Sunday, January 31, 2016

Ancient Greek Formal Architecture

Xezo Architect 2001
ETA 2000-1 28.8kbph 20j Automatic

  • Reference #: Architect 2001 BAS
    (BAS = all black dial with oval inner dial, stainless bracelet and leather strap)
    Also available as “BA” with leather strap only, no bracelet
  • Limited Edition: 516 (total for BA strap only and BAS bracelet plus strap variants)
  • Manufacturing Year: Circa 2004-2006
  • Case Dimensions: 35mm wide by 48mm long
  • Dial Dimensions: 21mm wide by 33mm long
  • Case Thickness: 8mm
  • Lug to Lug Length: 48mm
  • Lug Width: 20mm
  • 316L stainless steel bracelet, back and curved case
  • Double curved AR coated sapphire crystal
  • Snap down case back with sapphire display window
  • 3.5mm thick 20mm wide bracelet with 2-button butterfly clasp and 2 half-links
  • Solid bracelet links with solid end links (removable links use standard “cotter pin”)
  • BAS (bracelet) model comes with black leather strap fitted with signed deployant
  • Weight (with all links): 134g
  • ETA 2000-1 Top Grade 20j 28.8kbph high beat automatic with hand wind and hack
  • Etachron Regulator and Incabloc shock protection
  • Decoration: Perlee on plates and bridges; Cotes de Genève on signed rotor
  • Crown: Push/Pull with 3 positions for wind, date correction, and time setting
  • Water Resistance: 5 ATM/50m/165ft
  • Lumed sword hour and minute hands; lume dots on dial oval at hour markers
  • Black 2 layer dial with guilloche oval basket weave upper layer outside dial oval
  • Silver and white oval chapter ring with minute/second tick marks
  • Flat black lower layer inner oval dial with small 10 second Arabics 
About Xezo (updated in 2020):
Xezo is a small micro-brand company in Texas that makes and sells men’s accessories: pens, sunglasses and watches. Their designs are inspired primarily by architecture and history. Many watches in the past were designed by Xezo and built to specification by a private label watch company in Lengnau, Switzerland. They have the “Swiss Made” label on the dial. Currently, with Swatch Group's reduction in ETA movement sales to companies outside Swatch Group (especially non-Swiss firms), Xezo is using the Japanese Miyota 9015 high-beat movement. Their quartz offerings typically have Swiss made Ronda movements. This one has a Swiss made ETA 2001-1 and was made while Xezo could still source movements from Swatch Group (ETA). Xezo makes all its watches (and its sunglasses and pens) in limited edition production runs, typically 500. While a case design may be reused, the dial and possibly the movement and its features will be different. Not that well known in watch collector circles, Xezo sells directly online through its web site, and puts some of their products on eBay (under Xezo), Amazon (also under Xezo), and Overstock.

An architecturally inspired design, the curved case pays homage to 1930’s era Art Deco rectangular tank watches in an updated larger contemporary size. The columns on each side and the rows of small windows at the top and bottom are inspired by the columns and porch in the ancient architecture of the 405 B.C. Erechtheum Temple on the Greek Acropolis. The curved case is unique with two outrigger columns on the left and right side with the crown located in the gap on the right side, providing it with protection. See-through windows at the top and bottom represent the temple’s porch. As with the 1930’s rectangular curved cases (e.g. the Gruen Curvex), the curvature allows its 48mm length to conform to the wrist better. It easily fits my 7-inch (18 cm) wrist. Back is a rectangular snap down with sapphire display window allowing view of the entire movement. 20mm width bracelet attachment using standard spring bars is concealed just under the case ends. The crown is large enough, and the case and column thin enough, that it’s easy to operate when not wearing the watch.

Dial is a two layer, with the upper one separated from the lower by a silver oval. The oval contains minute and seconds tick marks, with 10 minute Arabics just inside the oval. Unobtrusive small lume dots for each hour are also on this ring. Outer, upper layer contains the hour indices, a combination of Romans, Arabics and narrow lines extending to the dial edges. Texture is a subtle guilloche, oval basket weave that changes appearance with lighting and light angles on the dial. Lower layer inside the oval is smooth without texture, and contains the small 10 minute Arabics, model name and framed date window. Date wheel is black with white numerals to match the dial.

Bracelet is very high polish, mirror finish slightly curved panels with twin pushbutton butterfly clasp. Removable links are fastened together with standard “split pins” and the links have arrows on the underside showing the direction for removal (insert in opposite direction). Two half-links are provided on each side of the clasp, which helps with more precise sizing adjustments. An interesting design, the curved panels have no gap between them. Their curvature allows them to conform to the wrist without having to flex much at the joint between the links. The same leather strap mounted on the BA model (leather strap only) is included in the watch box. A signed deployant is mounted on the strap. That’s a big plus for the BAS model as buying the Xezo Architect bracelet for the BA later would cost a lot more than the price difference between the BAS and BA.

The ETA 2000-1 movement is an 8¾’’’ (19.4mm) downscaled version of the 11½‘’’ (25.6mm) ETA 2892A2. It is designed for use in smaller watches that cannot accommodate larger 11 ½’’’ movements. With the same 3.6mm thickness as the 2892A2, it also allows for thinner cases than the 4.6mm 2824-2. The 2000-1 has many of its big brother’s attributes, with the notable exception of a unidirectional auto wind that eliminates the space required for a bidirectional mechanism. Found more often in women’s watches, this movement’s smaller size allowed for an 8mm thick narrower case with two outboard columns and a dial with a date window inside its oval.

The standout features of the Architect 2001 are its unique Art Deco architectural design, unique mirror finished paneled bracelet, case and bracelet curvatures to conform to the wrist, and a movement that allows a thinner watch in keeping with its style. Dial and hand lume are camouflaged by the oval ring and hand design. Build quality is excellent with top drawer materials, and precise fit and finish work.

The Xezo Architect 2001 contemporary size and design elements combine to create a watch that can be worn with informal (business suit) to formal evening attire (white tie) with ease. It’s the watch you want when the mondo wrist wart diver, military or aviation tool watch you normally wear looks out of place when dressed up to the nines. This is my second Xezo and it’s a high quality, well-made watch.

I have no affiliation, association or financial interest with Xezo, or any of their distributors or dealers.

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