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01. THE IDEA
An iconic WATCH, an elegant toolwatch - made in germany
It all began with the quest of finding my perfect watch, or the perfect watch in my eyes at least. ... :-)
I wanted to combine the subtle, sublime and minimal design of an elegant and timeless dress watch with the readability of a tool watch and the sturdiness of a dive watch. So far so overly ambitious it might seem.
A reliable and perfect mechanical watch for any occasion, that will last a lifetime in best case.
Hi, my name is Leif Henrik Osthoff and I’m a creative director/photographer (www.gutschera-osthoff.com) and the founder of TEN ELEVEN NINE, based in Berlin.
I’m a great lover of mid-century design icons, rarities and architecture from the new international style to brutalism. Yet I do have a sweet spot for all the things combining a tool with an iconic design like f.e. an analog camera, a classic car, a bicycle, furniture or well, nice watch. Sometimes unexpected and surprising, but always true its’ own universe.
For me, the dress watches and tool watches especially during the 50s-70s have something rather special, there is so much calmness and focus in the 50s dress watches and so much clean functionality in vintage tool watches that I personally miss within most of the recent watch designs. And as a result of not finding my personal “perfect watch” I decided to create the watch myself.
03. FIRST STEPS AND GREAT COOPERATIONS
In summer 2019 I had the crazy idea to design my own watch totally from the scratch. With the help of a 3D artist I started designing the watch case, which was then converted into a cad file by a good friend. At the same time, I was looking for very good and reliable suppliers for my project. Luckily I was able to convince my preferred partners of my idea. And while Sächsische Uhrentechnologie GmbH Glashütte (SUG) in Glashütte, Germany got on board and implemented perfectly the construction of the case according to my specifications, I started creating the dials.
Schätzle & Cie in Lörrach (Germany) produced the first wonderful prototype dials, and along with La Pratique in Morteau, France I found a great supplier for the beautiful watch hands.
Sellita, Switzerland will supply the remarkably well established SW200-1 Premium (TOP regulation) swiss automatic movement.
Thanks to a wonderful master watchmaker I got to know in Berlin, the exciting moment of assembling all individual parts of the first prototypes happened after restrictions loosened during May 2020. … And I was lucky again. All fitted perfectly.
04. THE WATCH CASE
The aim was to create a timeless, very robust case, a quintesence of the very balanced watch cases I really liked from the heyday of mechanical Swiss watchmaking in the 50s and 60s. A case, on the one hand is elegant and self-contained, but on the other hand also exudes a certain robustness and serenity. Water resistance of 200m / 660ft was also very important to me, because I wanted to design a watch that can master all activities and that you don't even have to take off for diving (important, always screw on the screwed crown....:-)). And if you asked yourself why "TRUTH BEAUTY LOVE" on the caseback? That's what we stand for. But if you like it more clean and minimal – easy – it's only an option.
- Casedesign: Leif Henrik Osthoff, Berlin. - Construction + Prototypes: SUG, Glashütte (Germany)
05. THE DIALS
As a photographer and a big fan of photo/art/architecture books, and fashion magazines, it was immediately clear to me that the dial should reflect this passion. I also love the clean and reduced look of the printed dials from vintage tool watches. It was a great pleasure to design the dials. The most difficult part was to take back yourself as a designer with all the drafts and variations of the variants and then, when you hit the mark again, to reduce everything to its' essentials. Still carefully preserving the ideal harmony and balance for that the watches don't lose their timeless character and become new classics.
- Dialdesign: Leif Henrik Osthoff, Berlin. - Manufacturer: Schätzle & Cie, Lörrach (Germany)
06. THE HANDS
I like the contrast of a dress watch to a tool watch. The design language of the dauphine hands is reminiscent of the dress watches of the 50s , whereby the matt white paint, which is a bit unusual for this hands shape, on top inserted with super-luminowa, clearly points to the high legibility and the tool aspect of a fine vintage tool watch.
- Manufacturer: La Pratique,Morteau (France)
07. THE SWISS AUTOMATIC MOVEMENT
We opted for the tried and tested Swiss Sellita SW200-1 Premium (TOP grade) automatic movement, as it is, just like the almost identical Eta 2824 movement, a very robust, durable and reliable movement which can also be serviced and repaired almost everywhere at low cost and thus carries the idea of a long-lasting product.
Sellita SW200-1 Premium (TOP grade)
Frequency: 28'800 A7h (4Hz), Running time: 38 hours, Number of jewels: 26
Manufacturer: Sellita, La Chaux-de-Fonds (Switzerland)
hope you like the watches as much as I do.
We truly believe in this crazy idea of building a long lasting very nice and sturdy watch, a watch brand, a community, a elegant product with integrity and attitude....:-)