Now, each and every one of us has an idea about what the ideal gent’s wristwatch should look like, a lot of my friends in the watch world and I disagree with each other in most regards, but we all agree on one thing: high-end watches need details. In the case of typical less-is-more type watches such as Vacheron Constantin’s Patrimony Ref 81180/000P-9539 where the movement shines or Breguet’s Classique Ref. 5157BB/11/9V6 which has one of the best Guilloché dials ever, you need a loupe to appreciate the details. Ladies watches, however, are something different. Excluding Piaget and Cartier, most ladies watches are adorned with extravagancies which tie in neatly with their outfit and small leather goods. The new TEFNUT 1001 Nights is a stand out in this regard.
Feast your eyes on the beautifully crafted but, at a glance, conservative and straightforward dial. Okay, it’s not THE most conservative of dials, but compared to some other ladies watches, it’s got a low key look to it. The watch is teeming with seemingly bizarre choices, but when they all come together, they are oddly satisfying to the eye. You don’t need the eye of an architect to appreciate what’s going on here. Circles inside circles and next to other circles is the order of the day here, with most of what we’d think to be the dial moved over to the right so you can only tell the time accurately when the hands are on the left-hand side. In fact, the entirety of the watch looks like the designers spent so much time on one side of it that they forgot the other. The brand says that the design comes from the mysteries of the Orient, but I don’t remember all of the terra cotta army or the Great Wall of China being all slightly to the left.
The case, for example, only has traditional lugs on the left-hand side. There are some small lugs connected in the centre for added rigidity, and on the right, there is a cabochon, like on the crown. The bezel of the watch is thick on the left and tapers to the crown, too, and the ring around the ornate art piece on the mother of pearl dial. I should at this point state that this is not a moon phase, it is one fixed piece of artwork, but it’s still beautiful.
Beauty is something this watch has in spades, the craftsmanship and materials used all speak of elegance, the bezel has 60 brilliant cut white diamonds, and the dial another 62. Not only is that dial, the dial which curves upwards on one side, mother of pearl, but so is the artwork placed upon it. The gold bracelet is a very fine Milanese loop, which will undoubtedly be as subtle as leather. Inside the 37mm case is the in-house made calibre 102.0, which is manually wound with a Grossmann balance, lever escapement and a total of 196 parts and 26 jewels. When fully wound, this handmade beauty will run for 48 hours.
It seems, for now at least, that the women’s watch market is not nearly as large or influential as the gent’s market. But, watches like this are a great proving ground for brands to have more fun and creativity with their watches than they otherwise could. Moritz Grossmann is making the most out of that, and we wish them the best of luck. Visit Moritz Grossmann here.