By Jonathan Kopp
I think today in the world of watchmaking everyone knows the name of Emmanuel Bouchet. Most of them through realisation and also thanks to Harry Winston who decided to give him (and to the designer Augustin Nusbaum) a “carte blanche” to create the impressive Opus 12 watch (presented at Baselworld in 2012).
For the record, the French man Emmanuel Bouchet (another one… you’ll really start to think that I’m too chauvinistic), started as a watchmaker and restorer in the family jewellery business that he took on at the age of 21. Soon afterwards, he obtained the ‘Poinçon de Maître’ responsibility mark for Swiss watches. For 16 years, he created jewels, repaired watch gauges for the biggest manufacturers and maintained clocks in French national museums. In 1999, he had the opportunity to work with a group of celebrated Swiss manufacturers and was responsible for complications, watchmaking methods and manager of the watchmaking laboratory. Passionate about fine watchmaking, from design through industrialization, Emmanuel co-founded Centagora in 2008 to put his technological know-how and watchmaking expertise to the service of the watch industry.
If he can be described we would say that he has a rich history in watchmaking, good expertise of what a watch must be and that he is one of the true genii of the contemporary watchmaking.
Some weeks ago at Salon QP Mister Bouchet presented his first own timepiece, or in other words, his own vision of 21st century watchmaking art.
By following his creativity and his passion the master-watchmaker decided to surprise us with the launch of his own brand that bears his name and with his debut timepiece which is a tribute to watchmaking tradition and know-how. Quite simply, I think that Emmanuel Bouchet got fed up of conceiving masterpieces for others, and decided to realize his dream by creating his own brand. The result? He launched one of the most stunning, unexpected and amazing watches of the year.
The ‘Complication One’ is pretty damn cool looking. Nevertheless, I would ask a simple question to Emmanuel Bouchet. Why this piece is called “Complication One” while it contains no complication in the strictest sense of the term?
Maybe it’s because of the subtle and contemporary architecture of the watch and of course of the technical sophistication. Or said differently, a kind of avant-garde vision of time that breaks the traditional codes of watchmaking by revealing the movement’s intricacies (We must admit that this provides a powerful and incredible 3D visual effect).
This exceptional creation, is powered by the hand-wound calibre EB-1963 composed of 283 parts.
Something really interesting about this timepiece and this movement is the attention that E.B had to highlight the soul of watchmaking and the perception of time. In most watches the regulator oscillates somewhere between 21,600 to 36,000 alt. per hour, making it impossible for the owner to observe in detail the inner working of the mechanism. The difference is that the Complication One has a frequency of 18,000 alt. per hour – 2.5 Hz. This is deliberately low to reinforce the mesmerizing behaviour of the escapement. This allows the wearer to contemplate the movement and give them the possibility to understand how time works mechanically in a captivating and unique way while providing a striking indication of the time.