Ventura is a niche brand that is mostly known for its exotically shaped mechanical timekeepers. In March 2011, it has issued a new interesting device that utilizes its new “automatic-powered digital watch concept.” Called Ventura SPARC MGS (ref. W 55 R1), this trendy hybrid-powered device sports not one, but two displays on its unusually long, V-shaped body. Created by Simon Husslein, a German industrial designer who is also responsible for the gorgeous in its simplicity Braun BN0095 and the elegantly simple Nomos Minimatik, the new gadget looks like it came directly from a Men in Black movie.
Like a great number of recently presented timepieces, the new SPARC MGS not only tells you time (in an easily readable digital format, that’s important!) but also proudly demonstrates its mechanical “powerplant” with a branded winding rotor.
The oscillating weight is made of tungsten, a material, which is as dense as gold but is relatively cheap as dirt.
While flashy and entertaining, the concept of a hybrid-powered electronic watch is not particularly new: Ventura produces this kind of digital gadgets for a long time and some Japanese brands, too, use a similar technology to power their quartz analog gadgets.
Also, a winding rotor was used by Ulysse Nardin in their much overhyped Chairman cell phone.
While traditional mechanical timekeepers with their numerous moving parts that lose a lot of energy on friction are not particularly efficient, the digital one with, especially with an LED-backlit LCD display, takes a lot less energy to run.
The Ventura SPARC MGS, for example, has a power reserve as long as 45 days after being fully wound.
Being extremely “fuel-efficient,” it still sports a great number of useful functions, including two time zones, perpetual calendar, chronograph, and a countdown timer. The time representation may be set either in 12-hour or 24-hour formats and the date may be displayed in one of three international formats.
While some new digital timepieces (like, say, the soon to be presented HD3 Slyde) are operated with iPhone-style touch screens, this model uses the setting crown and the EasySkroll operating system to page between different modes. Not as jazzy, but still very efficient. Also, the SPARC MGS’s display will be a lot clearer since you won’t have to touch it with greasy fingers.
The timekeeper is going to be officially presented in about 10 days during the Baselworld 2011 trade fair.
Its price is still to be officially announced, but so far they plan to sell the gadget at around €3500.
See also: Breitling Airwolf Raven Special Edition
Photos: Ventura // Jorge Merino/TZ
Ventura SPARC MGS Digital Automatic (ref. W 55 R1) specification
Movement: Automatic, barrel-powered microgeneration system, Swiss Made
Movement decoration: Branded tungsten winding rotor
Functions: Hours, minutes, seconds, date, perpetual calendar (100 years,) chronograph, countdown timer
Power reserve: 45 days
Case: Stainless steel / Black PVD-coated stainless steel
Dimensions: 65.30 mm x 38.00 mm
Case height: 8.9 mm / 12.2 mm (thinnest and thickest parts respectively)
Dial: Digital, LCD with LED backlighting
Strap: Caoutchouc strap or Stainless steel bracelet with folding clasp
Crystal: Sapphire, antireflective