Fugue is a new French watch brand founded by Leopoldo Celi. The piece that he showed at Salon QP is distinctive for having an interchangeable case. Each watch is supplied with a steel case, plus an alternative, one from a gold-toned case and a black version, possibly PVD. The inner section of the watch has a series of small ball bearings on the side which clip into recesses on the external part of the case, which is continuous with the lugs. The strap – two are supplied with each watch, one in leather, one in canvas – simply loops through the lug bars like a NATO strap, but it has a thinner central section so that even if you hold the watch vertically from the buckle, there is no risk of the watch itself slippping off the strap.
The watch itself, named Chronostase, is a conventional three-hand timepiece with a distinctive dial design. It is powered by the Ronda R150 Mecano automatic movement, which could well be a landmark movement in watchmaking history, a predominantly Swiss-made calibre that replaces the ETA 2824-2, and costs less than the classic ETA movement. It runs at 28,800 vibrations per hour, has the stop-seconds function, and provides a power reserve of 40 hours. With a price to watchmaking brands of about 60 Swiss francs, it heralds the possibility of a new renaissance in low-priced mechanical watches – the way watches were before the quartz revolution.
The Swiss company Ronda not only make the movement, they also assemble the new Fugue watch. It is made in batches of 300, all individually numbered. You can choose your preferred number if you wish. The price of the watch, complete with two external case units and two straps, is £1,050. Further details from the brand’s website.