BA111OD CHPTR_Δ.5 X Label Noir

Even with the rise of microbrand watchmaking and the resulting sea of variety, BA111OD continues to stand out with its enigmatic naming, pricing, and watch design tactics. The latest exercise to prove the sustainability of its rather unusual approach is the BA111OD CHPTR_Δ.5 X Label Noir (read BA111OD Chapter Delta 5 X Label Noir) watch, a new take on the brand’s triangular time display.
What you will probably want to know first is how the time is indicated by the BA111OD Chapter Delta watch, and here is how: It uses a regular center-mounted minute hand in conjunction with a little dot that traces the inside of a triangular hour track. The 12, 4, and 8 o’clock markers are in the corners, while the others are marked by little notches. As the minute hand is doing its job, so is the hour “hand” dot.
Having seen a Chapter Delta in the metal, I can say that the really fun bit is when the dot gets into the corner — for your reference, the time displayed above is 11:07. The dot travels on a little prong which in turn is fitted to an arrow-shaped platform equipped with a jewel-mounted additional gear. This gear is tracking the center-mounted wheel and in doing so it also rotates the prong and with it the dot. Thanks to some ingenious geometrics, the dot closely traces the inner corners of the triangle, while also managing to do the same with the long, arched sides in between the Arabic numerals.
The BA111OD CHPTR_Δ.5 X Label Noir, then, is a watch that is quite spectacular to set the time on, as that allows you to see the aforementioned geometry and its resulting trajectory in accelerated motion. During regular wear, when the dot travels by just one marker every hour along this hypocycloidal path, the wearer will perceive it to travel at different speeds in the corners and in the “straights,” which is an admirable mechanical metaphor for how we tend to perceive the passing of time very differently depending on the moment. On a personal note, I love watches that play with this idea — at a very different price point, Hermès’ Le Temps Suspendu has a special place in my heart. Beyond the varied speed of the hour hand, the dial layout and the displayed mechanism serve as ample reminders of the Chapter Delta movement’s modification.
I call this a modification because the BA111OD CHPTR_Δ.5 X Label Noir watch is actually powered by the Module 09310, developed by Diego Böttger-Zevallos. The brand reminds us that it is named as such because 09310 read backward (and with a strong squint and powerful imagination, we might add) says Diego. Just how BA111OD is a reference to the founder, Thomas Baillod. We are getting sidetracked here, but let us add that Baillod knowingly chose a naming system that takes a second reading, and a bit of explanation, all in an effort to stand out in what is becoming a bottomless pool of similar watch brand names.
To get back on track, the base movement is a Soprod M100, with 42 hours of power reserve and a 4Hz operating frequency. To read more about its conception and functionality, see this debut article. The movement is protected by a 44mm-wide case in black PVD-coated 316L stainless steel, a see-through caseback, sapphire crystal front, and a 5ATM (50-meter equivalent) water resistance rating. The crown is at 4 o’clock to really drive home the quirky overall design.
Where the BA111OD CHPTR_Δ.5 X Label Noir (or BA111OD Chapter Delta 5 X Label Noir) watch differs from its launch editions from a year ago is the Label Noir collaboration, a personalization company. In essence, it is a black and vibrant green presentation, one that suits the spaceship-like design rather well — although the silvery or blue launch editions were classy in a positively surprising way for such an outlandish concept. Difficult to pick out from the images is the crystal pane between 8 and 12 o’clock, a high-end touch that could perhaps benefit from the absence of large branding.