top of page

Hands on – The Oligo Blue

It is not easy to design a watch. Most of the ideas of an analogue timekeeper have been executed and new ones are hard to find.

Oligo is a Swiss brand with a minimalist approach from beginning to end. The idea is to produce an object that requires the bare minimum, not only to tell the time but also on its manufacturing approach. I had a great chat with the brand CEO Oliver Gaud and it is refreshing to see a new interpretation on horology.

The brand is relatively young, but Oliver has around 10 years of watchmaking/finishing under his belt. After handling many dream watches at Christie’s, Oliver decided to steer into watchmaking by restoring pocket watches. Not only to bring them back to life but also by improving the movement finish. This is the main signature of the the new Oligo collection.

The Oligo is a watch strips everything unnecessary. The result is a sleek and bold watch that looks like no other. There is no name, lugs nor seconds hands and even so, the watch is hypnotic.

The key design element are those floating hands. As a whole, the watch looks futuristic but also traditional in construction. It works well and I’ve never seen anything like it. Join me to discover what it is a truly avant-garde piece.

The specifications

The Oligo is 41mm in diameter, but it has no lugs. An interesting decision by the design team but for this shape works well. If the case had lugs it might be too big for this type of watch, but because the it wears true to its size, it feels right. The stainless-steel case is made of recycled Swiss material, avoiding carbon impact. The round and sleek shape is where the Oligo shines. The bezel feels in line with the hands and centre pinion. The crown is easy to grip and well machined. All fits and feels expensive.

The dial is an eye candy. Those floating leaf hands we mentioned earlier very elegant and unique. The magic is achieved by mineral internal glass discs with the painted hands. It looks like nothing I’ve tried so far, it is a mix of futurism with art deco, very hard to explain but nevertheless wonderful. The quality of the components are in another level, specially at the price the operate. The dial has this glitter mate texture that can be appreciated from afar, the dominant centre pinion is finished to perfection. Again, it all feels great.

I was asking Oliver what kind of movement is needed to power the mineral discs. They might be heavier than traditional hands and of course, I was concerned about accuracy. The Soprod M100 automatic has the necessary torque to make this happen and still delivers a power reserve of 40 hours. The watch also offers a water resistance of 30 meters.


On the wrist

Wearing the Oligo is a great experience, it does not disappoint. Despite of the 41mm diameter the watch retains smaller characteristics. The Oligo has an 18mm strap from the Italian brand Colareb, it elevates the watch to feel more casual and down to earth.

The thickness (or lack of it) is 9mm which for an automatic movement is outstanding. The watch manages to stay flat on your wrist and it makes no apologies of been seen, it’s the centre of attention.

I wore the Oligo Blue for more than a week. The watch flies well under the radar but when I showed it to my colleagues they were as intrigued as the first time I took the watch out of the box, it has that ‘’wow’ ’effect. The Oligo goes well with casual attire, but it can also be worn with a more relaxed look. It is a design object, and it doesn’t let you forget it every time you glance at it.

I was concerned about setting the watch as there are no markers. But the elongated hands helped me to set it easy when it was a quarter to or a quarter past. It just makes more sense, and it would be more precise. That said, I enjoy that is a watch that can tell the time but not to the second, it is an extremely polite way of thinking.


Conclusions

Watches like the Oligo make me feel extremely happy. They not only make my life easier when it comes to write a review but also, I get to experiment unique pieces that I would never had a chance to try.

The brand ethos is something that I also share, do more with less. A lesson that many brands could be doing in times when everything is so going so fast. The Oligo makes you slow down, makes you appreciate craftmanship and also the watchmaking. It has this touch mystery and magic that refreshes what you think about the hobby. It is not a diver or a sports chronograph, it is a watch that goes back to the basics.

The Oligo is available in Blue, Black and Brown. There is a limited edition with Label noir which includes an aventurine dial and black PVD case. The top of the range concludes with FM01 which has a hand finished Felury Manufacture movement. The oligo starts at CHF 2600.

Technical Specifications

CASE MATERIAL

Recycled Steel

BRACELET STRAP

Vegan PVC free microfiber

WATER RESISTANCE

30 m

SIZE

ø 41 mm

THICKNESS

9 mm

MOVEMENT

Self-winding mechanical Power reserve: 40 h, 28800 variations / hours


bottom of page