By Steve Huyton
Roland Stampfli founded a watch brand in 2010 called AOS Watches to honor his father’s memory. AOS is located in the picturesque Swiss town of Cressier in the district of Neuchâtel, where Stampfli has been handcrafting exquisite watches in small batches for the last decade.
Probably his pièce de résistance is a timepiece called the Wheels of Time. This impressive watch has a 68mm x 26.8mm aluminum case weighing just 68 grams and is powered by a bespoke cylindrical movement. Due to popular demand and restricted numbers, this model sold out very quickly. I’ve never seen one for resale on marketplaces like eBay and Chrono24.
More recently, AOS unveiled a new series of watches called The Cat Edition. If like me you love Art Nouveau designs, you’re in for a real treat.
When Stampfli first sent me the press release for The Cat Edition I was pretty blown away. Within the range, there will only be four pieces, each with a completely different aesthetic. Clients have a choice of colors and also the option of an extravagant diamond-encrusted version.
My particular favorite is the model with a 47mm purple anodized aluminum case. The sublime hue really complements the vibrant tones of the distinctive screen-printed dial. This feature portrays a tattoo style illustration of a cat, which is unlike anything I’ve seen before.
When I spoke to Stampfli about this matter, he said the inspiration came from pastel art nouveau designs and cat tattoos. Other features include a complex bezel with twelve torque screws and a small date window located at 6 o’clock.
Beneath the beautiful façade this piece is a customized Swiss-made ETA mechanical self-winding Caliber 2892-2. This mechanism has a bespoke multi-colored rotor, which is visibly showcased via the sapphire crystal exhibition case back. Functionally The Cat Edition features hours, minutes, seconds and a date indication. The watch also has a power reserve of forty-two hours.
In my opinion The Cat Edition is a competitively priced collection. You get a true Swiss made watch that is highly exclusive and exceptionally well designed. If you’re interested, Stampfli reports he has only a few Cat Edition models available. Prices start at $3,800.
Steve Huyton is an industrial designer, illustrator and author who publishes Total Design Reviews.