Forged carbon has been “in” for a while, even though the material has been mostly reserved for but the most luxurious brands. Dietrich is among the small but ever-growing army of very competitively priced brands to embrace this highly durable material and now adds some unique colors to it with the Dietrich O.Time Forged Carbon and its all-black or vividly colorful carbon bezel offerings – with one very cool trick up its sleeve.
It was almost exactly one year ago that Ariel reviewed the Dietrich OT-3, the model that serves as the very foundation for these new references – so be sure to check his in-depth article here to familiarize yourself with this funky-looking creation.
While I have only very briefly worn a Dietrich O.Time watch, two things I would like to note here before we look at prehistoric case materials are: one, despite all the crazy dial openings and hand designs, legibility is excellent; and second, and more importantly, how almost unbelievably comfortable these watches are. Sure, not all watches can look like these and/or have a similar case- and lug structure, but the Dietrich O.Time could very well serve as a benchmark for how comfortable every watch should ideally be.
Phew! It sure felt good to say that – I haven’t written about a Dietrich since that experience, and I did want to get this off my chest. Now, onto what’s exactly new here: the six new Dietrich O.Time watches feature forged carbon bezels with or without what the brand refers to as “carbon color” blended into the material.
Forged carbon is an alloy that was originally developed for high performance use in aviation and motor racing. It is composed from a mix of very short strings of carbon fiber and a high-performance binding material. This compound is put into a mold and subjected to extremely high temperature and pressure so as to forge it all into one solid and (nearly) indestructible piece. The result is a very light but extremely resilient material whose particular structure is clearly visible and part of its seductive aesthetic. For a review of another affordable and forged carbon cased contender, check out my review of the Tempest Forged Carbon Dive Watch here.
Now, about those colorful bits: to obtain the colored parts inside the forged material, a tiny amount of colored binding material is used and mixed with the neutral one. The result is a black-and-colorful mass that will appear randomly on the finished bezel in unique patterns. Unsurprisingly, because of the nature of the manufacturing process, it is impossible to replicate the color patterns from one bezel to the next – which leads me to imagine that there could possibly be a few pieces that never leave the factory if the colors are mixed in an overly uneven or not aesthetically pleasing way. Anyhow, each timekeeper is a unique piece, and that is a really nice additional feature of this material.
Beyond mere aesthetics, forged carbon is extremely scratch (and pretty much everything else) -resistant, offering very high structural rigidity, light weight, and anti-allergenic properties. Dietrich will offer the red, green, and blue dial models with an option of all-black forged carbon bezels, while the orange model, named Dietrich OT-6 Carbon Color respectively, are only available with the colorful bezels that complement nicely the main colorway of the dial and hands.
The 46mm-wide case (which is only 48mm tall and hence is highly wearable on smaller wrists) and frame are crafted from 316L stainless steel, micro-bead blasted and brushed, and coated with black PVD, while the bezel is installed on a piece of brushed steel. The movement inside shall remain the trusty, albeit certainly not luxurious, Miyota 82S7 automatic with some slight modifications to better highlight it on the dial side of the watches.
There is just one more thing about that “very cool trick” …For the green version called the Dietrich OT-1 Carbon Luminescent, as you may guess from the name, Dietrich has managed to blend forged carbon with Super-LumiNova, so not only will the hands and the indices light up at night (or whenever you pass through a dark tunnel or alleyway), but so will the randomly positioned green bits in the bezel. We at aBlogtoWatch are total suckers for good lume and take every bit of opportunity to charge the lume on whatever watch we may be wearing – and I expect to see someone freaking out over the Dietrich OT-1 Carbon Luminescent in the flesh very soon.
To top things off, Dietrich is also introducing some new and matching straps that nicely go with the visual texture, structure, and colors of carbon fiber. Price for the Dietrich O.Time Forged Carbon and Carbon Color watches varies between 1,850 CHF for the all-black and 1,950 CHF for the colored versions,