By Jonathan Kopp
I’m serious when I talk about the necessity of doing R&D one of the central players in our industry. In Part 1, we have already seen some pieces that have managed to push the boundaries. Let’s continue in this second part with some completely atypical timepieces. And moreover, one of the biggest surprise of this year, with the incredible work of Fabergé. I’ll present it in just some lines one of their new women’s watch.
Emmanuel Bouchet Complication One Rose Gold
I had already presented the watches from Emmanuel Bouchet, a young brand launched at Salon QP 2014 (click here). Today, they arrive in Baselworld with a new version of the renowned Complication One. Here is the rose gold version of the piece that gives a completely new dimension to the work of the master watchmaker. The rose gold case gives a classic style to the timepiece, but also a new sense of depth to the dial only added on by the rubies inlaid in the hands. The latter revisited with a white dial base in chalcedony stone.
The calibre EB-1963 hand-wound movement, composed of 283 parts and entirely made in Switzerland, beats at the slow frequency of 18,000 vibrations per hour, giving the owner a different experience of time because of the slower rhythm of the escapement wheel, this kind of slow-motion display is really attractive. Also, the watch offers a power reserve of 70 hours which is quite interesting. This multi-level piece gives an incredible depth effect, is really well-balanced, not too heavy and really comfortable on the wrist.
AOSWatches 1916 Skull Titanium & Stainless Steel
This Swiss brand, based in Neuchâtel, presented the world premiere its new Skull bracelet made of 3D printed Titanium. It took no less than 45 hours of work by Roland Stampfli to make the finishing and the assembly of each link after printing (and not counting design time too). A black treated stainless steel version also emerged, but it has already found a new owner. The two straps are bespoke, which means that there is only one of each in the world. They are mounted on the case of the iconic 1916 which is made of aluminium with a black or titanium grey eloxage treatment.
At the heart of the timepiece there is an ETA 2892-2 automatic movement on which the rotor has been engine-turned (guilloché) by hand. The watch is really comfortable on the wrist and the bracelet, despite all these details, is very soft to the wrist. Not forgetting that the mass of the whole watch is about 100 grams. This technical innovation, using the science of 3D printing to make art is a specialty of the Swiss brand. Indeed, they have already used it in the past to create stainless steel cases, but now it pushes the boundaries of this technology. In years to come we’ll look back and remember that the first company to produce timepieces with this new technology is called AOSWatches.
Kerbedanz Quintum Minute Repeater
This brand is really interesting. It has a range of unique pieces which are pretty amazing. Personally I liked everything that I saw and tried on, however my eyes remained locked on the Tourbillon Minute Repeater. This is probably one of the greatest successes of this show, and of course one of my favourite timepiece. This is an exclusive limited edition of only 2 pieces. The movement is a mechanical hand-wound tourbillon (KRB-05 caliber), with minute repeater and animations. The latter has been designed, manufactured and decorated by Kerbedanz in collaboration with La Fabrique du Temps and Concepto. The movement has 29 jewels, beats at 21’600 vib/h, has a 100-hour power reserve, a silicon escapement wheel and pallets and Côtes de Genève decoration.
The case is made of 18K rose gold 5N measuring 45mm in diameter and is both polished and satin-finished. But what really caught my eyes is the dial. This one is made of massive rose gold, bas-relief with micro miniature, 2 layer dial, designed, manufactured and hand decorated by Kerbedanz. To explain the “savoir-faire”, the bas-relief is a sculpture or modelling projecting on a background to which it belongs and by which it is detached more or less. It can be painted too. The subject is represented from the bottom. The bas-reliefs can be executed in terracotta, stone, marble, ivory, wood, all kinds of metals, vases, jewelry, precious stones, etc. They can be isolated and set in medallions, hollows or other architectural elements. The most impressive thing is the visual animation on the dial with the movements of the leg of Qi-Lin, the wings of the Vermilion Bird and the oscillations of the Turtle enlaced by the Snake.
The “Quintum minute repeater” draws its origin from the ancient Chinese civilization and represents the five elements or the four cardinal points seen from the earth: the water in the north, represented by the Turtle enlaced by the Snake, red; the Wood in the east, represented by blue-green or turquoise Dragon, white; the Fire in the south, figured by the Chinese Red Phoenix or the Bird Vermilion, black; the metal to the west, represented by the celestial Tiger, and finally the Earth in the centre, represented by the Unicorn or Qi-Lin in yellow. These five elements are important in the composition of the sky, the constellations and Chinese astrology.
Fabergé Lady Compliquée Peacock & Winter
Here is a true jewel for women. Simply set your eyes on this piece and immediately you can see the extreme creativity and also the expertise that has gone into this creation. This watch, was created to give you emotions. The mechanical poetry can be attributed to Jean-Marc Wiederrecht of Agenhor, someone who, if you’re into this kind of horology, you will have heard of before. This timepiece is offered with two motifs: one is a peacock (Lady Compliquée Peacock) with a retrograde minute hand, and the second one is called Lady Compliquée Winter. This is not an ordinary retrograde system, but instead was a completely new development.
The newly developed movement displays the hour by means of a rotating disc at the perimeter of the dial and the minutes along a retrograde scale, along which a peacock’s tail fans out before snapping closed. The Peacock version is set with 127 brilliant-cut diamonds, 31 Paraiba tourmalines, and 57 tsavorites are snow-set on the dial as a background to the amazingly engraved white gold peacock, something which Fabergé is well accustomed to doing. Also, another 54 brilliant-cut diamonds are set on the platinum case band.
Finally, all the timepieces presented in these two parts are watches that power the watchmaking industry forward and that contribute to the beauty of horology. All have pushed the boundaries, doing a lot of research and development. Whether at the level of the movement, the material, or the usage of the new technologies.
Jonathan Kopp – Contributing Writer
Jonathan Kopp has an avid enthusiasm for timepieces of all genre, from vintage timepieces to modern Luxury Haute Horology. His preference goes to small and independent high-end watchmakers. He loves the difference rather than classicism, although if he admits to being in love with several ultra-classics pieces. Jonathan was caught by the passion for watchmaking there are almost 6 years. For about 5 years, he wanders in this industry and was Communication-Marketing-PR Consultant for several brands. He has worked for over 2 years as a freelance for the development of the Swiss brand Arthur Oskar Stampfli (AOSWatches). To keep in touch with Jonathan you can follow him on the various social networks: Instagram, Facebook and Twitter. Read his articles here.