The Lettercutter watch is a collaboration between Naoya Hida & Co. and The Armoury, named after the craftsmen who specialized in carving letters into stone. Using Naoya Hida & Co.’s excellent Type 2 watch as a base, The Armoury created an entirely new font and carefully redesigned the dial and details to create the Lettercutter.
Lettercutters are skilled artisans who chisel intricate letterforms into stone. The Armoury created an entirely new font inspired by their work and the forms of Art Deco design. Just as these artisans did in stone, the master engraver at Naoya Hida & Co. engraves the numerals into the dial.
In order to achieve the clarity and depth that is characteristic of hand engraving, the numerals are carved into a plate of extra-thick German Silver, a technique previously found only on vintage pocket watches. Looking closer, the dial's chapter rings are constructed and attached separately, each finished in a different fashion. The markings are hand filled with Japanese cashew ink, with its unique blue hue and lacquer-like finish.
The hands of Naoya Hida & Co. timepieces are unlike those of most other watches. They are not stamped but instead precision milled, allowing them to be distinctively thick and shapely. In the case of the Lettercutter, they are cylindrical; long, straight, and purposeful.
Case, Buckle and Strap
The Lettercutter features Naoya Hida's 3rd generation case design. Based upon case designs from the 1950s and 1960s, the case features thinner lugs and a screw-in caseback. The shape and aesthetics are practical and beautiful, with sculptural elements and water resistance. Milled from a single piece of 904L steel, the case is difficult to create due to its hardness, but highly resistant to corrosion.
The watch features a custom strap constructed from double-sided shrunken calf leather with a precision milled buckle and a quick release springbar for easy strap changes.
Housed inside the 37mm steel case is the Caliber 3020CS, running at 28,800 BPH with its 45-hour power reserve. The Cal. 3020CS is based upon the robust ETA 7750 chronograph movement, which has been reworked by Naoya Hida & Co. into a time-only movement with a center seconds hand and a newly designed and decorated top plate.
Style and Proportion
As one might expect from an Armoury collaboration, the watch is discreetly sophisticated. Its modest case size slides easily under any cuff and its silver and blue colouring is easy to pair with any outfit.