Great name, and a perfect description of this product. The Write Time by Anura Rafael is a tourbillon watch housed in a conical sapphire crystal case, that can be converted into a fountain pen. It recalls the days when watchmakers strived to create curious objects for the enjoyment of their wealthy patrons, people like Pierre Jaquet-Droz and his clocks that included mechanical singing birds, or Vardon and Stedman whose clock had telescopic hands that changed in length as they travelled around the oval dial. The Write Time is an exclusive object costing 245,000 Swiss francs, and it has to be commissioned individually, the customer working with Anura Rafael to define details such as materials, colours, finish, movement, nib and presentation box. Click here to read an interview with Anura Rafael, talking about Write Time.
A very different watch
The pen is a separate component made in gold cloaked in alligator leather, with gold nib personalized to the client, and the choice of piston filler or cartridge. The watch section has an unusual curved conical shape, in sapphire glass. It can be fitted into an openwork base attached to an alligator leather strap, creating a watch that is totally different from anything else, and also very large and bulky, 55 mm in length, 42 mm wide and 31 mm maximum thickness. The result has a touch of hygge.
Digital display, linear movement
The time is shown digitally, on hand-engraved and hand-painted wheels visible through the sides of the sapphire glass. The movement, designated calibre ARS001/T, is difficult to see in the photos that Anura Rafael has provided, but he describes it as “transversal”, in the form of a tube with a linear gear train, and the tourbillon visible through the base. The balance runs at 28,800 vibrations per hour, 4 Hertz, and the mainspring, hand-wound using the crown at the base, provides a power reserve of 48 hours. The movement was designed by Anura Rafael and has 472 components.
Patented locking system
The “time capsule” is fixed to the strap or pen unit by means of a patented locking system, with teeth that are unique to each piece. The set is presented in a leather case that includes an inkwell and storage compartments for other objects.
This is the first object presented by Anura Rafael, a watchmaker who for many years has worked for major watch brands. One of the characteristics of the Swiss watchmaking business is that there is not much room for individuals to gain notoriety, because all attention is dedicated to the brand. So if someone wants to leave a mark, he or she inevitably sets up alone, as in the case of Christophe Claret, Romain Gauthier and others. Anura’s father was an architect, and you can see something of this inheritance in the graceful, powerful curves of the sapphire capsule.
The Write Time is 100% Swiss made by a number of artisans in the Jura district of Switzerland. According to the information provided, its development took two years, which is remarkably quick. The pen-watch costs 245,000 Swiss francs.
Post updated on 23 June 2017.