While Memorigin probably won’t fit in any of the many micro brand definitions, they’re certainly out of the ordinary and we’re privileged to be able to have a hands on look. We like them and we hope you like them too.
Memorigin, a Hong Kong based haute horology watch brand, only manufacturers tourbillon watches and was only started in July of 2010. The tourbillon is probably the most famous form of early watch making technology. From 1821 to 1895 only 500 were made world wide and it’s primary purpose is to counteract gravitational forces, which at the time really was a major challenge with watches to keep them operating accurately. With today’s technological advances in watch engineering, production methods and materials, counteracting gravitational forces is a hurdle that can be met with much greater success when combined with the help of the young and skilled watchmakers at Memorigin. For this review I have the Memorigin model AT0502, Stellar Series Imperial. This example is only the 24th of a total of 50 pieces being produced and it is truly a work of art.
The dial of the watch is divided into four sections. The flying tourbillon is at 3 o’clock, the sphere GMT is at 6 o’clock, the time subdial is at 9 o’clock and the Chinese ancient planetarium is at 12 o’clock. The watch is 43 mm in diameter with a 232 piece movement that has 18 jewels and runs at 28,800 bph with a 40 hour power reserve and it is self winding with an 18k gold bidirectional rotor. The 12 o’clock signed onion crown sets both a second GMT time zone and the regular time. Maintenance is recommended every 3 to 5 years. This is not an all activity type of watch. It cannot handle violent vibrations and it is rated 5 atm water resistance and it must be kept away from strong magnetic fields as well as extreme temperatures and corrosive gases while the exterior of the watch is basically cleaned by wiping it with a cloth.
What you will first notice about this watch is the unique asymmetrical front sapphire crystal and back sapphire crystal combined with it’s beautiful 18k white gold finished case, blue alligator strap, logo’d buckle and heavy polished push button release. This allows the watch to be taken on and off quickly without damaging any of the adjustment holes in the strap. All leather straps should operated like this, in my opinion. The face has 12 raised rectangular indices and combined with the GMT globe and the Chinese ancient planetarium make this watch a visual treat.
The case back shows the skeleton “Memorigin” on the tourbillon, mostly blued screws as well as scrollwork and gold coin on the rotor with the brand logo. In addition, the beautifully polished piano wood finished display box with polished hinges and hardware contains a built in electric watch winder so this watch can be worn at a moments notice. This is a very desirable option to have with a mechanical watch that is really a special occasion piece that won’t be worn on a daily basis.
This is the kind of watch that is collected for it’s beauty, unique enginering, workmanship and details that you do not find on a typical fine timepiece. It does not really respresent current conventional watch engineering where many different qualities such as water resistance, shock resistance, readability day or night and resistance to all kinds of environments and ease and speed of manufacturing are the priority. The Memorigin Stellar Series Imperial watch also tells the time, but that isn’t the watch’s primary purpose. I hope my photos do justice to this $7,629 masterpiece. memorigin-us.com
Bert Kanne is a freelance contributor to MBWW with a love for well made dive watches and chronographs. All photos by Bert Kanne unless otherwise noted.