Tucked away in quiet corner of Luzern, Walter and Judith Hess toil away meticulously, forging, through their own passion and resilience, timepieces that truly belong on horology’s world stage. Through a show window, visitors and passer-byers alike can peer into the inner workings of what is perhaps one of modern watchmaking’s best kept secrets. The manufacturer is a true embodiment of what traditional Swiss watchmaking is best known for: sound quality and design. Quiet achievers, Walter and Judith Hess create watches that they love, destined for the wrists of wearers whom share the same outlook not only on the industry of horology, but also on life itself. Their fascination for art and design inspired them to create watches that, like the jewels found in a treasure box, astound and overwhelm. Their latest pièce de résistance, the TWO.2 Diamond Dust, is, in its entirety, a truly magnificent piece. Let’s take a closer look at this mysterious horological treasure.
There are three different versions of the TWO.2 Diamond Dust. Each model sits in a polished stainless-steel case that measures a very conservative 39.40mm across and 11.40mm in depth. The case production itself is quite intriguing, in that as opposed to using a 3-part construct process, it instead has a 2-part case system. This means better overall durability, rigidity and water resistance, given the fact that there are fewer gaskets and screws. Water resistance is rated to 50m, but this is definitely not a watch you’d want to be swimming with. The riveted crown also has a very functional feature. There is a double O-ring gasket, meaning even when the crown is pulled out for time-setting or date-setting purposes, the double O-ring system ensures that the seal is not broken, meaning there is little to no chance of any moisture or liquid entering the movement. Smart thinking! Potential purchasers are able to request special and precious metals to be used for their case construction, too.
The dial is the highlight with the TWO.2 Diamond Dust. Each model has its own distinct colour palette. There is the Champagne Charcoal variant, whose very soft and alluring aesthetic gives thanks to the beautiful applied champagne-colour diamond dust. The appliques, as with the other models, have been riveted into holes that were drilled prior to the coating of the dial. Intelligent watchmaking. The date window has been colour-matched to the dial and features black printed numerals. Each model comes on a crocodile leather strap from Braloba, a very well-known leather goods manufacturer also located in Lengnau, Switzerland.
The second model is aptly named the Dust Gray Charcoal. This variant features a grey diamond dusting over the dial, charcoal-coloured markers and a colour-matched date window.
And the third model, which is perhaps the most enthralling, is the Black Rhodium version. This is the darkest model of the collection, and it features a black diamond dust application on the dial, with rhodium-filled markers. The date disc is, of course, colour matched to the dial, however this time the date numeral has been applied, as opposed to printed, onto the disc.
All three models are powered by a base ETA 282-4 which has been heavily customised by Walter Hess. The ébauche movement gets treated to a rose-gold plating process, with Geneva striping being featured throughout. This is an automatic mechanism that can be wound up to 40-hours and beats at a frequency of 4Hz.
The TWO.2 Diamond Dust is the final product of a process that took over two years of experimentation and pursuit from the HESS Luzern atelier. It’s an incredible watch whose creation is actually so intriguing. If you have time, I urge you to visit their website and take a look for yourself. I think Walter Hess’ quote sums up the brand the best: “Our Hess watches don’t define a style, they provide a space for individualism. They manifest the human need for freedom”. I couldn’t have said it better myself.
The HESS Luzern TWO.2 Diamond Dust retails for 10,300CHF (or about $14,600AUD) before any requests of customisation or the fulfilment of bespoke desires occurs.