When carats set foot in the stirrup and when busts start to dance: this is the Pentecostal news of watches

BYRNE: Creatively French…

Independent French brand Byrne continuesits journey at cruising speed with a new version of its Gyro Dial Meca watch, which features a titanium case whose lines have been reworked (note the winding crown at noon), with a “weathered” blue dial and a new optimized and skeletonized “manufacture” caliber. The four rotating “cubes” sculpted in three dimensions, which allow you to change the appearance of the dial, have been improved, with a fourth “face” which pays homage to the sportier “Breguet numerals” of the 1960s [les faces de ces cubes sont personnalisables]. Even the rubber strap has been redesigned. If there was an example to be found to prove that French watchmakers are at the best international level, both in terms of mechanical inventiveness and style [cette « french touch » que le monde nous envie]we could find it at Byrne, a young, masterfully run house that manages to amaze us from season to season…

CHANEL: Musically quilted…

There’s more to life than just watches!There are other objects of time capable of fascinating us by projecting us into a universe parallel to that of watchmaking. This is what Chanel’s creative teams understood well by drawing inspiration from the lively atmosphere of the brand’s sewing workshops to create this very “seamstress” musical clock. Everything is there, the couture busts which rotate to the rhythm of My Woman (the song that Gabrielle Chanel liked to hum), the small gold decorations, the chandelier with tassels which decorated her workshop (the tassels are here encrusted with diamonds), the quilting of her sofa (on the base: it is a onyx marquetry) and even the tape measure which tells the time throughout the day. To reassemble this unique piece, a gold key set with 229 diamonds and mounted as a necklace on a gold chain set with 132 diamonds. It will still be necessary to put on the table a little more than 2.5 million euros for this enchanted ride whose movement was developed by the Swiss house Reuge. We might as well warn you, this unique piece is already sold: you can always console yourself with the video – it’s as if you were already with all these little hands in Miss Chanel’s workshop…

ARTYA: Cleverly architected…

We can count on Yvan Arpa (the “YA” of ArtyA) to spot good trends in time: could he have sensed the comeback of cases that are called “shaped” because they are not round? It’s probable, because it’s an emerging trend in recent months and it’s almost a watchmaking tradition that is part of the alternating cycle: when times are tougher and when the markets are no longer running smoothly, the cases are more square. ! Here is a very angled minute repeater tourbillon in its geometric elegance (44 mm x 42 mm case): by activating the lever located on its left side, you ring the hours and minutes on three “gongs” which produce a sound rich and deep “cathedral”. This means that we can hear the time passing, without simply reading the hours, minutes and seconds on the hands (the seconds being punctuated by the “tourbillon” which turns on itself every minute to guarantee the accuracy of the watch). A cathedral chime on the wrist is no small thing, especially as the sound is reverberated by the very particular architecture of this Chorus watch, all the faces above the dial are covered in sapphire crystal – the curvature upper part of this sapphire is magnificent. Obviously, such a masterpiece of mechanical-sound engineering is worth it, since you have to count in the 377,000 euros for this unique Chorus piece, cleverly architected and restyled…

YEMA: Proudly manufactured…

Leading independent French manufacturer, now capable of producing its own automatic movements (the micro-rotor CMM.20 produced in Morteau, in Franche-Comté), Yema revises its classics by offering us a new refined version of its Navygraf, finer in its lines (39 mm) and more “manufacture” thanks to the CMM.20 movement, which boasts a 70-hour power reserve with “chronometric” precision of the order of -3 to +7 seconds per day. This reworked Navygraf remains reasonable in price (1,990 euros) for a “diver” waterproof to 300 m in a limited series (200 copies) in which it is difficult to find any fault. We will particularly appreciate its new hands, its restyled indexes, its deep black lacquered dial (glossy, as those in the know say) under a sapphire crystal dome, its seriously slimmed-down case and even the retro graphic of the yellow “Navygraf” on the dial: ah, how beautiful the “French manufacture” proudly affixed at the bottom of the dial, at six o’clock ! A watch that will be as comfortable in the office, in an urban atmosphere, as on a weekend or in a sporting atmosphere: Yema is strong enough to carry the new hopes of French watchmaking!

RALPH LAUREN: Preciously diamond-cut…

Launched in 2009, the Stirrup collection(“stirrup” in English) ended up establishing itself as one of the icons of women’s watchmaking from the house of Ralph Lauren. There are several dozen versions. [il en existe aussi pour hommes, d’une bell allure], all immediately identifiable, and each season offers us new ones. On the eve of celebrating its fifteenth anniversary, the Stirrup family is expanding with, among others, a Petite Link version (mother-of-pearl dial, “curb bracelet”, steel case and quartz movement – moderately gem-set and a Small version in pink gold more richly set with diamonds (307 on the dial, 282 on the case, more than 3.2 carats in total!), which combines Swiss quality (quartz movement Swiss Made) with a discreet and opulent elegance very “Place Vendôme” in its precious simplicity (which will still be priced around 35,000 euros). A watch that knows how to hold its place on the wrist despite its modest dimensions (25 mm x 29 mm), if only because the style of this case has something impertinent in its formal joy. We would almost be tempted to write that this very jeweled stirrup allows you to… feel comfortable on your wrist!

GOOD TO KNOW: in bulk, in brief and in complete freedom…

•••• OLYMPIC GAMES : far from bringing Parisian shops the anticipated commercial windfall, the Olympic Games now promise them streets emptied of their passers-by (and therefore of their consumers) by a merciless security system. First affected: luxury boutiques in the center of Paris, particularly watchmaking boutiques, which already suffer from Paris’s bad reputation in terms of watch thefts to which tourists are victims. [plus d’une montre ainsi « arrachée » par jour en moyenne dans les « beaux quartiers »]. Due to this “securitization” of the capital, restaurateurs are also expecting a disastrous summer season… •••• AUCTIONS : very mixed results for the recent auctions this spring, with auctions returning overall to their pre-2020 level (before the “bubble”), with a few exceptions for exceptional watches arriving on the market. The sale of unique Only Watch pieces marked the triumph of young independent creators while bringing nearly 29 million euros to research against myopathies [un montant en baisse par rapport aux deux précédentes éditions : les 15 millions de l’enchère Patek Philippe sont l’arbre qui cache la forêt, puis quasiment la même pièce unique avait été adjugée au double de cette somme en 2019]. “Classic” sales experienced the same decline, still within a few records. Obviously, the secondary market (second-hand watches, collector’s watches, etc.) is losing its function as a benchmark for the real value of watches offered on the primary market (new watches): for recent pieces, the prices on this secondary market are now very close to the prices charged in stores, where these same pieces are now much more accessible, practically without these “waiting lists” which discouraged enthusiasts. When will the next “bubble”, ask those who consider that prices have reached a sort of “floor” from which they can only rebound? •••• SINN : recently relaunched, the Sinn 903 aviation chronograph is one of the most accessible “pilot’s watches” on the market – the German house Sinn being one of the most legitimate references in the field of “military” or military-inspired watches. If the purely watchmaking qualities of this chronograph are undeniable (Swiss automatic precision, finishes, water resistance to 200 m, etc.), its technical advantages are not lacking in seduction, in particular its “circular slide rule” which allows simple operations to be carried out complex using a logarithmic scale – this mechanical aspect, without electronics, is enough to reassure pilots. Final advantage: the price remained accessible (count in the 3,600 euros) for a 41 mm watch as elegant in the city as in a cockpit…

• THE DAILY WATCHES

All the news about brands, watches and those who make them is available every day in Business Watches & Jewelrywatchmaking information media outlet since 2004…

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