It’s often said that innovation in mechanical watches stalled after the 1960s. Some believe that while materials, quality control, and manufacturing techniques have undoubtedly improved over the last 50 years, the conceptual innovation of mechanisms came to its zenith with the introduction of the automatic chronograph in 1969. While it’s a divisive argument, Horage shows that innovation is not dead with a new application of its K2 24-hour GMT micro-rotor movement in combination with an exposure calculator for photography. Partnering with veteran photographer Professor Brian Griffin, the Lensman 2 Exposure uses a camera exposure scale to nail the perfect shot. Read on to find out how it works.

I enjoy photography and creating unique images, but I’m no shutterbug. Regarding handheld shooting, I tend to rely on autofocus for my shots. I also use a mirrorless, digital, and compact modern camera with a digital viewfinder and an LCD screen. For photography purists, this is about as rookie as camerawork gets, close enough to using a smartphone. I haven’t yet developed an appreciation for shooting film photography with a manual focus. However, if there is one thing that sets apart my love for shooting with a camera as opposed to a smartphone, it is the control over exposure. When taking a picture with a phone, the powerful software computes the best exposure level for each shot, but then you lose the uniqueness of creativity. Consequently, for example, shots of the Eiffel Tower taken on several smartphones from the same angle simultaneously will look nearly the same.

Horage Lensman 2

Horage Lensman 2 Exposure

The ubiquity of smartphone pictures is why many photographers adapt and refine their shooting preferences to develop a unique capture. And exposure is one of the considerations that create a signature look. The exposure variance spans high, medium, and low with infinite increments. A low-exposure shot can generate a moody and introverted capture, whereas high exposure can appear bright and extroverted. You can see this variety in practice when you refer to my article on the top 10 watch photographers on Instagram. Allan McLellan (@thewatchdude2) utilizes low exposure to create a distinctly Scottish earthy feel. Conversely, Gulenissen (@gulenissen) overexposes to highlight each element of a watch’s design.

Each shooting style is distinctive and recognizable yet employs entirely different approaches. But honing this style takes time, and learning where the upper and lower limits sit takes experience. That’s where the Horage Lensman 2 comes in handy and simplifies calculating the scene’s exposure. The bidirectional bezel includes the ISO (film speed) scale — 25 to 12,800 — and the f-stop (aperture) scale — f/1.4 to f/22. When aligning the ISO with the current lighting conditions, pictured as symbols, the bezel showcases the ideal shutter speed and f-stop numbers. The 24-hour scale is on the inner part of the dial, paired with a short GMT hand with white circular X1 Super-LumiNova filler.

Horage Lensman 2

Generating exposure

Horage compares this exposure calculator innovation to the tachymeter scale on a chronograph, which provides a fixed calculation relative to the position of the hands. But I liken the exposure feature more to the Breitling Navitimer’s slide rule bezel. Just like the Navitimer, the Lensman 2 Exposure has a bidirectional rotating bezel. Therefore, the calculation is more adaptable than a tachymeter. At first, the Lensman 2 Exposure appears busy, but it excellently delineates the functions to ensure each indication is clear. I typically find multiple font styles on a dial irksome, but the application makes sense here and provides a benefit.

The Horage Lensman 2 Exposure’s case acts as an extension to highly functional camera gear with a hybrid bimetallic exoskeleton. The dual-material case consists of a polished Grade 5 titanium outer square with an anodized matte black aluminum inner portion. With its contrasting textures, the case has a unique look that resembles medium format (large sensor) camera bodies with grip points. While the diameter only measures 39mm, the square/cushion case tends to wear considerably larger than the specs suggest. The impressive COSC-certified K2 GMT movement is visible through the back, with the micro-rotor rendered in tungsten for the standard models and platinum (Pt950) for the Brian Griffin 100-piece limited edition.

Horage Lensman 2

Final thoughts

The Brian Griffin limited edition is the version to go for. Its classic silver dial contrasts nicely with the bimetallic case with dark elements. It also has a platinum rotor and an engraved Brian Griffin quote, “Believe in your light.” Adding to these features is the special box, including four signed photos, with the buyer’s choice of music, film, portrait, or artist sets. Being able to choose based on your artistic preference creates a personal touch and reflects Griffin’s eclectic career. The standard version has a black or bright yellow dial without the engraving and extras. The tungsten rotor serves the same purpose as the platinum with similar inertia performance but is not quite as luxurious.

Having produced the case with fellow Biel, Switzerland factory Paoluzzo AG, Horage created a new design ethos with its signature exposure calculator. The standard edition with a black or yellow dial can be paired with a black or yellow rubber strap. Buyers can select whether to have a matching strap or one that contrasts the dial, but each variation has quick-release pins and a deployant buckle. A black rubber strap is the only option for the Brian Griffin edition, but it works well with the bright silver dial. Both versions have a 5 ATM water resistance rating and a push-pull crown.

The standard-edition Horage Lensman 2 Exposure is available for pre-order from May 9th to May 12th, 2023, for CHF 4,900. The next pre-order period is from June 6th to June 9th for CHF 5,450, and from November onward, the retail price will be CHF 5,900. The same pre-order periods apply for the Brian Griffin edition but for CHF 5,900, CHF 6,450, and CHF 6,900.

For more information, visit the Horage website.

Watch specifications

Lensman 2 Exposure
Standard edition: Black or Yellow / Brian Griffin edition: Silver
Case Material
Grade 5 titanium exo-case (polished) and anodized aluminum inner case in matte black
Case Dimensions
39mm (diameter) × 45.8mm (lug-to-lug)
Domed sapphire crystal with five layers of antireflective coating
Case Back
Screw-in back with sapphire crystal with antireflective coating
Horage K2 — micro-rotor automatic, COSC-certified chronometer, 25,200vph frequency, 72-hour power reserve, 24-hour GMT module
Water Resistance
Black or yellow rubber
Time, GMT (jumping 24-hour hand), bidirectional rotating bezel with exposure calculator
Standard edition: CHF 4,900 / Brian Griffin edition: CHF 5,900 (first pre-order prices)