HORIZON Watches is the brainchild of Fred Bekher. A watch designer with almost a decade’s worth of experience under his belt, it is perhaps not surprising that Bekher has always nursed a dream of having his own watch brand. He was finally spurred to make this dream a reality when he became a father, driven by the urge to demonstrate this to his child and leave behind a legacy of his own: Horizon Watches.
The brand’s first collection is a series of diver watches. Christened the Nautilus, this collection is inspired by Captain Nemo’s submarine vessel in Jules Verne’s classic: Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea. Why Jules Verne, you may wonder. “The answer I have is very simple: Verne and his work sowed the seeds of my love for all things sci-fi and ignited the dreamer in me at a young age,” Bekher shares.
“I will always remember how, as a child while I was reading Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea, I would imagine how the Nautilus looks like. These memories served as a basis for my submarine-inspired design of the watch,” Bekher continues.
Thus armed with his imagination, which was greatly aided by Verne’s very eloquent description of Captain Nemo’s submarine, Bekher set about translating his vision of this submersible into a watch.
Bekher admits that friends and family point to him as a man of design details. This aspect is evident in every part of the process in coming up with the Nautilus. For example, to breathe life Horizon Watches and fully immerse it in the legends and adventures of yore, Bekher used paper, which he soaked in tea to give an aged look for his initial watch sketches.
The 42mm case of the Nautilus comprises of two parts with side bevels that go from the bottom part of the case body to the crown guards. Crafted in either 316L stainless steel or CuSn8 marine bronze, the Nautilus’ case features different surface finishings to achieve contrast between polished and brushed surfaces.
The Nautilus comes with two different dial designs. Dials for the stainless steel models have a textured centre while those for the bronze models have a patterned centre. A Victorian-style minute railway design marks the passing of the minute hand. Hour markers are in the form of circle indices with indices at 3, 6, 9 and 12 o’clock shaped differently as inspired by nature, namely the nautilus, which is widely considered a symbol of beauty and perfection. Indices and hands are coated with SuperLuminova for maximum legibility in low-light conditions. The date has been cleverly built into the design as one of the hour markers with the date wheel coated in SuperLuminova so that the date window glows in the dark.
Powering the Nautilus is the TMI NH35A calibre, which is known and proven to be a reliable workhorse movement. The caseback of the Nautilus features a specially designed illustration that is etched and encased in sapphire crystal to create an illusion. Your eyes are first attracted by the apparent depths of the artwork. Then, your fingers will be drawn to explore these fathoms below only to make contact with the clean flat surface of the sapphire glass. At that point, you will understand why the illustration is named, “In search of treasure”.
The bezel of the watch features a coin-edged style design and includes a dome- shaped insert made from black PVD coated stainless steel. The Nautilus comes with a similarly coin-edged, screwdown crown giving the watch a water resistance of 30ATM. Completing the watch is a rubber strap with quick release spring bars and featuring the same print that you find in centre of the bronze model’s dial.
Horizon Watches’ Nautilus comes in four dial colours: (1) Aegean Blue, which is the colour of the ocean’s waves that can be both calming and devastatingly powerful; (2) Salmon Sand, which is a unique coloured dial that lends an air of elegance to your wrist; (3) the Myrtle Green, which harmoniously marries earthy green hues with the lustre of the marine bronze case; and (4) the Cardinal Red, which makes a subtly powerful statement – just like how embers glow and burn steadily. The Myrtle Green and Cardinal Red come with marine bronze case and black bezel or marine bronze case and bronze bezel.