The HTO GRAND VOYAGEUR Type 574.8 RSWR watch was launched in 2007, on the occasion of breaking world record of railway speed by TGV (574, 8 km/h!”) .
Men behind the creation of this special edition timepiece were Vianney Halter, the father of whom used to be a train conductor for the French Railways, and Jean-Yves Mariez, designer of the SNCF 93700 platform clock.
This special edition of the GRAND VOYAGEUR watch shares the same stainless steel case as its elder siblings as well as the graphic design of the dial, directly inspired by the 93700 clock and the signals implemented along the rail tracks.
The three level dial adopts the blue and silver colors of the TGV (Train à Grande Vitesse – High Speed Train) of the French Railways. “Grand Voyageur” and “Fabriquée en Suisse” (manufactured in Switzerland) mentions on the intermediate dial turn black.
While a complementary inscription “V150 584.8 RSWR” discreetly marks up this special edition.V150 is the name of the record special train composed of 2 locomotives + 3 double storey coaches (one motorized), as well as the targeted speed (150 m/s i.e.540 km/h), literally smashed.
Although few people remember it, the establishment of an official time came along with the development of the train in the 19th Century. Until then, towns and country sides used to live at different times, at the rhythm of the ringing church bells and the belfry chimes. Nothing synchronized the whole; except for local adjustments according to the sun observation.
The train coordination needed the launch of a unique time for the whole nation. In France, the government of the 3rd République ordained on the 14th of March in 1891 the legal time on the basis of Paris Mean Time. Since then, the progress of horology has been accompanying those of railway.
GRAND VOYAGEUR Type 574.8 RSWR respectfully celebrates the railway men and their quest for technical performances. In 2003, Vianney Halter, Master Watchmaker and Jean-Yves Mariez, Designer, created the collection GRAND VOYAGEUR THE RAILWAY TIME as a tribute to the mutual contributions between these worlds. GRAPHICS, STRUCTURE and MOVEMENT are the three design main axes which give these watches their immediately identifiable style.