Schwarz Etienne Out of Office in Fiji (Sort of)
Even under confinement, WorldTempus still manages to enjoy some time in the sun with Schwarz Etienne’s Fiji Floral Seconds.
Reviewing a watch is a little complicated while under government-imposed confinement. Or not, depending on how you choose to look at it. While I can’t exactly go out to a bar for an apéro, or a restaurant for a nice meal or even just to the office to really test a watch’s daily-wear, there’s probably no better way to really study a timepiece on your wrist then when you can literally do nothing else while at home. And during these trying times, I’m thankful that I get to spend it with Schwarz Etienne’s Fiji Floral Seconds on the wrist—a watch that helps you take a step back and put things into perspective.
Fiji Floral Seconds © Joy Corthésy / WorldTempus
A First for Ladies
Schwarz Etienne’s Fiji Floral Seconds was the brand’s response to the ever-growing market of ladies’ watches. In fact, it’s their first women’s watch—designed by a woman for women. Instead of taking the approach of simply making a current men’s model smaller and setting it with diamonds, the independent brand set out to design this piece from scratch, with the goal of making a mechanical watch for the mechanically-minded woman. And thankfully, this watch bears smart, thoughtful design, minus the diamonds, with an insightful mechanical animation to keep those of us who are confined entertained.
All Curves in Design
In terms of design, the Fiji Floral Seconds displays a contemporary aesthetic with curved, slightly feminine touches here and there. The 38mm case, made of stainless steel, is composed of three parts: the bezel, caseband and caseback. The polished bezel sits atop the brushed caseband, which has a vertical stripe pattern. The caseback, which incorporates the lugs, is screwed to the caseband, bringing the three-part case together with modern style. The dial, however, is where you can really see that the watch was designed with a more feminine sensibility.
© Schwarz Etienne
All curves and rounded edges, the dial has a geometric floral pattern that emanates from its centre, bearing a different finish from the matte outer ring. On the matte part of the dial, the hour markers are in the shape of droplets, save for 12 o’clock, which is an Arabic numeral. The hour and minute hands are shaped like angular needles and generously filled with white SuperLumiNova. The real showstopper, however, is the animated floral display at six o’clock, where an openworked lattice sits atop a rotating disc, turning rather hypnotically in a constant fashion.
© Joy Corthésy / WorldTempus
The rotating disc is a very clever component to this design, to say the least. It’s at once visually enticing, and though not entirely needed for the overall function of the watch (it’s not exactly a seconds display), it provides a visual focus for the wearer and a quirky feature that sets this piece apart from other watches on the market.
All of this is powered by the caliber ASE 200.00, a self-winding movement that keeps on ticking for up to 86 hours—which it did whenever I set down the watch. It’s useful to know that, even in times of isolation when time seems to be going by at a snail’s pace, the watch keeps on working until I decided to pick up again. It stayed constant—something greatly appreciated in increasingly uncertain times.
The calibre is visible in all its glory from the sapphire caseback—the bridges lovingly decorated with a sunray pattern and the balance bridge finished with a guilloche pattern. It’s always a great shame when brands decide to hide the movement with a solid caseback, which happens all too often with women’s watches (if they’re not quartz, of course), so to be able to fully appreciate the movement’s high-end finishing from the back is a welcome sight.
© Joy Corthésy / WorldTempus
While it may not have physically brought me to a tropical island like the name suggests, the Schwarz Etienne Fiji Floral Seconds is a welcome distraction from this post-apocalyptic version of society that we now call reality. In trying times, a soothing animation like this mechanical floral display has an almost meditative quality to it—something we could all use right about now, no?
Based in traditional Swiss watchmaking country in La Chaux-de-Fonds, Schwarz Etienne has a century of history in watchmaking but chooses to look to the future rather than the past.Find out more >
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