Dietrich Organic Time OT-1
I know several individuals who claimed to be designers and a few who like to dabble in the realm of art. The one area that each agree on is that design is not art. Of course, the design is not art concept may differ from one person to the next. I tend to agree with those that argue design is not art to some extent. While design may not be art, I truly believe that the end product from a design can be quite artistic in appearance. Emmanuel Dietrich is a designer who has spent 20 years of his career designing furniture, jewelry and watches. Eventually, he believed only one direction was ahead which was to create his own brand. When it comes to design, I believe Emmanuel Dietrich has produced one of the if not the most complex timepiece in its price category with the Organic Time series. The Organic Time (OT) series of watches consists of (4) four different color themes: green or 1, red or 2, yellow or 3 and most recently blue or 4. The OT-1, subject of this review, consists of green accents and packs some extraordinary punch when it comes to overall construction and features. The OT-1 retails for $1513 USD and comes with the following basic specifications:
- MOVEMENT: Automatic
- CASE: 316L Stainless Steel – Blasted and PVD Coated
- CASE DIAMETER: 46mm
- STRAP: Nylon (standard on the OT-1, 2 and 3)
- WATER RESISTANCE: 50 meters
Briefly, I would like to note that the Organic Time watches come packed in a rather large rectangular, almost album like, case. The case lid is held in place using a magnetic closure. The interior of the case is well padded and holds the watch (inside of a cloth sleeve), booklet and warranty card. The presentation is very nice, will protect the watch well during shipping and at the least worth a brief mention. Quality presentation always heightens the anticipation for what is inside if done well which Dietrich has accomplished in this instance.
When anyone first takes a look at the OT-1, the dial will definitely stand out and yes many may think instantly that there are other watches on the market with a similar style. Yes, there are definitely some other watch brands in this price category (Ancon & SevenFriday) that use a similar theme such as components and complications. However, when it comes to the case, I believe the complexity of the Dietrich production makes the Organic Time watches much more unique. Rather than the typical square or round case, the almost hexagonal case rest between the lugs in a manner similar to a case and cradle design. The 316L stainless steel case consists of 27 separate components excluding the individual pieces of the movement and the strap. The case consists of both blasted and PVD finishes which appear to be applied as evenly as possible throughout. The bezel is entirely blasted while the remainder of the case has a PVD coating. The bezel is held in place to the bottom portion of the case using 4 PVD plated hexagonal screws. The remainder of the case and cradle has a PVD finish overall producing a case finish that perfectly corresponds with other features of the watch. The case measures 46mm in diameter from the top of the case to the bottom and a robust 49mm across including the crown. Measuring from the outermost edge of the left lug to the outermost edge of the right lug produces a rather modest 48mm in length considering the horizontal watch measurement. The case is nearly 14mm in overall thickness and combined with the other case measurements will provide significant wrist presence. The watch weighs a meager 128 grams so while it will appear significant on the wrist, the watch will not feel overly cumbersome to the wearer.
A 7mm push pull crown is positioned at the 3 o’clock position on the case. The crown features a rather unique makers mark, as I will call it, as the number “69” is machined on the crown face. The number is significant as it is the birth year of Emmanuel Dietrich. The crown is extremely easy to grasp and engage. When engaged the crown is firm with no play or wiggle on this particular example. I have stated on numerous occasions that I am not a fan of case branding on the non-crown side of a watch case. However, the branding on this particular watch is quite tasteful in the form of a small plate noting the specific Organic Time model number.
Another unique feature of the OT-1 is the large 36×37 sapphire crystal. The crystal sets the Organic Time watches apart from other watches with this type of style due to its almost hexagonal design, which corresponds to the case. Now the uniqueness with the crystal doesn’t stop with the shape. Examining the crystal closely will reveal what appears to be laser etched minute markers on the underside of the crystal but it doesn’t stop there. The primary minute markers are also lumed, which I haven’t personally seen before at least that I can recall. Beneath the unique domed sapphire crystal is a beautiful multi-layer dial. The dial consists of four layers with alternating matte black PVD and brushed PVD surfaces. The innermost layer also appears to have a diamond cut edge next to the open heart revealing the movement. While we have reached the open-heart portion of the dial, I would like to note that it reveals the top of the movement, which is rather ordinary considering the rest of the dial features. I’m just being picky, as I know there isn’t anything flashy about a Miyota 82S7 automatic movement, which powers the OT-1. The use of this movement does keep the cost of this watch in a palatable zone. However, some perlage or Geneva stripes would look fantastic and play off the other features quite nicely. Maybe we will see some decoration with later productions once higher end movements are being utilized. I have a sneaky feeling we will.
The complications are where the OT-1 begins to bare some organic artistic flair. I really enjoyed examining the dial from an abstract art perspective. Taking a close look at the 24 hour disk indicator between the 9 and 10 o’clock positions on the dial, as well as, the disk second hand between the 4 and 5 o’clock positions each resemble snowflakes possibly. The hour and minute hands almost resemble buds on a tree in bloom during the spring. Seasons most certainly have organic aspects so through interpretation one might view these features in an organic way. Another one of the more unique dial features is the large matte black criss-crossing structure that resembles something that I recall from the movie “Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure.” I know I am dating myself but for those that recall the movie, Bill and Ted traveled through time in a phone booth completing a history report and this structure in a way reminds me of the time streams in which they traveled. The watch dial certainly has a ton of abstract artistic flair, so what the dial and its complications reveal to me may be completely different from what someone else may see. Truly the watch has an interesting dial design with the end product producing a highly artistic appearance.
Finally in regards to the dial, to answer one possible question that may being lingering through some minds, the watch does provide a touch of lume. The hour and minute hand tips are lumed, as well as, a small portion on the dial under the 24-hour disk. Initially the lume is quite brite but fades rather quickly, however, the afterglow lasts for some time. Due to the bright green color of the hands telling time in dim conditions is not all that difficult even when the lume is not fully charged.
Next, the case back has general specification information etched around the perimeter about the watch model that is typical of most case backs. Beneath the case back is a reliable and cost effective Japanese Miyota 82S7 automatic movement powering the OT-1. The movement has been as accurate as one may expect from this series of Miyota automatics. The use of the disk style second hand allows for the rotation to appear rather smooth in comparison how it would appear if a standard second hand were utilized based on my past experiences with this movement.
Finishing off the OT-1 is fantastic rubber strap, which reminds me of the quality of rubber similar to Isofrane dive straps. The rubber strap is an option offered by Dietrich and retails for a touch over $200 USD. A heavy-duty nylon strap comes standard with the OT-1, 2 and 3 models, which you will see in a few of the photographs. The quality of the nylon strap is superior but I have discovered that I much prefer the rubber strap. Due to the unique lug design, finding straps other than custom straps may be a bit difficult, however, Dietrich produces a wide variety of strap options besides the nylon and rubber straps shown in this review. The cost of the various strap options vary but are most certainly similar to the cost of a custom one piece strap from any well know custom strap maker. Both the rubber and nylon straps slide easily through the lugs allowing for super easy strap changes, which I partially demonstrate in the video portion of this review. The 3.5mm thick rubber strap measures 27mm near the lug and slightly smaller under the watch at 24mm. The rubber strap tapers to 24mm at the buckle and tail. All of the straps are finished off with a high quality signed tang buckle, which matches the finish of the bottom portion of the case. Both the nylon and rubber strap conform to the wrist quite nicely due to the lug design of the watch and are extremely comfortable.
As I mentioned earlier, design is not art, however, the end product from a great design can most certainly be artistic and the OT-1 most certainly has some artistic features. Sure the watch has some interesting geometric shapes and complexities with the overall design making it quite unique in appearance, but I see much more if you look at the watch from an abstract art perspective. In my opinion, the OT-1 is much more unique in overall design than any similar watch in the same price category with the same theme. If you are looking for a great conversation piece, as well as, a quality tool to accompany you through time, a watch from the Organic Time series will definitely fit the bill. I would like to thank Dietrich Watches for working with WatchReport on this review. I would like to thank each of you for reading and ask that you take a few moments and check out the brief YouTube video presentation.