The more I speak with Frank Heydrich the more fascinated I become. Over the last few months I have developed a great rapport with him and love what he is trying to achieve. In December I had the great pleasure of reviewing his marvelous Mini Meteorite watch. What impressed me the most about this timepiece was the level of finishing. In my opinion this piece is comparable to a lot of watches that carry a much higher price tag.
From recent conversations with Frank Heydrich it is apparent that he maximizes every hour of the day. As I mentioned in my previous article his main occupation is that of a jet and boat engineer. Essentially making watches is just a creative outlet enjoyed in his spare time. Nevertheless this level of proficiency involves an enormous amount of skill and dexterity. A few weeks ago I wrote an article for Luxurious Magazine featuring his Bella Luna. This is the world’s first watch with a dial constructed from a piece of the moon. Following similar lines the dial of the Planum Australe is fabricated from a part of meteorite from Mars.
Although the Planum Australe is not the first watch to contain an element of rock from Mars in my opinion it is the most striking. Swiss watchmaker Corum originally produced a limited edition timepiece in 1986 called the Météorite Mars Watch. Apparently this exclusive timepiece is now reaching figures in the region of $50,000. By contrast the Planum Australe is a much more affordable option costing approximately $5,000. With a diameter of 42mm it should appeal to most buyers including the unisex market. The brushed steel case should also make it fairly lightweight to wear.
Visually the Planum Australe is an absolutely fantastic looking watch. The dial has been made from a rare Martian meteorite called NWA6963, which was discovered in Morocco in 2011. Interestingly the rock has a greenish tonal quality rather than the expected red. I love the contrasting silver Gideon meteorite chapter ring that acts in perfect juxtaposition. Other minimalistic details include the bespoke hour/minute hands and understated markers (positioned at 4, 8 and 12 o’clock). Overall the subtlety of the composition is integral to the success of the design.
Due to the very limited production numbers Frank Heydrich manufactures , all of his movements have to be selectively sourced. The Planum Australe is equipped with an Omega 2500C Co-axial automatic movement. This caliber comprises 25 jewels and oscillates at a frequency of 25,200 vibrations per hour. The mechanism can also be viewed in its entire splendour through the sapphire crystal case back. Functionally the watch features hours, minutes, seconds and a power reserve of 48-hours.
The Planum Australe has a stylish brown hornback crocodile bracelet with matching stainless steel deployment clasp. For prices contact Frank Heydrich directly at: http://frankheydrich.com