Ophion is a young brand that launched in 2015 with a watch that caught our eye. Accessible, well-designed and powered by a nice movement, we were pleasantly surprised. Then came a second model, the OPH 786, and from that point on we knew that something special was happening at Ophion. Great CNC guilloché dials, classic looks, superb decoration of the movement and a highly competitive price. Today, Ophion aims even higher with the new OPH 786 Vélos featuring a case designed and made by Voutilainen (no less) and new dial options… but still a reasonable price.
While the brand’s inaugural model was competitive and well-crafted, its design was shy. Sleek and elegant for sure, but the OPH 960 lacked a bit of personality. The problem was solved – and very well solved – with the introduction of the OPH 786, a watch with classic design, high-end details and impressive attention to finishes. Whether it was the CNC guilloché dials (creating a pattern with a great sense of depth at a reasonable price) or the hand-frosted bridges, this watch offered a taste of Haute Horlogerie for “only” about EUR 2,000. The same recipe is now applied to a new version of this watch, featuring a new case and several dial options.
The Ophion OPH 786 Vélos
Let’s start with the case. Measuring 39mm in diameter and 10.45mm in height, it is elegantly sized and entirely polished. Of course, no one can miss the Voutilainen inspiration here… But there’s a good reason for that since the cases are actually produced in collaboration with Voutilainen-Cattin S.A. in Switzerland (Kari Voutilainen’s case production company). The best thing is that, even though playing in a completely different price league, the case of the Ophion OPH 786 Vélos still features individually welded teardrop lugs.
Continuing with the habillage, the OPH 786 Vélos also introduces new designs for the dials. Two versions will be offered: first, the sleek “radial” dials, with a circular-brushed finishing, available in anthracite or in blue; then, Ophion reintroduces its CNC guilloché dials, which are a nice compromise between the flat, not so detailed stamped dials and the superb but extremely expensive hand-guilloché dials. Here, a CNC machine removes some material from a blank to obtain the guilloché pattern. The result provides a touch of depth and interest to dial and is available in silver, salmon and blue.
On top of these patterned plates are several applied elements, such as a chapter ring with a chamfered profile, a laser-cut hollowed minute scale and Breguet numerals that are CNC-cut and applied on the dial (the numerals can be rhodium-plated or thermally blued). These elements bring a great sense of depth and animate the dial. Elegant, refined and rarely seen in such a price range. The hands are also new, available in nickel colour or thermally blued. The new hour hand gives its name to the watch – Vélos, which comes from the classical Greek meaning ‘arrow’.
The Ophion OPH 786 Vélos is powered by the same movement as the previous versions, a Soprod-produced hand-wound calibre with two barrels providing a 5-day power reserve. The movement has been personalized with custom-shaped bridges reminiscent of antique pocket watches. The decoration is impressive, with chamfering on the edges, straight brushing on the barrel bridge and a hand-frosted decoration on the dark grey-plated bridges. The design of the movement perfectly matches the antique look of the watch.
The OPH 786 Vélos is worn on handmade leather straps with a pin buckle. Alligator straps are also an option.
Availability and price
The Ophion OPH 786 Vélos is now available for pre-order on the brand’s website here. Prices range from EUR 2,580 (excl. taxes) for the radial dials and EUR 2,870 (excl. taxes) for the guilloché dials.
This post first appeared on Monochrome Watches - An online magazine dedicated to fine watches.