As all of our regular readers know, I have been in the watch industry for three-and-a-half decades and so I have seen many a brand come and go. One brand that began its journey back in 2003 has grown by leaps and bounds: Azimuth. Known for its cutting-edge designs and relatively reasonable prices given the product the brand produces, Azimuth offers some truly unusual timepieces. With retail prices averaging about $6,000 (with some pieces going a little higher), the brand has a factory in Neuchatel where it creates its unusual three-dimensional complexities. The concept behind the brand is to offer unconventional means of displaying time in watchcases that are both visionary and technically exciting. Among our favorites: Mr. Roboto R2 and the SP-1 Crazy Rider. Here we take a closer look at these watches.
Each of these timepieces has a clear story to tell. The Mr. Roboto R2 watch is inspired by the golden 1950’s era of science fiction and robots. This watch is the second generation, hence the name R2. The bold satin-finished stainless steel tonneau case features a two-eyed display on the top half of what would be the dial, and an unusual octagonal display on the bottom half – resembling a mouth. The indication in the left eye is the hour, while the right eye offers a 24-hour GMT indication. The high-tech display in the mouth shows a retrograde minute counter. The movement features a modified automatic winding with sapphire mystery rotor. Designed to look like a robot, the watch offers a really cool auto-inspired motif as well.
Our other favorite is the SP-1 Crazy Rider crafted in forged carbon. This timepiece, with its unusual horizontal case, features a motif that emulates the motorcycle’s sprocket brake drive system with mini chain motif on the dial surrounding the open-worked wheels. The chain transmission design drives the hour hand minute displays. The hour hand moves along the entire dial, while the minute hand only rotates from a fixed position on the right side. Created of PVD coasted stainless steel and a forged carbon bezel, the watch is 55mm in diameter and 38mm in height. It offers a 24-hour hand displayed on the rotating chain, as well as minutes. Each of these watches retails for less than $6,000. You can watch a video of its crazy workings below.