The vast emptiness of space is mind-blowing and fascinating. Think about it, we are nothing more than a speck in the boundless void of outer space. A tiny blue floating rock, perfectly aligned to create life, will orbit our Sun until the end of time. This concept can be quite terrifying, but at the same time a wonderful source of inspiration. We are always looking up to our sun, moon and stars for a myriad of reasons. The most important thing that emerges from our intergalactic gaze is the concept and determination of time. That brings us to today’s selection of watches, all of which share “space” as a theme in some way. Let’s take a closer look at these out-of-this-world watches.
Jacob & Co Astronomia
The Jacob & Co Astronomia Tourbillon is one of the most extravagant watch collections ever created. Large, expressive, complex and always in motion, any astronomy can make a big visual impact. Certainly not for everyone, but there is true ultra-complex watchmaking. And with a name like Astronomia, it’s no surprise that many of the models have a space-related theme or element. But recently Jacob & Co. went the extra mile and actually sent the Astronomia Tourbillon Bucherer Blue into space on the wrist of commercial astronaut Eitan Stibbe. A very unexpected venture for such a delicate and complex piece! The unique watch will be auctioned for charity by Sotheby’s at the end of the year.
For more information, please visit JacobandCo.com
Quick facts – 50mm x 25mm – 18k white gold case – Ultra-domed sapphire crystal – Sapphire crystal windows in caseband – Aventurine base dial with white gold “spokes” as hour markers – JCAM10, manual winding – Triple axis tourbillon escapement – Revolving and minute sub dial – Rotating Globe and Spherical Diamond – Caseback with flip-up winders and unique design – The only piece auctioned for charity
Montres KF Ei8ht Evolution
The thing about any Montres KF Ei8ht is that the tourbillon dominates the dial, making it difficult to equally influence the rest of the watch. However, Carsten Frassdorff and his team managed to make the big tourbillon escapement take a bit of a backseat. The dial for the new Montres KF Ei8ht Evolution is made of meteorite and is available in a whole range of colors, including silver, blue and brown. The surface pattern of the meteorite dial is carried over to a 44.5mm wide stainless steel or rose gold case with special engraving. Turning the watch over reveals the Novamag 01’s honeycomb mainplate. This alien watch is made to order, with vast customization options available.
For more information, please visit Montres-KF.com
Quick facts – 44,5mm x 12.2mm – Engraved stainless steel or rose gold case – Sapphire crystal on both sides – 50m water resistant – Meteorite dial in various colors – Luminescent material with applied hour markers and hands – Caliber Novamag 01, made in-house – Hand wound – 42 Jewels – 18,000vph – 66h power reserve – Hours, minutes, seconds in a minute tourbillon – Leather strap of your choice with triple folding buckle – EUR 128,000
Louis Moinet’s Mars Mission
Atelier Louis Moinet is another manufacture that often uses cosmic inspiration for its watches. The independent watchmaking company has resorted to the space theme on several occasions, such as the Space Revolution or the Hope Probe tourbillon unique piece. The latest, however, has an authentic Martian element rarely seen not only in watchmaking but in life. The Louis Moinet Mars mission was equipped with a dial to simulate the surface of Mars in blue or golden-brown (as illustrated here). An aluminum capsule containing an actual piece of a Martian meteorite at 3 o’clock makes this watch even more unique. The material is extremely rare, as only 0.5% of the approximately 72,000 meteorites found on Earth are classified as coming from the Red Planet.
For more information, please visit LouisMoinet.com
Quick facts – 45,5 mm diameter – multi-part stainless steel case – sapphire crystal front and back – 50 m water resistant – hammered blue or gold-brown dial to reproduce the surface of Mars – genuine Martian meteorite fragment in an anodized aluminum container – PVD-treated indices – Partially skeletonized hands – Caliber LM45, developed and manufactured by Concepto – Automatic winding – 22 jewels – 28,800vph – 48h power reserve – Hours, minutes, small seconds – Blue or black alligator leather strap with folding buckle – Limited to 100 pieces CHF 17,000
Another way to incorporate space into watchmaking is to use the harsh and hostile environment as a proving ground for engineering. Anyone involved in space-bound work can attest to the hostility and difficulty of doing anything in outer space. Fortis can vouch for that too, as they tested the recently launched (pun intended) Stratoliner’s Werk 17 caliber to the outer edge of our stratosphere. This real-life test resulted in those attached to a special cradle being launched into space while running, before falling back down and crashing into a tree (see video here). The movements survived largely unscathed and are now available in the cool-looking Stratoliner Chronograph.
For more information, please visit Fortis-Swiss.com
Quick facts – 41mm diameter – Recycled stainless steel case – Steel and rubber flat-fix orbit bezel – Sapphire crystal front and back – 200m water resistant – White dust, cool gray or cosmic gray dial – Space blue Super-LumiNova – Luminous hour and minute Hands – Caliber Work 17, automatic integrated column-wheel chronograph – shock-resistant construction – 28,800vph – 60h power reserve – hours, minutes, small seconds, chronograph, day, date – EUR 4,950 (on leather) or EUR 5,300 (on the bracelet)
De Bethune DB25 Starry Varius Aerolite Tourbillon
De Bethune is often referred to as a horological alchemist because of his ability to transform one substance into another. Heat-treating highly polished steel or titanium to unique shades of blue or yellow is a common feature for the brand, but the latest creation goes beyond that. The De Bethune DB35 Starry Varius Aérolite Tourbillon combines the firm’s metallurgical expertise with a thermally oxidized blue meteorite dial, decorated with gold pins to represent the Milky Way. The best part is owners can customize this night sky to reflect a specific date, time and location. And it’s not just a show piece, because the stunning DB2109V4 dead-beat seconds tourbillon movement is the perfect cutting-edge watchmaking that only De Bethune does.
For more information, please visit DeBethune.ch
Quick facts – 42mm x 10.3mm – Grade 5 titanium, polished – Hollowed lugs – Sapphire crystal on both sides – 30m water resistant – Blued and polished meteorite dial – White gold pins depicting a starry sky – Silver-toned hours and minutes ring – Bruget – Style steel hands – In-house caliber DB2109V4, hand-wound – 43 jewels – 260 parts – 36,000vph – 96h power reserve – Hours, minutes, central jumping seconds and tourbillon – Limited to 5 pieces per year – Price on request
HYT Moon Runner White Neon
The last watch on the list does not contain any space material, nor is it in outer space. However, with a very clear link to our closest celestial neighbor, the HYT Moon Runner White Neon certainly captures the sci-fi spirit. Moon Runner is the second collection of the revamped HYT, which debuted with Hastroid earlier in the year. The Moon Runner uses the same complex and unique Mecha-Fluid technology as every other HYT before it, and adds in a giant spherical moon phase indicator. The combination of the hydrocarbon and TecLight® case and the white luminous markers on the dial and inside the lugs further enhance the extraterrestrial luminosity.
For more information, please visit HYTWatches.com
Quick facts – 48mm x 52.30mm x 21.80mm – 64-part Hydrocarbon & TecLight® Case Black-Coated Titanium Crown – Domed Sapphire Box Crystal and Sapphire Crystal Caseback – 50m Water Resistant – Fluid Hour Light Hour Indication – Applied Lumius Lumi – Rotating Lumicast Minute Hand – Luminous months and date display – Spherical rotating luminous moon display – Caliber HYT 601-MO – Hand wound – 516 parts – 41 jewels – 28,800vph – 72h power reserve – Retrograde fluid hours, minutes, months, date, spherical moon phase – Black T-Lite White Rubber Strap with Plated Titanium Buckle – Limited to 10 Pieces – EUR 130,000