Formula 1 inspired DWISS R2 floating hours dare to be different

DWISS is a relatively new Swiss watchmaker, founded in 2011 by Rafael, an industrial designer recognized for his work by the prestigious Red Dot Design Award. Under the nickname DWISS, which stands for Design Watch Independent Switzerland, he has won several other design awards, celebrating his achievements in creating unique pieces with unexpected complications and even more unexpected designs.

DWISS uses informal currency “F ** king large Swiss watches,” who should tell you all about his approach to watchmaking. If not, here it is: DWISS does not take itself too seriously or take established standards too seriously but, at the same time, strives to deliver Swiss quality in watchmaking. These are two seemingly opposing notions, but they have so far worked wonderfully for the company.

Now in its fifth Kickstarter campaign, DWISS presents the DWISS R2 Floating Hours, a new timepiece that is not for the faint of heart, and certainly not for those who are afraid to draw attention to themselves. It takes inspiration from pure Italian automotive excellence, much like the RW1 model launched in 2020, the Formula 1 car. As Rafael explains in the video below, the Floating Hours has a new movement, is more sleek and more powerful, yet just as accurate at telling the time as any other DWISS part.

The DWISS is also inspired by an egg, of all things. Well, it’s not just any egg, but the Ovetto (which means “little egg” in Italian) model from Rolex, which used a bubble back to create a slim case that would be suitable for an automatic movement. The R2 Floating Hours does the same and is able to maintain a slim and sleek form factor. Even eggs can be stylish in Italy.

Powered by the Peseux P224 automatic movement with a power reserve of 42 hours and 28 jewels, the R2 comes in two models, the R2-SL and the R2-BB, the difference between the two being that the former comes with a Stainless steel case with white and blue dial, while the latter has a black plated IP stainless steel case with a black dial and red details. It’s the R2-BB model that pushes the automotive comparison home and shows the piece’s Italian inspiration.

What sets this watch apart (and the owner, implicitly) are the Floating Hours complications. Over the decade that DWISS has been in the market, he’s made a name for himself for not apologizing for how disruptive he wants to be. In less sophisticated terms, DWISS makes watches for people who don’t want to tell the time in the classic 3-hand configuration. Instead, it offers some unexpected complications that seem to require reading an instruction manual before you can tell the time.

The R2 isn’t exactly as confusing as the other models it’s released, but it’s still as interesting as ever. The multi-layered curved dial features a piece of sapphire crystal with an “invisible” hand, a floating triangle – and it is this triangle that moves to tell the time. It is filled with Super-LumiNova BG-W9 for better nighttime readability.

R2 is coated with sapphire crystal to be scratch resistant, with anti-reflective, and is water resistant up to 10 ATM. The case is hand-finished 316L steel (natural color or IP black), with a clean back and a display window to see the mechanism in motion. The slim profile, only 10.4mm thick, and the diameter of 40.0mm, make the R2 suitable even for thinner wrists. Like the car that inspired it, the R2 aims to impress for more than just physical presence.

The Floating Hours watch comes with a racing rubber strap, which comes with the DWISS buckle, but also works with any other watchmaker’s strap. Accessories include leather bracelets and metal bracelets, making the piece suitable for all kinds of occasions.

DWISS R2 floating hours are available to backers for € 475 ($ 560 at current exchange rate), and to the rest of the world at the end of the campaign, for an MRSP of € 820 ($ 968). Deliveries to donors are scheduled for September of this year.

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