Democratising the bespoke watch has been the mission of Objest CEO Jared Mankelow. Now, he introduces the customisable Hach+ automatic.
By Sarah Jordan
Swiss made minimalism is the signature of Objest – a design-led watch brand launched by product designer Jared Mankelow. Each piece draws its overall aesthetic from London’s artistic scene, with architecture, art and culture all helping to create the overall vision. Now, it has launched the Hach+ automatic – designed in London and made in Switzerland – that can be almost entirely customised to create a one-of-a-kind model. The aim is to put a bespoke automatic timepiece on the average wrist, and remove the concept entirely from its high-end pedestal.
“Historically only large luxury brands with huge development budgets have had the manufacturing relationships to prototype, test and bring to market bespoke consumer goods,” Mankelow tells us. “However, with the rapid advancements of 3D rapid prototyping, laser etching and 3D metal printing the door has opened. Young micro-brands such as Objest can now prototype multiple cases and dial options very quickly without incurring high costs.”
Tired of the “archaic, low tech and slow” development processes he found in the watch market, Mankelow opted to make his own rules with a made-to-order version of the Hach+ automatic. This allows the wearer to select the dial, the hour, minute and seconds hands, the rotor, case, crown, buckle, date window and strap from a range of styles and colours.
What makes the timepiece even more appealing is the three-week turnaround time and the £450 starting price.
The Hach+ automatic is targeted at both men and women with a pebble-like 42mm stainless steel case that’s just 11.5mm thick. Inside there is an ETA 2824-2 movement with a 38-hour power reserve. It features a double domed sapphire crystal glass and a three-dimensional, cross-cross patterned dial made from a single piece of metal. The engraved detailing of the case back continues through onto the rotor, which is visible through a sapphire glass window. The brand’s minimalism comes into play on the tailored strap junctions, which remove the need for lugs for a simpler finish.
When it comes to customisation, options include jet black, blue, grey, white, gold and copper tones with a criss-cross, plain or dotted dial design. Italian leather straps are available in five colourways, with the option of extra details like a bright yellow, coral or gold hour hand.
Mankelow continues: “Luxury watch brands and manufacturers typically have minimum order quantities in the hundreds or thousands, and won’t entertain making small one-off pieces or small runs for boutique brands. However, there are a handful of producers starting to think differently about watchmaking.”
Although the traditional definition of luxury is all about how much painstaking hand-work, diamonds, gemstones and precious metals you can pack into a wristwatch, Objest sees luxury as the power of choice. Of course, every facet of customisation doesn’t change the overall shape and minimalism of the Hach+ automatic; so if it isn’t your thing from the get-go, it’s unlikely to be following a play around on the online tool.
“We see customisation as the new luxury, without the luxury price tag,” Mankelow adds. “Customisation will become more prevalent and accessible across product sectors, fuelled by the idea of owning something unique, designed and deeply personal.”
Customised and ready-to-wear versions of the Hach+ automatic are available to purchase directly from the Objest website.