Ventura, a Swiss-based niche watchmaker that is mostly known for their exotically shaped mechanical timekeepers, has issued a new interesting timepiece that utilizes their new “automatic-powered digital watch concept.” Called Ventura SPARC MGS (ref. W 55 R1), this trendy hybrid-powered timekeeper 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 Nomos Minimatik, the new gadget looks like it came directly from a Man in Black movie.
Like a great number of recently presented timepieces, the new watch 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 very entertaining, the concept of a hybrid-powered electronic watch is not particularly new: Ventura produces this kind of digital watches for a long time and the Japanese watchmakers also 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 watches with their numerous moving parts that lose a lot of energy on friction are not particularly efficient, a digital watch 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 very “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 digital touch watch) 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 watch’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.
Photos: Ventura // Jorge Merino/TZ
Ventura SPARC MGS Digital Automatic (ref. W 55 R1) hybrid watch specification
Price: TBD, around €3500
Movement: Automatic, barrel-powered micro generation 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 material: Stainless steel / Black PVD-coated stainless steel
Bezel material: Stainless steel / Black PVD-coated stainless steel
Case shape: V-shaped
Bezel shape: V-shaped
Case size: 65.30 mm x 38.00 mm
Lug width: No data
Case height: 8.9 mm / 12.2 mm (thinnest and thickest parts respectively)
Dial: Digital, LCD with LED backlighting
Water resistance: N/A
Strap: Caoutchouc strap or Stainless steel bracelet with folding clasp
Crystal: Sapphire, antireflective
Case back: Solid