Epos Watches – Affordable Haute Horology
It’s not what you have, it’s what you do with it; that mantra should be stamped onto the caseback of most independent watch manufactures. It doesn’t necessarily matter if you have a phenomenal in-house movement or use third parties to keep costs down. All that really matters is that you’re inventive with how you do things.
EPOS has taken that to the extreme. On paper, the ingredients that make up an EPOS watch aren’t exactly ground-breaking: Stock ETA movements, stainless steel cases, the occasional complication. Yet if you look at the watches themselves, they’re another matter entirely.
For one, EPOS turn their movements into a serious feature. Where plenty a watchmaker will hide their ETA front and back, it’s the central aspect of watches like the Verso. The movement has been flipped round and the dial has been dropped to give an unparalleled view of the balance wheel, the main reason anyone bothers with an exhibition caseback.
The slight downside is that the flipped movement means popping the second hand on the reverse of the watch, but it’s an easy price to pay. Who needs to know the second anyway? This is one of the few cases that ‘modified’ doesn’t just mean shoving a branded rotor onto the back.
Not that every watch is the same; quite the opposite. The only real link – other than an off-kilter sense of style – is that EPOS uses base movements then makes them their own. Even their incredibly cool retrograde, the Ref. 3431 is based on an SW 200. Sure its nicely decorated in-house, and sure it’s had a new module attached to give it the retrograde complication, but the base movement is one that you can find in many other watches.
The odd thing is that EPOS does have the capacity to create some stunning showpieces. The Ref. 3375 is a beautiful flying tourbillon complete with a 110-hour power reserve, far from a third party automatic. Also, take a look at the Epos Oeuvre D’ Art 3440 Big Moon – a stunning moonphase with triple calendar.
Yet that’s not the point. By using stock movements, it allows EPOS to create far more accessible, well-priced pieces with their own unique flair. They’re not dressing up these movements because they have no other choice; without them, prices would be higher unnecessarily. Nobody ever said in-house actually means better, after all. If you lavish care, attention and a unique eye for design onto anything, it’s going to result in something special.
So next time you hear that a brand uses an ETA, Sellita or any number of recognisable movements you see everywhere, don’t discount it. It’s not about the movement; it’s about how well it’s used… and EPOS use theirs pretty damn well.
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