Jörg Bader has used 30 years of experience in watchmaking to design a brand-new deployment system that may well replace the industry standard. Christopher Ward will be the first company to use this patented innovation.
The ethos of Christopher Ward is to combine high quality components, technical innovation and excellent value for money in its watches. Central to its success has been the expert input of Jörg Bader, the leader of CW’s Swiss operation. For his latest development he has created a new deployment clasp – the Bader buckle – which is so clever that it is covered by a patent.
The watch industry uses two buckles. The more expensive is the patented Dexel buckle, which was designed by Elio Granito almost 20 years ago. It is often used by high-end brands and adds upwards of £200 to the selling price. More commonly used – and the one that CW employs – is a “butterfly” clasp that was designed 30 years ago by Bader when he first started out in the watchmaking business. As it is not covered by a patent, and, as Jörg himself admits, offers a less elegant solution than the Dexel clasp, it is appreciably less expensive.
Bader, with regular input from Christopher Ward, has been working for years to find an alternative to the Dexel that delivers the same benefits at a hugely lower cost. The Bader buckle is the long-awaited solution.
Precison-engineered 316L stainless steel is used for the Bader buckle. The new deployment system uses the elongated mushroom-shaped pin as the” anchor” for the top locking clasp. Pushers at the side of the top clasp release the pin to permit the strap to be opened.
“I have thought about doing something different with a buckle perhaps five times over the past 10 years, but each time I was producing something that was too complicated,” says Bader. “The beauty of the new design is its simplicity.
“Compared to the ubiquitous butterfly clasp, his Bader buckle is simpler, less fiddly for sizing the leather strap and it ensures that it is leather rather than steel the wearer feels against his or her skin.
The butterfly buckle is formed of three parts linked by hinges. The Bader has only two hinged parts, so closing it is simpler. The clever part is that the mushroom-shaped pin, which has to be there anyway to size the strap correctly for the wearer, is also used as the anchor on which the clasp locks. This incredibly neat solution means the pointed end of the leather strap now rests on the inside of the deployment clasp negating the need for additional leather loops to tidy and hold the end in position. Like the Dexel, the Bader deployment is released by squeezing pushers on each side of the top plate.
“We have taken as much care developing the Bader buckle as we would take modifying a movement,” says CW co-founder Mike France. “We are confident our customers – and our rivals – are going to be very impressed.”