The Sphaera Epoch Classic Rusty is not just a timepiece; it embodies emotion wrapped around your wrist. It whispers tales of yesteryear and adventures untold, with each glance at its weathered face stirring a deep, resonant connection to the timeless dance of hours and minutes. This watch doesn’t just mark time; it marks moments, imbuing them with an aura of antiquity and the warmth of a cherished heirloom. It’s a companion that carries the weight of history and the promise of the future, all while sitting quietly, ticking away the seconds with the steady heartbeat of a bygone epoch.

How did you like that intro? It was generated entirely by AI, in this case, using Microsoft’s Copilot. We might see the result as impressive. AI-generated writing is still relatively new to some but is developing rapidly. Let’s be honest, though; I hope this is not the kind of language you expect from me as a human editor. So, as long as AI doesn’t improve itself to my human standards, I will manually write my reviews for you, including personal feelings and experiences. As my colleague Ben rightfully said, “AI doesn’t know how to wear a watch” — yet…


Sphaera Epoch Classic Rusty

All hyperbole aside, the Sphaera Epoch Classic Rusty isn’t only a device that tells time. Like most watches, it’s also an accessory that wants to speak to its wearer’s feelings. The Epoch Classic Rusty does so by blending rustic charm with modern engineering. Its vintage industrial aesthetic mimics a product of an era gone by, although the watch is, in fact, a modern instrument. I know this kind of styling might not be for everyone. I’ve seen plenty of people who hate fake patina on lume, let alone other artificially aged watch components. There are different ways to look at it, though. Thomas wrote at least two insightful articles on this matter; you’ll find them here and here. And for those who still don’t like an artificially aged look, there is good news later in this article.

aged screws

How does it appear aged?

The Sphaera Epoch Classic Rusty creates its weathered image through aged screws in a rough sandblasted case and a textured slate-gray dial complemented by brushed brass hands. The handmade waxed leather strap will naturally develop a vintage character, adding to the look but not artificially. The Epoch Classic Rusty also seems to have a distinct influence behind it. Steampunk comes to mind, but that might be a bridge too far. Although Steampunk also incorporates retrofuturistic technology and aesthetics, I wouldn’t describe the Epoch Classic Rusty as a science-fiction watch.

Epoch Classic

Due to chemical reactions during testing of the previous Sphaera model, the screws of the watch developed some patina. The reaction was unintentional, but the guys at Sphaera liked the look and were able to recreate it and use it for the Epoch Classic Rusty. The rough surface of the sandblasted case reflects vintage industrialism, which the sandwich dial with the same texture only emphasizes. With an equal intention, the brass hands are coarsely brushed. Both the hour markers and hands utilize Swiss Super-LumiNova C3 X1.


And how about the technical side of things?

The Epoch Classic Rusty’s essential point is its cool, vintage appearance, but what about the technology behind it? Luckily, this watch is not only about looks but also reliable functionality. The watch boasts a 200m water resistance rating, a significant upgrade from its Desk Diver predecessor. This means that the entire construction of the Epoch Classic Rusty would be suitable for scuba diving and can withstand the rigors of urban and general outdoor adventures. With its 40.5mm diameter, 48mm lug-to-lug, and 12.5mm thickness, it’s a watch that looks and feels substantial.

The impressive sapphire crystal is dramatically domed, but it still gives a clear view of the entertaining dial and has an internal antireflective coating. The mentioned 12.5mm thickness includes this protruding crystal, so the watch appears thinner than expected. On the other side, there’s a closed case back with a neat idiosyncrasy. Although it’s not transparent, you can still look at the movement — that is, as a laser-etched image. How well thought out!

case side

Sphaera’s not-so-obvious construction

On most watches, we see either a threaded case back that screws into the middle case or a back that fastens onto it with small screws. The latter is more or less the construction Sphaera uses. The difference here, though, is that the screw holes go through the entire case of the watch and facilitate the fixing of the bezel, incorporating the sapphire glass, on the front. We find almost the same construction with Audemars Piguet’s illustrious Royal Oak, although AP uses single bolts going through the whole case, while Sphaera has separate screws on the back and front of the case.

Copyright Google Maps

I’m glad that the prominently shown screws on the Epoch Classic Rusty are, in fact, functional parts of its construction. I think, however, that I would have opted for the screws on the front and back having the same color. Here, only the ones for the bezel are aged, while the screws for the case back are in shiny stainless steel. Speaking about that case back, please notice that Sphaera is proud enough about being based in Salzburg, Austria, that it shows the coordinates of a mountaintop in the Alps overlooking the city.


Under the hood

To conclude, I’d like to mention the reliable Swiss-made automatic STP 1-21 movement Sphaera uses for the Epoch Classic Rusty. This 26-jewel caliber runs at a frequency of 28,800 vibrations per hour and offers a 40-hour power reserve. Rivaling the Sellita SW200-1 and echoing the reliability of the ETA 2824-2, the STP 1-21 ensures reliable and precise timekeeping but isn’t anything exotic.

lume shot

Conclusion and pricing

Now I want to fulfill the promise I made at the beginning of this article and share the solution for those who don’t like an artificially aged look. Sphaera produces a watch that is technically equal to the Epoch Classic Rusty — the Epoch Sport. It has the same case, movement, and specs but no artificially aged dial, hands, or screws. You can check all available models on Sphaera’s website.


With the Epoch Classic Rusty, Sphaera produces a solid watch in terms of construction and specifications. At the same time, it’s a watch with a wink to an era gone by and targets people who love the distressed look of ripped jeans and artificially aged leather goods. This artificial aging doesn’t increase the watch’s price, so the choice is yours. Either way, €1,890 seems a fair price for a well-made product like the Sphaera Epoch.

What is your opinion? Are you in camp Artificial Aging or not? Please let us know in the comments below.

Watch specifications

Epoch Classic Rusty
Slate gray with sandblasted texture, sandwich construction, Super-LumiNova C3 X1 on indexes and brushed brass hands
Case Material
Sandblasted and hand-finished 316L stainless steel
Case Dimensions
40.5mm (diameter) × 48mm (lug-to-lug) × 12.5mm (thickness)
Domed sapphire with underside AR coating
Case Back
Stainless steel with screws and laser-etched engraving of the movement
STP 1-21: automatic with manual winding and hacking, 28,800vph frequency, 40-hour power reserve, 26 jewels
Water Resistance
200 meters (20 ATM)
Brown waxed leather with two-stitch design, 20mm width, handmade
Time only (hours, minutes, seconds)
€ 1,890 (incl. tax)
Two years from the date of shipment