Bernies Watches is a watch brand based in Belgium. The land of beer, chocolates, waffles and yes – watches. Belgium is home to more than a few watch ‘brands’. Not all are equally noteworthy. But as you will have guessed by now, Bernies Watches is worth your attention indeed.
Bernies Watches is not just another ‘brand’ and can be safely moved into the manufacturer category. Born in 2017, Bernies is a watch manufacturer whose primary goal is to revive a forgotten craft: hand guillocheGuilloche Guilloche is a decorative technique used in a.o. watchmaking, it is an engraving process that creates intricate patterns on the dials and other parts of the watch. It is done by using a rose engine, a specialized lathe with a variety of interchangeable cam-driven patterns. The patterns are created by the movement of the machine's cutting tool over the surface of the metal. Guilloche is considered to be a traditional and labor-intensive technique, it requires a high level of skill and experience to produce good consistent results. [Learn More]. They have proven their might in this area several times over for other (big) brand names and I am happy to see them step into the limelight here with their name on the dial of this newly announced release.
For their (pre) launch “Lorem Pre” series, only 50 pieces are made. The name “Artis Arti” refers to “Art & craft”, hinting at its hand-engraved dial with that unique spiral pattern.
As with other watches that have guilloche dials, they always tend to look best in the metal. The below picture should however give you a pretty good idea of the art and craft that you are getting with this watch. Gorgeous work indeed.
Bernies states that it blends artisanal techniques with modern techniques. As a result they have a rather unique value proposition with this latest release. Artisanal means tons of man hours and in the world of watchmaking that means a lot of dollars. Yet, thanks to blending in modern manufacturing techniques which help in other areas, they managed to keep the purchase price in the ‘affordable’ luxury segment sitting at USD 6500.
Like in traditional watchmaking, and in fact most of today’s watchmaking too indeed, not everything here is made in-house. And that is perfectly fine of course. Powering the watch is caliberCaliber The caliber ('movement') is the heart and engine of a watch. It consists of a number of interconnected components that work together. Energy is transmitted through the gear train, to the escapement mechanism. The escapement mechanism releases this energy in a controlled manner. This drives the gear train, which ultimately rotates the hands of the watch and keeps time. [More Info] BALP001. It is built on a Sellita Caliber SW400 which is based on the Valjoux 7750. It features hours, minutes and running seconds and beats at a comfortable 28,800 bph resulting in a 52 hour power reserveRéserve de marche Also known as Power Reserve. A watch's power reserve refers to the amount of time a mechanical watch can run without being wound. The power reserve of a mechanical watch can vary depending on the size of the mainspring, the efficiency of the gear train, and the rate at which the mainspring releases energy. If a watch has a Power Reserve 'complication' it simply means that the status of the power reserve can be seen on the watch itself (either on the dial or movement side of the watch). [Learn More].
With small independent brands, this being based on a tried and tested movement is a very good thing. The uninformed may brush this away as ‘not being in-house’ however that would be rather doltish.The fact that this is based on such a movement means that no matter where you live, you will be able to find a watchmaker that can actually service your watch. As some of our experienced buyers and readers will know by now – this can be a very big issue when you decide to dive into the world of independents. No worries here however.
Due to the distinct handmade nature of some of the parts on this watch, the release is limited in numbers. If you are looking to get your hands on a unique watch and don’t mind supporting a promising young watch brand, then definitely pay Bernies a visit. As a bonus, if you don’t mind making the trip to Belgium (reminder: the land of beer, chocolates and waffles), they will also be happy to welcome you in their atelier.
For more information, head over right here for all the details.
- Diameter: 39 mm
- Glass: Domed sapphire
- Thickness: 12mm
- Case: Stainless steel 304L
- Dial: Silver 925 – black rhodium
- Hand guilloche: Spiral of time
- Hands: Polished skeletonizedSkeletonizing A decorative technique that involves removing some of the material from the movement parts to create a see-through effect, often used on the plates and bridges. [Learn More]
- Strap: Black leather / (3 straps provided)
- Movement: BALP001, 28,800 Alt/h
- Functions: Hours Minutes Seconds
- Power reserve: 52 hours
- Stones / rubies: 26