Ochs und Junior is a company that we love here at Contrapante. We’re not the only ones. Hodinkee said of them, “Ochs Und Junior just might be the coolest watch company in the world.”
The company was founded in 2006 by watchmaker Ludwig Oechslin and entrepreneur Beat Weinmann. Does the name Ludwig Oechslin sound familiar? He was the genius behind many of the creations at Ulysse Nardin. From Ulysse Nardin’s website: “The success of Ulysse Nardin over the last 30 years is largely due to a chance encounter between two men with an absolute passion for mechanical watchmaking. Rolf Schnyder, a businessman and visionary, provided Ludwig Oechslin, a brilliant horologist, with the perfect conditions in which to practice his art. The collaboration of these great friends produced watches that were nothing short of legendary.”
Oechslin was also curator/director of the MIH (Musée international d’horlogerie) from 2001 to 2014. His work in restoration there was so trusted that when François-Paul Journe wanted to have a clock restored, he sent it to Oechslin for a multi-year restoration project. That clock is now the most prominent thing in the lobby of Journe’s Geneva manufacture.
Ochs und Junior does things their own way. They have a strong philosophy on the right way to do things, and it informs every part of their business. And a big part of that philosophy is simplicity. But simplicity is not easy…Oechslin undertakes an hardcore design process to create “simpler solutions than have been achieved before in wristwatches” because “simpler mechanics are more reliable, more straightforward to manufacture, and easier to service.”
The aesthetics of the watch also reflect the ethos of stripped-down simplicity…they don’t even put the name of the brand on the dial. Even the selling of their watches is different and simpler. The watches aren’t available via any retailers…just directly from the company itself, and as a result they can operate at a tighter margin than most, so you get a lot for your money.
The watches don’t even come in boxes…just small and functional leather watch pouches. Hey other brands…are you listening to this?! Collectors don’t want watch boxes, but if you sell a watch in a box, we feel compelled to keep them! Make it easy on us and do something like this!
And most importantly there are the watches. The best way to describe them are that you’re getting simple and beautiful aesthetics combined with complications made by the genius mind of Oechslin…a perfect combination. To be able to own a watch from this mastermind is an opportunity that every Independent watch lover should take while we can!