By Steve Huyton
It seems incredible that when I visited Baselworld in 2015 the world was a completely different place. At the time there were no restrictions and it was easy to travel freely. On my trip to Switzerland, I took the opportunity to visit a couple of factories at La Chaux-de-Fonds in the canton of Neuchâtel.
At this stage, I had just produced my first watch called ‘Polaris’ and was looking at unusual materials for future creations. One of the companies I visited specialized in carbon fiber and was experimenting with different colors and finishes. Probably one of the most unusual options was a luminous carbon that glowed in the dark.
Due to cost and availability, I decided to opt for different alternatives. However, I was interested to discover Romago Swiss has used this amazing composite in their distinctive LuminFusion Carbon Sand.
Carbon in watches
A few years ago, only high-end watch brands like Audemars Piguet, Hublot and Richard Mille were experimenting with carbon composites. Even though these timepieces are exceptionally well designed, they are beyond the realms of most buyers due to price points. Fortunately, carbon composites are a lot more accessible and affordable today. There is also a lot more variety.
Previously, I reviewed the red Romago Super Carbon X, which is a really cool watch for the money. However, I feel the watchmaker’s LuminFusion Carbon Sand is a lot more sophisticated and illustrates how Romago Swiss has matured.
The LuminFusion Carbon Sand is very well proportioned and has a 46.5mm x 46.5mm x 15.9mm square case. It would be fair to say this watch has a similar appearance to some of the carbon fiber models Bell & Ross creates. For example, the watches are a similar size and are very striking in appearance.
However, the LuminFusion Carbon Sand has a more industrial façade. I also love the fact Romago has equipped this model with a revolving-rotor-style dial with an enchanting caricatured face. This feature allows the recipient a discreet view of the skeletonized movement.
Essentially the theme was to create a mysterious watch that changes appearance at the fall of night. Certainly, the luminous carbon case, bezel and dial are pretty mesmerizing.
At the heart of the watch is a customized Swiss self-winding Calibre SW200 mechanical movement from Sellita, which oscillates at 28,800 vibrations per hour. Functionally the LuminFusion Carbon Sand features hours, minutes and seconds.
The watch also is water-resistant to a depth of fifty meters and has a power reserve of thirty-six hours. As a perfect final touch, the timepiece has a high-quality black rubber injection-molded strap inscribed with the name ‘ROMAGO’.
Steve Huyton is an industrial designer, illustrator and author who publishes Total Design Reviews