MICRO-MONDAYS: The Oliver Gallaugher Deep SpaceFergus Nash
Sometimes, hearing about a new brand named after someone you’ve never heard of, some alarm bells ring. It’s a fairly classic trick used by companies to instil a sense of heritage for watches that are designed out of a catalogue and mass-manufactured for profit. Oliver Gallaugher couldn’t be further away from that stereotype, proudly attaching his name to a project with serious credibility. From a unique design with incredible attention to detail to a custom-built movement from the heart of German watchmaking, the Oliver Gallaugher Deep Space will certainly turn a lot of heads and create impatience for his next release.
Trying to innovate a watch case, especially in a luxury price bracket, can go badly quite quickly. Breaking out of the patterns we’ve all grown accustomed to risks alienating customers, but playing it safe can be seen as lazy. The Deep Space firmly hits the nail on a head with a stainless steel case that doesn’t stray too far from expectations, but also offers some intriguing finishes. The side profile makes for a slick view, as the 10.5mm thickness is mostly taken up by sandblasted flanks and bands of high polish. This alternation between reflective and matte surfaces is usually achieved through brushing, but the use of blasting removes the sporty aspect of lateral lines and embraces a kind of static chaos.
Although wearability is an important consideration, the purpose of the Deep Space is really to show off its dial as much as possible, and given the very limited number of ten pieces, Oliver Gallaugher isn’t trying to please a crowd with small-wrist compromises. The case measures in at 41mm with a 49mm lug-to-lug, which, while on the larger side, isn’t too unreasonable for a watch with such presence, and the bezel’s thickness helps further prioritise the dial space.
Animation isn’t an easy thing to do on a wristwatch, and the artistic solution is to introduce as many dynamic elements as possible so that light does the animating for you. With a theme of Deep Space, Oliver Gallaugher has formulated a hand-made style of dial which will be slightly unique to each piece. The titanium plate is horizontally brushed, and then coated in PVD for an effect that sends streaks of light cascading across. Tiny, glimmering spots are then hand-engraved to represent the stars, combining with the streaks to conjure images of racing through the galaxy.
Retaining the ability to keep time without spoiling the majesty of the Deep Space is a floating hours and minutes ring etched onto the sapphire crystal, softly projecting its shadow upon the dial. The refinement of finishing continues with the sci-fi, triangular hands, each made from two pieces of sandblasted titanium and coated steel then given 0.1mm-wide chamfers. The final detail is the Oliver Gallaugher logo printed in gold, which will please anyone who dislikes full names printed on dials.
While the Deep Space’s dial is the jaw-dropping centrepiece, taking a look at the opposite side may also make you gasp. The caseback is almost entirely made of sapphire for a gigantic aperture to view the movement, and the movement itself is a joy to take in. Manufactured in Glashütte, Germany, the calibre GUY-1 (named after Oliver Gallaugher’s inventive grandfather) is styled after the classical pocket watches which the town in Saxony is famous for. The 3/4 plate along with many other components are galvanised in gold and decorated with pelage, Geneva stripes, high-polished chamfers and swirling brushing. Without a seconds hand on the dial, the calibre is free to adopt a low beat rate of 2Hz – another trait of antique pocket watches. Some may say that higher beat rates allow for better accuracy, however, each of the Deep Space watches are tested in Glashütte to operate within +/-6 seconds per day. The other benefit of a slow beat rate is a longer service interval, although Oliver Gallaugher offer a lifetime warranty provided they service your watch every 4 years.
A special watch deserves a special strap, but you have to be careful it doesn’t distract too much from the watch. Handmade from nylon and leather, the Deep Space is paired with a woven texture that’s almost similar to carbon fibre. Should you wish to go for a more traditional look however, the 20mm lug width and quick-release spring bars ensure great versatility for other strap options.
Oliver Gallaugher Deep Space pricing and availability:
The Oliver Gallaugher Deep Space is limited to just ten pieces. Each watch will be made to order, with an estimated delivery date towards the end of September 2023. Price: £7,800
|Case Dimensions||41mm (D) x 10.5mm (T) x 49mm (LTL)|
|Case Material||Stainless steel|
|Water Resistance||30 metres|
|Crystal(s)||Sapphire on both sides|
|Dial||PVD-coated brushed titanium and hand-engraved stars|
|Strap||Hybrid fabric and leather|
|Movement||GUY-1, Glashütte-made, hand-wound, 2 Hz beat rate|
|Power Reserve||48 hours|
|Availability||Limited to 10 pieces, made to order|