Schofield Obscura A Mysterious Timing Device

Schofield Obscura A Mysterious Timing Device

The Schofield Obscura was in the making since 2017 and has been constantly adjusted and refined until launch.

In summary the Obscura is an artefact. It was designed specifically within all the normal watch constraints, i.e. a round watch that tells the time with central hour and minute hands but manipulated to look less conventional and more like a mysterious timing device. Something (when housed in its canister), that if discovered in the undergrowth should probably be left alone, or handed in. This is a watch of suspicious origins, perhaps military, perhaps alien. It is obscure, subtly so and definitely more than the sum of its parts, the details of which tell the Obscura’s story. 

The watch was designed as a whole and if one element changed, everything had to follow. It is ob-scure because we they Damascus steel but unlike anything used before in watchmaking. However, the watch is not about it being Damascus, that is just a part of it. It is not about the triple glazed case back or the lume tracks in a rhodium dial, the odd hands and a statement crown. All obscure choices on paper perhaps, but here as a whole, not at all. 

The case is Damascus steel made by the lads at Vegas Forge in the States that uses enorm-ous Nazel Hammers to smash the different steels together. The design chosen for the Obscura moves away from the ubiquitous wavy form that so many associate with Damascus and appears more cellular. Akin to Super Conductor material but timeless, traditional and artisan. The recognisable Schofield case shape is fully machined and finished in Sussex by acid etching the surface, less for colour but more for texture. In a more recent update we added bronze bushings around the strap bar holes. This contrasting material acts like a friction bearing but also frames the steel strap bar screws, creating an obvious boundary and shadow line. 

The case back is built around the three smoked sapphire crystals in the centre. They use a grey PVD coating to partially obscure the manual wind Unitas movement beneath. These crystals slightly magnify elements on the movement, like the blued screws, which scintillate as they catch the light. The three circles in a triangle is a classic Sci-Fi meme – think Predators tri-beam laser sight or a UFO undercarriage, but they also represent planets among the stars.

The Obscura dial is an extremely complex, multi-levelled affair with runnels of Super-LumiNova in different colours and different emissions (the glow colour). Schofield has mostly been ‘business at the front, party at the back’, and lume design is no different – austere in the day and a laser show at night. Some of the Super-LumiNova was developed for us, not pigmenting which we and many oth-ers have done, but the emission colours. Concept luming is something they know a thing or two about. The dial base is dark grey rhodium-plated with a fine matt texture. 

To start with the hour and minute hands are different colours, the minute hand skeletonised, the hour hand lumed. At 12 o’clock the hands align to reveal the lume strip of the hour hand through the window of the minute hand. The minute hand obscures the lume ring on the dial beneath, thereby marking time at night with an absence of luminescence. The sub seconds ‘dial’ is again a milled pocket of Super LumiNova and unusually the seconds hand sweeps beyond its boundary. 

The crown is oversized like all Schofield crowns, better for leverage and easier to handle. A DLC coated pull out type, best for manual wind movements. It has fine knurling and our nail groove, multiple steps and different finishes but the real fun is with the red/pink Super-LumiNova fill in the engraved front face. 

The exclusive Obscura strap is a high quality Italian tanned and British finished grey calf with a mottled and matt finish (called Cloud leather). The underside is our bark calf with green foiled logo. All other Schofield straps will fit the Obscura. The box is not a box – but a canister. Made specifically for the Obscura and expanding the idea of dubious providence. An object of beauty in its own right, designed to be displayed. Inside the watch spins on a gimbal, negating the need for upholstery. 

Technical Specifications:

Unitas 6498-2, Geneva stripes, blue screws. Manual wind Power reserve
46 hours
Diameter 36.6mm/16.5”’
Height 4.50mm
Jewels 17
Frequency 18,000 VPH

Damascus steel. Stainless
Diameter 44mm
Crystal diameter 35.5mm
Height not including lugs 15mm
Width between lugs 24mm
Lug length 52.7mm
Weight with strap and buckle 128 grammes
Crystal Box sapphire, Swiss AR coatings in green or red
Case Back Text-up, three window – smoked grey sapphire crystals, DLC coated and brushed finish Crown Double o-ring pull out type with nail groove, Super-LumiNove filled, DLC

Multi-level, electro-plated, machined grooves of Super-LumiNova
Date None
Luminescence Super-LumiNova C3, pink/red with green, blue, purple and orange emissions
Hands Machined hands (thick) Sage green, blue (seconds) and DLC
Strap 24/22mm Cloud grey leather
Buckle Obscura Best Ever type, DLC with red paint fill. Brushed and bead blast, laser engraved
Box Polyester and steel canister
Serial Limited to 40 watches not individually numbered
Water resistance 200m
Warranty 2 years 

£9558 including VAT (UK / free shipping) or £7965 excluding VAT (US, Canada, Europe ROW + shipping). Exclusively at Schofield

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