The Wild Bunch

5 Minute Read

By Iris Wimmer-OlbortMore from this author

Their design is racy, their charisma immense and their enthusiasm is catching: young watch brands are kicking up a storm with extravagant ideas and fantastic watches.

wild bunch
The rhythm of love: "Too Much" by Roger Dubuis made of white gold with diamonds. A heart made of 35 rubies sparkles on the dial
Extravagant form: "Follow Me" by Roger Dubuis with a cross-shaped housing made of white gold, diamonds, sapphires and rubies
Sport watch "AcquaMare" by Roger Dubuis made of stainless steel with white gold
Precious square: "Golden Square" by Roger Dubuis made of white gold with diamonds and white mother of pearl dial

Sometimes you think you've seen everything: Round and square watches, simple and jewel-encrusted, unusual displays and imaginative color combinations. But then, all of a sudden, it happens: you discover it at a jeweler's shop, inconsiderate of the mainstream and more focused on special qualities: The watch that is different to any others and comes with a young name. They are still out there - the brands that have recently been established and have come to the starting line with independent, unusual concepts. They are all united by their ambitious goals: The wild bunch is entirely devoted to luxury. Their collections are exclusive, often adorned with precious stones, fitted with mechanical clockwork and equipped with extravagant features or self-constructed patents.

Feminine, seductive and luxurious: Cylindrical watch "Lipstick" by de Grisogono in rosé gold with rubies and raspberry-red strap made of skate leather
Feminine, seductive and luxurious: Cylindrical watch "Lipstick" by de Grisogono in white gold with baguette diamonds and delicately rose colored strap made of skate leather
Brand new from de Grisogono: Minute repetition "Occhio Ripetizione Minuti". The dial is hidden behind lamellas that open like a camera lens

These are the ingredients that have helped catapult the Swiss brand Roger Dubuis on its way to the pinnacle of top class watch making. Founded in 1995 by the imaginative watch maker Roger Dubuis and the entrepreneur Carlos Dias, these watches unite a love of the extravagant with the quest for the unusual. Offering all of the complex features that will get the hearts of watch enthusiasts beating harder, Roger Dubuis became the "watch maker for the super-rich", a moniker given to him by Playboy magazine. Roger Dubuis is particularly enthusiastic about retrograde displays - in the watches, a hand only turns one semi-circle and then jumps back. He sometimes even combines two or three of them in one watch. The high-quality inner life is presented in an equally discerning fashion: Watches by Roger Dubuis love appearing extravagant - for example in a cross-shaped housing, frequently also encrusted with precious stones.

The watches by de Grisogono from Geneva are no less luxurious. Large, extravagant, technically demanding and beautifully crafted, they do not hide their charms under a bushel. The hand of the jeweler and owner, Fawaz Gruosi, who founded de Grisogono in 1993, is plain to see in the sophisticated, bejeweled watches. With his label, Gruosi initially created glamorous, exalted jewelry before he presented the first watches in 2000. Gruosi creates trends in both disciplines: For instance, he elevated the black diamond from the furtive to celestial fields in the world of jewelry. He even gave his first watch, the "Instrumento No Uno", a stately housing that domes slightly as it nestles round the wrist. A spectacular novelty is the minute repetition "Occhio Ripetizione Minuti", whose dial is hidden beneath lamellas, like a lens on a camera, it opens and closes whenever prompted. Gruosi also composed the delicate "Lipstick" to grace female wrists, where its bursting colors and jewel encrusted surface truly does its name proud.

Until now Angular Momentum has been for men only. It is a seven-year-old Swiss brand with technically demanding, classic to sporting collection. The name comes from astrophysics and describes the torque relating to the internally developed, patented "Revolving Disk System" by Angular Momentum: The displays on the dials of some models are rotating discs. The Swiss-made watches by the owner and founder, Martin Pauli, are particularly popular in Asia The fantastic top models in the collection also have the most fans there: For instance "Time Explosion"; parts of its clockwork add style to its housing. Then there is "Color-Tec" made of colored mosaic steel or "La Vie En Rose" with blossoms on the housing.

A Swedish smith manufactures the model "Color-Tec" exclusively for Angular Momentum using colored mosaic steel
Blossoming: White enamel blossoms with diamonds spread over the sterling silver housing of the watch "La Vie En Rose" by Angular Momentum
World on its head: Golden parts of the mechanical clockwork are found on the white gold housing in the model "Time Explosion" by Angular Momentum

The main focus in the brands TechnoMarine and Ritmo Mundo is on luxurious fun TechnoMarine, founded in Geneva by Franck Dubarry in 1997, takes stylized shark teeth as its logo - so that people recognize at first glance: These watches are sharp. They celebrate the unabashed mix of plastic with diamonds, sporting vigor and modern allures. The world had not seen anything like that before' Diver's chronographs with real diamonds and gaudy, florescent plastic straps. The rich and beautiful among the international jet set soon discovered the zany chronographs and made them a "must have". Even the "unadorned" sport and diving watches by TechnoMarine are pretty eye catching. Although functional, they are equally fashionable and trendy - like the latest creation, the feminine editions in the collection "Maori". They have triangular housings with a pattern on the dial, reminiscent of symbols and tattoos used by the Maoris.

Color, color and more color - this is the guiding principle at Ritmo Mundo - a watch brand founded in Beverly Hills and produced in Italy. And in view of the fact that Beverly Hills is synonymous with chic and richness, the founder Ali Soltani has been fascinating American VIPs with his watches since 2002. The meaningful subtitle to his brand is "Idea Italiana"; indeed, the design of the Ritmo Mundo watches does display joie de vivre, a carefree spirit and Italian Flair. Generally outlandishly sized, they combine classic, traditional forms with trendy elements. Immersed entirely in modern colors, the chronographs are guaranteed eye catchers. The members of the wild bunch all share this desire to be conspicuous: They enjoy being different and show it with enthusiasm.

Archaic patterns spread over the ladies' model "Maori" by TechnoMarine
Eye catcher by TechnoMarine: Chronograph "Diva Dimitri" in stainless steel housing with Indian rubber strap
Ritmo Mundo tells the time in large and vivid symbols: Model "Divina" with small second hand at 6 o'clock

by Iris Wimmer-Olbort

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Iris Wimmer-Olbort

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