independent watchmaking


During Geneva Watch Days Greubel Forsey introduced two of its Balancier Convex models in all-new carbon cases, each now measuring smaller in diameter than their existing titanium versions.

The new Greubel Forsey Double Balancier Convexe Carbon, with its 42.5 mm carbon case.

The new cases give these complex open-work watches a sleeker, sportier look when compared to their earlier counterparts. The Convexe collection is meant to be this high-end maker’s contemporary ‘daily wear’ collection, and these debuts certainly underscore that direction.

The new Greubel Forsey Balancier Convexe S² Carbon, now available in a 41.5mm carbon case.

Greubel Forsey explains that making its new carbon cases required a new technical approach that includes higher temperatures and greater pressure. Since the undulating Convexe case is anything but conventional, the company’s case-makers applied eight times the amount of pressure to create these cases when compared to the amount needed to create standard cases. 

Double Balancier Convex

Now measuring 42.5 mm in diameter, 1mm smaller in diameter than an existing titanium version of the watch, this newest Double Balancier Convex retains its trademark dual and inclined balance wheels linked by a spherical differential (between 6 and 7 o’clock.)

Look for two versions of the new watch. One features an iridescent green finish matched with blue accents and a red tip on the power reserve display.

The second version of the debut is darker, with contrasts provided primarily by the signature Greubel Forsey hand-finished movement that boasts top-level mirror polishing, sharp internal angles, straight and circular-grained surfaces, and curved hands with luminescent tips.

Greubel Forsey will make the Double Balancier Convexe carbon in twenty-two pieces of each variation (black and green with matching strap). Price: $392,000. 

Balancier Convex S2

Greubel Forsey has redesigned the Balancier Convexe S2 to account for its all-new carbon case. Now fit into a 41.5mm diameter size, smaller than existing 46.5mm models, the newest edition displays a noticeably tighter set of components, which accounts for its more compact look on the wrist.

The watch’s signature double open-work arched bridge remains as the watch’s beautifully polished centerpiece, again framing the wheel train below to appear as if it is suspended in air. The architectural layout, set within the undulating Convexe case shape, features three large hand-decorated bridges and a newly blackened twin barrel cover with relief engraving.

Greubel Forsey notes that even within the new carbon-cased model, the watch has retained its traditional case, lug and crown finishes.

The watchmaker will produce the new carbon-cased Balancier Convexe S2  in two limited editions of 22 pieces each, the small seconds with blue or black treatment, matching textured rubber strap, and a titanium and carbon buckle. Price: $290,000.

Oris expands its dive watch collection with the AquisPro 4000m, a particularly deep-dive model that also offers an extra-long five-day power reserve.

The new Oris AquisPro 4000m.

Not only is the AquisPro 4000m the most water-resistant diver’s watch we’ve seen from this independent Swiss manufacturer, but its also the sportiest Oris watch to include Oris Calibre 400, a superior automatic mechanical movement that boasts the aforementioned five-day power reserve, plus strong anti-magnetism and chronometric accuracy.

At 49.5mm in diameter, the watch is a wristful, but given its 4,000-meter water resistance rating, thin is out of the question. Check out any of the other Oris dive models for your day-to-day nautical watch needs.

With this new watch, you’ll get professional level features such as the Oris Rotation Safety System bezel, which will lock the unidirectional bezel in place. Also note the serious security folding clasp extension system, which allows the wearer to easily adjusted for length to better fit over a wetsuit.

The watch’s titanium case frames an easy-to-read blue gradient dial with a seaworthy wave pattern.

Oris fits a blue ceramic insert with the requisite minutes scale into the unidirectional bezel and caps off the case with a blue rubber strap.

Very nice.  Price: $6,200.

Recycled net dials

In addition to the new AquisPro 4000m, Oris is also partnering with Bracenet to create new watch dials from recycled fishing nets. The first watch made using the technology is the Oris X Bracenet, an Oris Aquis model outfitted with the swirled, pearlescent blue, green and white dial.

The two new Oris X Bracenet models feature dials made using recycled fishing line material.

Oris explains that to create these dials Bracenet warms small green, blue and white fishing net ‘offcuts’until they melt into a sheet of colorful material. Bracenet then sands the sheet until it’s 0.3mm thick, which Oris then cuts and places into each watch.  The material contains no additives, fillers or glues and no two dials are the same.

Oris will offer two stainless steel versions of the watch, one with a 43.50 mm case and a second with a 36.50 mm case. Each is outfitted with Sellita-based Oris automatic mechanical movements and each features the full set of Aquis dive watch specifications (see below for details.). Price: $2,600.



Specifications: Oris AquisPro 4000m
(Ref. no. 01 400 7777 7155-Set) 

Case: Multi-piece 49.50mm titanium case, lockable Rotation Safety System bezel, ceramic bezel insert, sapphire crystal domed on both sides, anti-reflective coating inside. Case back in titanium, screwed with special engravings. Stainless steel screw-in security crown. Water resistance to 4,000 meters.

Movement: Automatic Oris Caliber 400 with 120 hours of power reserve. High-level anti-magnetic protection. 

Dial: Blue gradient with printed wave structure, Super-LumiNova indices. Center hands for hours, minutes and seconds, date, fine timing device and stop-second.

Strap: Blue rubber with titanium security folding clasp with extension. 

Price: $6,200. 


Specifications: Oris X Bracenet

Case: Multi-piece 43.5mm and 36.5mm stainless steel with sapphire crystal and screwed, see-through mineral caseback glass, special engravings on case. Stainless steel screw-in security crown with crown protection. Water resistance to 300 meters. 

Movement: Automatic Sellita-based Oris 733 with 38-hours of power reserve.

Dial: End-of-life fishing net material melted and sanded to create unique pattern.  Hands and indices filled with Super-LumiNova. Center hands for hours, minutes and seconds, date window at 6 o’clock, instantaneous date, date corrector, fine timing device and stop-second.

Bracelet Multi-piece stainless steel metal bracelet, security folding clasp (43.50 mm version comes with clasp extension). 

Price: $2,600.




While it may be called Skindiver, the Ball Watch EM Skindiver III Beyond is built to standards that allow it to withstand the extreme conditions and rigors that even professional decompression divers will endure.

The new Ball Watch EM Skindiver III Beyond.

It also happens to be well-made and a handsome watch that will appeal to anyone who enjoys a sports watch look – or just swimming in style. 

Inside the 41.5mm x 13.8mm stainless steel case, this Skindiver houses an automatic winding movement beating at 28,800 vph with an 80-hour power reserve and adjusted and tuned to chronometer standards. The Swiss made movement is anti-magnetic and upgraded with the Ball Amortiser system which brings the anti-shock rating to an impressive 5,000Gs.

Encompassing the cyclops-enhanced sapphire crystal over the dial, the unidirectional rotating bezel has embedded self-illuminating tritium tubes and a domed sapphire crystal ring of its own. Tritium tubes are also used on the dial and hands for superb low-light legibility.

The watch has a classic, timeless look that is both stylish and practical. The black dial and stainless-steel case and bracelet give the watch a sporty tool-watch appearance, while the matte dial has a subtle finish visible under magnification that minimizes glare. 

Overall, the Ball Watch EM Skindiver III Beyond is an exceptional dive watch that combines durability, functionality, and style. Whether you are a professional diver or simply someone who enjoys spending time outdoors, this watch is a great choice. Price: $3,699. More info at www.shop.ballwatch.ch.

MB&F adds two new versions of its aerodynamic Horological Machine No.9 Sapphire Vision (HM9-SV), now offering models with a blue CVD movement in a white gold frame and a green CVD movement with a yellow gold frame. The clear case fully exposes the watch’s dual cantilevered balances, planetary differential and free-spinning twin turbines.

One of two new HM9-SV models.

Both new models expand the HM9-SV series, which debuted in 2021 with four clear sapphire editions of the original HM9.

With its sapphire livery, the watch joined a family of MB&F models with significant clear sapphire customization, including the HM8,  the HM3 FrogX and the ten-sapphire-crystal HM6.

The pioneering independent watchmaker debuted its first HM9 Flow in 2019 as a tribute to 1940s and 1950s automotive and aeronautic designs.


MB&F culls from its wide-ranging experience of creating with sapphire when re-engineering the HM9 with its clear case. On these SV models, MB&F seals the outer hull with a proprietary three-dimensional gasket and specialized high-tech compound bonding process. The result is new type of water resistant seal (to 30 meters) that is practically invisible.

MB&F explains that its designers were also required to rework a few the original HM9 dimensions with smoother lines and fewer edges to account for the property differences of sapphire crystal.

While quite hard, sapphire can fracture under pressure, which means the smoother lines on this HM9-SV limited this possibility. At the same time the rounded edges only enhance the organic aesthetic of the full watch.

Also new to the HM9-SV is an enhanced shock-resistance system made of laser-forged springs placed between the movement and the case.

As a reminder, the ‘flow’ of time begins on the HM9-SV with two fully independent cantilevered balances that dominate the top of the HM9-SV channel data into the central, spiky differential.

This effectively melds the information sent by the dual balances to a single time-pulse. High-tech conical gears then transmit that energy to through a 90° angle, which in turn makes its way to the HM9-SV’s perpendicular sapphire crystal dial.

MB&F is offering both new editions to the HM9 Sapphire Vision family (PVD-coated blue movement with a white gold frame and a PVD-coated green movement with a yellow gold frame) as a limited edition of five pieces. Price: $490,000. 

Specifications: MB&F Horological Machine No.9 – Sapphire Vision

Movement: Manual-winding in-house with two fully independent balance wheels with planetary differential, frequency of 18,000 bph, single barrel with 45-hour power reserve. Hours and minutes on vertical dial display, dual spherical turbines under the movement,  shock-absorbing helicoidal springs linking the movement to the case.

Case: ‘SV’ editions in 57mm x 47mm x 23mm sapphire crystal with frame in 18-karat white, yellow or rose gold (5N+). Hour/minute dial in sapphire crystal with anti-reflective treatment and Super-LumiNova on the numbers and indexes. Water resistant to 30 meters. Unique assembly process of the three sapphire crystal case parts with a patented three-dimensional gasket and high-tech bonding compound. Total of five sapphire crystals treated with anti-reflective coating: three crystals for the main components of the case, one crystal covering the dial, and one crystal for the dial itself.

Strap: Hand-stitched brown or black alligator strap with red, yellow or white gold folding buckle matching the case.

Price: $490,000. 

By Steve Huyton

In the last couple of decades, many exciting materials have filtered into the watch industry. For example, high-end brands such as Richard Mille are experimenting with aerospace-grade alloys and carbon composites. 

However, many consumers are fascinated with bronze, the copper-based alloy that gives the Bronze Age its name. On social media, there are many groups dedicated to bronze watches. Consumers revel in sharing images of watch cases in various stages of oxidization. 

Over the years I’ve reviewed many cool bronze timepieces and am delighted to add this Samurai Katana Edition from Latvia-based Enera Watch to the list.

The Enera Samurai Katana Edition

Last October I co-designed a watch with Enera called the Purple Skull. At that stage, I discussed the possibility of reviewing the Samurai Katana Edition. There is only one in existence and that is in the possession of brand owner Andrey Shishov. 

Very kindly he agreed to ship this exclusive model so I could appreciate the watch in the metal.

Certainly, for a timepiece priced at €2800, it massively exceeded my expectations. With a case measuring 45mm in diameter, it strikes a perfect balance. Compared to other materials like titanium and even steel, bronze is comparably heavy. 

I’m happy to report this piece sits comfortably on the wrist and doesn’t feel overbearing. Ultimately that’s due to the patented ergonomic case, crown and lug design (EneraSaT technology).

As I documented previously (in my ‘Purple Skull’ review) Andrey Shishov is a certified bodyguard and shooting instructor. He is also a member of the EBSA, which is an organization for security professionals. He is also very interested in Japanese military traditions and that inspired the design of the Samurai Katana Edition. 

Highlights include an engraved bezel featuring traditional Japanese elements and symbols, plus a Chochin lantern shape crown. There are also Sakura flowers on the metallic bronze dial (that symbolize the changeability of life) and Samurai sword shape hour and minute hands. Overall the composition is highly effective and the quality first rate.

Beneath the stylish façade lies a Swiss-made self-winding movement sourced from ETA. The Calibre 2824-2 comprises 25 jewels and oscillates at a frequency of 28,800 vibrations per hour. This premium mechanism is visibly showcased via the sapphire crystal exhibition case back. 

Functionally the Samurai Katana Edition features hours, minutes, seconds and date indication. The watch is water resistant to a depth of thirty meters to make it splash proof and  not for diving, and it has a power reserve of approximately forty hours. As a perfect finale, the timepiece is presented on a stingray skin strap that is widely used to make the handle of the katana sword.

Steve Huyton is an industrial designer, illustrator and author who publishes Total Design Reviews.