Forged carbon has been “in” for a while, even though the material has been mostly reserved for but the most luxurious(-ly priced) brands. Hermann R. Dietrich Replica is among the small but ever-growing army of very competitively priced brands to embrace this highly durable material and now adds some unique colors to it with the Dietrich O.Time Forged Carbon and its all-black or vividly colorful carbon bezel offerings – with one very cool trick up its sleeve.
It was almost exactly one year ago that Ariel reviewed the Dietrich OT-3, the model that serves as the very foundation for these new references – so be sure to check his in-depth article here to familiarize yourself with this funky-looking creation.
While I have only very briefly worn a Dietrich O.Time watch, two things I would like to note here before we look at prehistoric case materials are: one, despite all the crazy dial openings and hand designs, legibility is excellent; and second, and more importantly, how almost unbelievably comfortable these watches are. Sure, not all watches can look like these and/or have a similar case- and lug structure, but the Dietrich O.Time could very well serve as a benchmark for how comfortable every watch should ideally be.
Phew! It sure felt good to say that – I haven’t written about a Dietrich since that experience, and I did want to get this off my chest. Now, onto what’s exactly new here: the six new Dietrich O.Time watches feature forged carbon bezels with or without what the brand refers to as “carbon color” blended into the material.
Looking at the dialup, one may be forgiven for believing it’s a three-hander with a big-date display within the first couple of seconds. On the other hand, the Chanel Monsieur de Chanel does not have any date complication and only tells time. What Chanel has attained is a dial which looks like it’s a conventional layout and is highly legible, and yet manages to differ by incorporating two issues; a jumping hour and retrograde minutes. You read the time starting with the large window in the base of the dial, that’s the hour screen and then towards the top, which is the retrograde minutes and then finally to a somewhat standard sub seconds dial at the center. Chanel has carefully designed the displays so the minute indicator doesn’t overlap the seconds. This fairly simple yet strong presentation is completed by two polished steel hands, along with a smattering of text and numbers, in a pleasant, contrasting white.The real star of the show, is your grand feu enamel dial itself. The first Monsieur de Chanel from this past year, while impressive, didn’t have a tooth dial as well as the visual impact which comes with it, especially a black dial. Another haute horlogerie procedure, grand feu tooth dials require a painstaking amount of effort and time to create and are visually unlike any additional dial material commonly utilized. The repeated application of tooth and shooting in the kiln ends in a smooth, unbroken surface which has a gentle, almost imperceptible curvature to it.The Chanel Monsieur de Chanel (such as the Slim d’Hermès), receives a typeface which such as the motion, dial, and case, was designed especially for this. The powerful, straight lines of the font make for a nice contrast to all of the curves and curves around the dial. Such as the lions head logo, this font will be used in all future Monsieur de Chanel watches.
Forged carbon is an alloy that was originally developed for high performance use in aviation and motor racing. It is composed from a mix of very short strings of carbon fiber and a high-performance binding material. This compound is put into a mold and subjected to extremely high temperature and pressure so as to forge it all into one solid and (nearly) indestructible piece. The result is a very light but extremely resilient material whose particular structure is clearly visible and part of its seductive aesthetic. For a review of another affordable and forged carbon cased contender, check out my review of the Tempest Forged Carbon Dive Watch here.
Now, about those colorful bits: to obtain the colored parts inside the forged material, a tiny amount of colored binding material is used and mixed with the neutral one. The result is a black-and-colorful mass that will appear randomly on the finished bezel in unique patterns. Unsurprisingly, because of the nature of the manufacturing process, it is impossible to replicate the color patterns from one bezel to the next – which leads me to imagine that there could possibly be a few pieces that never leave the factory if the colors are mixed in an overly uneven or not aesthetically pleasing way. Anyhow, each timekeeper is a unique piece, and that is a really nice additional feature of this material.
Beyond mere aesthetics, forged carbon is extremely scratch (and pretty much everything else) -resistant, offering very high structural rigidity, light weight, and anti-allergenic properties. Dietrich will offer the red, green, and blue dial models with an option of all-black forged carbon bezels, while the orange model, named Dietrich OT-6 Carbon Color respectively, are only available with the colorful bezels that complement nicely the main colorway of the dial and hands.
The 46mm-wide case (which is only 48mm tall and hence is highly wearable on smaller wrists) and frame are crafted from 316L stainless steel, micro-bead blasted and brushed, and coated with black PVD, while the bezel is installed on a piece of brushed steel. The movement inside shall remain the trusty, albeit certainly not luxurious, Miyota 82S7 automatic with some slight modifications to better highlight it on the dial side of the watches.
There is just one more thing about that “very cool trick” …For the green version called the Dietrich OT-1 Carbon Luminescent, as you may guess from the name, Dietrich has managed to blend forged carbon with Super-LumiNova, so not only will the hands and the indices light up at night (or whenever you pass through a dark tunnel or alleyway), but so will the randomly positioned green bits in the bezel. We at aBlogtoWatch are total suckers for good lume and take every bit of opportunity to charge the lume on whatever watch we may be wearing – and I expect to see someone freaking out over the Dietrich OT-1 Carbon Luminescent in the flesh very soon.
To top things off, Dietrich is also introducing some new and matching straps that nicely go with the visual texture, structure, and colors of carbon fiber. Price for the Dietrich O.Time Forged Carbon and Carbon Color watches varies between 1,850 CHF for the all-black and 1,950 CHF for the colored versions, specifically:
Dietrich O.Time-1 OT-1 Forged Carbon is 1,850 CHF,
Dietrich O.Time-1 OT-1 Forged Carbon Luminescent is 1,950 CHF,
Dietrich O.Time-2 OT-2 Forged Carbon is 1,850 CHF,
Dietrich O.Time-2 OT-2 Forged Carbon Color in red is 1,950 CHF,
Dietrich O.Time-4 OT-4 Forged Carbon is 1,850 CHF,
Dietrich O.Time-4 OT-4 Forged Carbon Color in blue is 1,950 CHF,
Dietrich O.Time-6 OT-6 Forged Carbon Color in orange is 1,950 CHF.