For questions, please contact cofounder Beat Weinmann.
Location: Lucerne, Switzerland.
Distribution: ochs und junior watches are exclusively purchasable directly from the ochs und junior workshop in Lucerne (in person or shipped worldwide via FedEx).
Revenue: CHF 1.5M (2015).
Owners: Ludwig/Kornelia Oechslin and Beat Weinmann (majority share), Ulysse Nardin (minority share).
Board of directors: Ludwig Oechslin (chairman), Beat Weinmann (CEO), Patrick Hoffman (CEO Ulysse Nardin), Lucas Humair (Industrial Director for Ulysse Nardin), Kornelia Oechslin (Professor of Modern and Contemporary Art and Architecture at the University of Lausanne).
Employees: (4). Ludwig Oechslin is responsible for all technical development and design. Beat Weinmann serves as CEO. Romana Fux assembles each ochs und junior and serves as Oechslin’s technical assistant. Cail Pearce is responsible for communication.
Ludwig Oechslin: Oechslin’s C.V. (PDF) covers his watchmaking projects for Ulysse Nardin (the Freak, Moonstruck, Trilogy of Time, Perpetual GMT, and Sonata), as well as his academic studies (doctorate in Theoretical Physics from the University of Bern). Oechslin was director of the Musée International d’Horlogerie (MIH) in La Chaux-de-Fonds, Switzerland from 2001-2014.
Concept: Rigorously simple watches by Ludwig Oechslin.
Unique point 1: Ludwig Oechslin creates ochs und junior watches for his own pleasure. They are not designed to meet the needs of the market.
Unique point 2: ochs und junior watches use gear systems to implement functions (example: annual calendar). Their turning wheels support Oechslin’s goal of displaying time horizons in analog fashion. Traditional mechanical watches implement functions using levers and springs (and far more parts).
Unique point 3: Oechslin’s date spiral (example: date) is designed to make the time the first information in the watch’s visual heirarchy, and to make the date readable from the same distance as the time.
Unique point 4: Patination and milling for dial contrast (Oechslin’s use of patination at ochs und junior).
Unique point 5: Visibly machined cases, crowns and buckles that do not obscure the raw materials they use (more info).
Unique point 6: No logo and no descriptive text on the dial or the case.
Open-ended customization: The size, materials and colors for each ochs und junior watch can be fully customized. This is called “open-ended” customization, because the customer is not choosing from pre-defined options, but designing their watch in collaboration with cofounder Beat Weinmann (more info).
Current models: Oechslin’s perpetual calendar watch is executed in just 9 additional parts, and the date can be adjusted forwards and backwards. His moon phase watch provides 3’478.27 years of precision in 5 parts, while his annual calendar watch offers analog display of the month, date and weekday in 3 additional parts. Oechslin’s date watch has just the essentials, and his two time zones watch displays two time stories on one hand.
Price range: CHF 6’000 – CHF 22’000
Earlier models: anno cinquanta, settimana junior.
100% Swiss made: The only exception is for a custom-made watch which uses color instead of patination. In this case, the color is applied by Cador just across the Swiss border in southern Germany.
Low volume production: About 150 watches per year (learn more).
Transparent partners: A list of ochs und junior’s partners is available here.
Personal and direct: The CEO handles all sales and after-sales service (learn more).
HODINKEE: “ochs und junior just might be the coolest watch company in the world”. (link)
New York Times: “…Ludwig Oechslin, a watchmaking prodigy from Lucerne…” (link)
Bloomberg: “[The ochs und junior annual calendar] whispers intelligence instead of shouting it.” (link)
SURFACE: “There isn’t a single more satisfying timepiece to wear than an ochs und junior – it makes you feel like, for once, you’re part of the solution, not the problem.” (link)
The name: Ludwig Oechslin’s son Giorgio came up with the name “ochs und junior”. It is a play on Oechslin’s name in German (Ochs means ox, and Oechslin is a diminutive form of Ochs, i.e. little ox).