edge seeming to hug the dial edge. The hour hand is shorter, not quite reaching the hour indices thus making the two hands easily distinguishable and perfectly designed in my opinion. The sub dial at 6 O’clock position shows the seconds with the dial seemly floating on the smoked crystal again with hands that hug the outer edge. A gorgeous power reserve is between 1 & 3 O’clock showing up to 72 hours of reserve.Zeitwinkel-273-saphire-fume-1

Last but by no means least is my favourite part of the dial, the patented large date window at 11 O’clock, cut into to the smoked dial. The bold white on black numbers are surrounded by a silver edging to really accentuate themselves, looking through the smoked crystal you get to see the twin date wheels aligned in position for the next change, a truly superb view.


Turning the 42.5mm polished stainless steel case over you are greeted by the stunning ZW0103 manufactured movement with featuring german silver plates being shown off once again through a sapphire case back but this time clear to give an excellent view of its beating heart. The case was designed in unison with the movement so no spacers or gaps are present, just a perfect fit much like a well tailored suit. All the plates and bridges of the mechanism, as well as the semi-integrated complication, are made of German silver, chamfered and hand-decorated. German silver is noticeably harder than the brass that is usually used and requires the greatest precision in its manufacture and engraving. Not too much of the movement is on show but the parts that are include rotor, balance wheel and a few parts of the gear train which in my opinion put more emphasis on the beautiful silver plates that Zeitwinkel want to show off.

Finishing of the piece is a supple calf-leather strap with Louisiana croc effect and folding clasp which to quote Zeitwinkel:

“Our Zeitwinkel leather straps are embossed in a perfect Louisiana alligator pattern. Due to endangered species protection and sustainability reasons we completely abstain from using reptile leather and, therefore, replace it by high-quality hand-sewn calfskin. Those who value the elegance of a croco strap and have so far abstained from buying one because of the dubious breeding methods will surely be delighted by our Zeitwinkel alligator-effect strap. “


These pieces are not limited per-say but are restricted by the fact they are all made by hand, the price for one is $13,400.


This is the first piece from Zeitwinkel I have personally come across and it’s a beauty. The smoked sapphire dial changes in the light condition giving a real sense of theatre, then there’s the patented date window that’s just gorgeous to look at. If this is a sign of what is the come from this company then boy are we in for a treat.

For more info, please visit zeitwinkel.ch



John Galt caught thehorology bug back in 2010 on his first visit to a London watch show and has snowballed since; John has become an avid writer and blogger of timepieces of all kinds, from everyday timepieces to modern Luxury HauteHorology, his favorite brands being HYT and GreubelForsey that push the boundaries of modern watch-making. John keeps a keen interest in the UK watch scene with their many emerging brands and timepiece’s. John Galt currently contributes watch related articles for online publications in the UK and USA. You can follow John on Twitter @johng73 Read his articles here.