Introducing the L’Essentiel watch!

Jun 22, 2023

limited-edition watchIntroducing the L’Essentiel watch!
The Philosophical Regulator

Hours indicated on a 24-hour philosophical disc in aventurine, minutes via central regulator hand, and small seconds on a subdial at 6 o’clock. Two complications: 24-hour philosophical disc, stop lever for time correction.
Three horological specialties: ‘moustache’ lever escapement, Guillaume-type balance, and wolf’s tooth winding.
This is the limited edition of 25 pieces.

Create to endure 1750, today… At that time, watches were created and built for the long term, to last, with the best materials, to stand the test of time. As these objects were destined to accompany several generations, particular care was taken to ensure their longevity and, of course, that they remained a pleasure to admire.

wrist JewelWhen my dad was still alive, he commissioned me to make him a pocket watch, as his granddad always wore one. His request was simple: “I’d like to wear a pocket watch too, and since you make beautiful pieces for others, I’d be delighted if you made one for me”. I couldn’t honor his request in time, as he left us before I could even sketch a single line for his watch; too busy and occupied was I, at the time, in my role as a director of watchmaking for a major brand.

I was still mourning my father’s passing when I decided to fulfill my dream of independence, and finally started work on his pocket watch. This was the initial impetus for the “Tree of Life” project – and for the first watch, “L’Essentiel” (‘that which is Essential’). Having become a father myself, just two months after mine died, I became inhabited by a deep desire to materialize a philosophy of life.

As I started conceiving my father’s pocket watch, I almost immediately imagined that it would carry a philosophical message within… What if my great-grandfather’s pocket watch also harbored a message for me – and for my children in the future..?

Inspiration for the purity of the design came from leafing through a work by Antide Janvier and coming across a magnificent regulator dating from 1800. I was going to create a regulator. A philosophical one. In a 39mm case.
The 24-hour disc would thus be the philosophical disc. It would carry the owner’s message, addressed to them and to generations to come.

After completing initial calculations and choosing an agreeable frequency of 18,000 vibrations per hour, I turned to the desired thickness for a 39mm watch. 8mm, excluding the crystal, I felt would achieve perfect diameter/thickness proportionality. So began the 3D modelling phase, and the hours spent starting over and over again to ultimately capture this ever-elusive harmony, from the buckle to the crown, and from the crown to the balance wheel.

It may sound strange, but when I must explain the purpose of my work in three words, “philosophical mechanical instrument” always rings true and in tune with my original intention. A living mechanism that keeps track of one’s life (lives), transmitting and safeguarding a philosophical message.

I would have loved to have been handed down a mechanical instrument by my forebears, something that messages me and guides my steps throughout my existence. To inscribe fundamentals onto a mechanism as one chisels truths into marble. It is a feeling that gives me great comfort and joy because infusing my creations with these words gives me the chance to keep the light shining on life values: Today, Now, Love & Gratitude.

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