Being in the market for a quarter of a century is a huge achievement for any brand. Over the past 25 years, Astral Pipes, one of the leading manufacturers of high-quality pipes and bathware, among other things, has gone from strength to strength. To celebrate its 25th anniversary, the Ahmedabad-based company has collaborated with Ethos Watches to introduce three custom-made timepieces in India — Bovet Dimier Récital 29, Raymond Weil Maestro, and Frederique Constant Highlife.
In the world of modification, fabrication, and customisation, exclusivity is the key. One of the most important aspects of this domain is to understand in detail what customers want. Initially, this realm was restricted to automobiles; brands, such as Dilip Chhabria, West Coast Customs, and Orange County Choppers, created some of the finest cars and bikes exclusively for A-listed celebrities and corporates.
Last year, we saw luxury watchmaker Czapek partnering with Ethos Watches to create a special edition of its famous Antarctique model, exclusively for Watch Collectors India. This year, Ethos has put forth unique, custom-made models of globally recognised luxury timepieces, thanks to the efforts put in by Astral Pipes' Director, Kairav Engineer. The passionate watch collector believes that the move has the potential to expand people's access to the savoir-faire of watchmaking, thereby promoting democratisation.
The first watch in this lineup is the Bovet Dimier Récital 29, limited to only three pieces. This Récital 29 features the signature ‘writing slope’ case in stainless steel. Its reverse construction makes it possible to admire the swinging of the balance hairspring on the dial face — this element is usually only visible through the caseback. The time-honoured energy control within the movement guarantees a five-day power reserve with the use of a single barrel. The watch also displays a moonphase aperture at 6 o’clock.
The off-centre dial at 12 o’ clock has been reimagined in Astral’s matte blue shade. Additionally, it flaunts special engravings above 6 o’clock. But the most impressive nod to Astral comes in the form of contrastingly coloured 2 o’clock, 3 o’clock, 8 o’clock, and 9 o’clock markers, indicating the brand’s glorious 25-year journey, stretching from 1998 to 2023.
The next watch in the lineup is the Raymond Weil Maestro (Ref. 2237-SP5-AST25). This 39 mm stainless steel watch gets a rose gold PVD-coated bezel. This novelty has a matte blue — Astral’s colour — dial and the brand’s logo is at 6 o’clock.
This model comes with rose gold hour markers, rose gold hour, minute, second hands, and a date window at 3 o’clock. Powering the watch is the self-winding Calibre RW4200 with 38 hours of power reserve.
Last but not least, the Frederique Constant Highlife (Ref. FC-303NA4NH6B) watch is a special edition, limited to only 125 pieces. The watch comes in a 41 mm stainless steel case. Like the aforementioned models, this watch also gets a blue dial, with the signature ‘Earth’ at its centre.
The dial gets a combination of Arabic and baton-shaped hour markers, a white minute track, and a date window at 3 o’clock, along with stainless steel hour, minute, and second hand. Powering the watch is Calibre FC-303 with 38 hours of power reserve. The watch gets stainless steel lugs, crown and bracelet.