Complication 1 by Emmanuel Bouchet

Emmanuel Bouchet is an independent watchmaker who won worldwide attention for Opus 12 by Harry Winston. At the Swiss Independent Watchmaking Pavilion, which accompanies SIHH in Geneva and is held at the Casino du Lac, he presented his first piece, a remarkable watch sculpted from a block of sapphire. Inside, the Calibre EB-1963 movement with 283 parts marks the passage of time in a new way. Usually, the second hand of a mechanical watch provides a constant visual indication of the passage of time. In Complication One, there is an escapement running at five vibrations per second, but more unusually there is also a transmission escapement that moves forward every fifteen seconds that provides a sort of slow-motion display of what is going on in the escape wheel. It could be considered as a new constant-force mechanism. The centre wheel of the first train rotates an elliptical triangle, visible at the top of the dial, swinging aside the lever fork every fifteen seconds to unlock the double escape wheel. One of the original features is the fact that the teeth are on the inside of the wheel. There are two barrels, one for the escape wheel and one for the escapement, and they provide a 72-hour power reserve, which will be indicated on the back of the timepiece.

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It is a lovely piece to look at, a multi-level construction magically floating in the curving sapphire glass that emerges from the case, in white or rose gold, or titanium with ADLC coating, or in platinum. Hours are shown at 8 o’clock, minutes and ten-miutes at 4 o’clock with a subdial with two jumping hands, the ten-minutes hand retrograde, and seconds at 12 o’clock, with a day-night disc below. The result is a multi-level piece, interesting also when you turn it over, because the baseplate is curved like the sapphire glass. The price of the watch is CHF 92,000 in white or rose gold, CHF 86,000 in titanium with ADLC coating, and CHF 138,000 in platinum. For further details see www.emmanuelbouchet.com

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