There’s something magical about a self-winding automatic watch.
Why do people choose automatic watches? Because they realize that the traditional art of fine watchmaking demands a perfect balance of engineering, art and style.
If you go back in time pre-1990 and study watch trends and history you’ll learn that the size for men’s watches have traditionally been around 35-37mm. As the conspicuous consumption grew throughout the 80’s-00’s so did the width of the average wrist watch.
Lately though, the pendulum has begun to swing back the other way with a return to small but masculine luxury watches. ”Jumbo-watch fatigue are setting in” - to quote New York Times.
“The more a man is secure about his masculinity and his taste, the more he can play with the traditional codes of masculinity,” said Pierre Rainero, director of image, style and heritage at Cartier.
As timepiece aficionado’s, in our quest to find the perfect watch, we quickly realized that a small and thin 36mm automatic watch simply didn’t exist. Not unless you were willing to wear a female timepiece, pay thousands of dollars for a vintage watch or settle for a cheap battery-driven Quartz.
Bringing to life the product that we were so desperately searching for we’ve worked with watchmakers and movement manufacturers from all over the world with the seven following requirements:
1. Self-winding automatic movement
2. 36mm case width
3. Less than 10mm thick
4. Slim, comfortable & easy-to-read
5. Aesthetically pleasing, timeless and minimalistic design
6. Handmade high-quality leather strap
7. Priced below $400
We wrote those 7 requirements back in early 2015 and was working
very hard to bring our vision to life.
Here’s a short story to illustrate one of the many challenges
we’ve had to deal with in the last year:
In early talks with our manufacturing partner we outlined our requirement and were promised that the watch case would be no thicker than 10 millimeter. With a battery-driven Quartz movement this isn’t that much of a challenge but it gets trickier when you opt for an automatic.
The mechanical movement component itself was 5.98mm, leaving us with just 4.01mm for the entire watch case. Tight, but our manufacturing partner gave us their word and said that it would be possible.
We waited and waited some more and then first prototype arrived. It was thicker than we had imagined. We measured and realised that it was 13 millimeter. +30% thicker than our original requirement. Fail. Our partner apologised and told us it would be impossible to fullfil the requirement at the desired cost.
That’s not what you want to hear from your partner when
you’re 6 months into a project.
And so at this point we had 3 options:
1. Kill the project
2. Compromise and go with the thicker version
3. Start from scratch and make the impossible possible
Killing the project never seemed like much of an option but at the same time we were now dealing with a manufacturing partner that couldn’t keep their word. Plus, the product wasn’t what we had originally imagined.
”But it can’t be impossible” we thought. Just tricky and time consuming.
So we went back to square one.
It wasn’t easy or cheap, but it was the right thing to do. We got ourselves new advisors, a new manufacturing partner, built a new prototype and replaced the movement with one measuring just 3.90mm.
We explained the requirement to our new manufacturing partner and they got back to us with the good news: The watch is just 9.76mm thin.
Could it really be?
This time around we demanded proof and received this picture:
The fine art of watchmaking can be expressed in many forms
and our philosophy is that the movement contains as much art
as the case, dial and rest of your watch.
And so each component of the watch had to be carefully crafted to fit its 67 different parts on 36mm - and also make sure the entire watch was no thicker than 10mm. Opting for a self-winding automatic instead of a battery-driven Quartz even forced us to order a custom-made Japanese Citizen Movement.
Boetti borrows from both Swedish and Italian. Boett meaning
watch case in Swedish and Stretti meaning narrow in Italian.
Put the two of them together and you’ll get Boetti;
”narrow watch case”.
The ultramarine blue seconds hand pays tribute to the famous Italian painter Cennino Cennini. During the Renaissance, Ultramarine was the finest and most expensive blue that could be used by painters and was often used to symbolize holiness and humility.
”Ultramarine blue is a color illustrious, beautiful, the most perfect, beyond all other colors; one could not say anything about it, or do anything with it, that its quality would not still surpass” - Cennino Cennini
One could not say anything about it, or do anything with it, that its quality would not still surpass.
Today, more than 500 years later,
our watches are built with the very same aspiration.
It’s the type of watch you’ll spot from across the room. A real head turner. So we leave you with this question.