Robert & Fils 1630 Collection Maurice Robert

Gilles Robert led Swiss luxury watch brand Robert & Fils 1630  pays homage to to Maurice Robert , the ninth generation of Robert watchmakers and the famous Valjoux 88 Calibre by introducing Maurice Robert Collection, a new line unveiled at Basel world 2012. The collection consists of unique Grand Feu Enamel hunting pocket watches and Grande Complication wristwatches in limited series. The historic Valjoux 88 Caliber equips the Grande Complication wristwatch and the Grand Feu Enamel Hunting pocket watch. For daily use, the wristwatch features a contemporary classic dial and please the collector, the pocket watch has a grand feu enamel case, whose themes are inspired by the animal kingdom.

The wristwatch has the following functions: hours, minutes, seconds, chronograph stopstart, return to zero, seconds counter, 30-minutes counter, hours counter, day, month, date, lunar phases. With applied numerals, the dial is placed in an 18K rose gold case measuring 38 mm in diameter. It features two push-pieces and two correctors that activate the column-wheel movement.

The pocket watch has the following functions: hours, minutes, seconds, chronograph stopstart, return to zero, seconds counter, 30-minutes counter, hours counter, day, month, date, phases of the moon. The 47-mm case in 18K yellow gold features grand feu enamelling, miniature painting by hand, a secret compartment with manual opening on the case back letting the name of the piece be seen, and hand-engraving on the double case back. A pushpiece activates the secret compartment and two push-pieces and two correctors activate the column-wheel movement.

This unique collection comes in a lovely case evoking an antique book, with the gilded title of Robert & Fils 1630. It also includes the two-year guarantee brochure and instructions for the watch, printed on artisanal paper, all signed and sealed by hand. For the pocket watch, a precious case includes the gold chain, a correction key, a loupe, and a protective leather pouch.

The Valjoux 88 Calibre
A direct descendant of the Valjoux 72C, itself descended from the Valjoux 23, the Valjoux 88 Calibre can be considered as a “monument” to the Swiss chronograph of the 20th century. Designed in the 1920s, it was modernized in the 1940s, and then reworked with the additions of complications. In 1947, the moon phases version of the 72C appeared, and the career of the Valjoux 88 Calibre continued until the end of the 20th century. Used by several Swiss brands, it was the driving force for many lovely timekeepers. It also inspired movement makers during the “Glorious Thirty” – the years between 1945 and 1973 when it was considered the calibre of reference. For Robert & Fils 1630, it is intimately linked to its own history through Maurice Robert and Denis, director of Valjoux at that time. This movement is, in a way, an integral part of the family patrimony.

Maurice Robert
Born in 1888 in Fontainemelon, Maurice Robert, the grandfather of Gilles Robert, the current president, deserves a great deal of respect. Ninth in the generation of Robert watchmakers, he entered the family business, the Fabrique d’Ebauches of Fontainemelon, in 1912, where he served as manager starting in 1918, then as president of the board of directors. He was one of the founding members of Ebauches SA where he held the position of vice president. Valjoux became part of Ebauches SA in 1944 and would then be managed, as was the Fabrique of Fontainemelon, by Gilles’ father, Denis Robert, the tenth generation of the Robert family of watchmakers. So, it was only natural that the Robert & Fils 1630 brand would equip this collection with the Valjoux 88 Calibre. Starting in 1937, Maurice Robert was a member of the financial commission of the Council of the Swiss Federation of Watchmaking.

A world traveller, Maurice Robert began collecting watches during his youth, watches that demonstrated his thirst for discovery and his unequalled knowledge of timekeeping. He grouped together pieces that were characteristic of each era in specific categories. This collection represented the evolution of the timepiece with a number of masterpieces, not only Swiss but also from other countries. It was presented for the first time in 1941 in Fontainemelon during a reunion of the Historical and Archaeological Society of the canton of Neuchâtel. An extraordinary collection, it was, for many years, the reference for many academic works dedicated to fine timekeeping.

Maurice Robert habitually wore a watch equipped with the famous Valjoux 88 movement. Gilles Robert inherited this timepiece from his father, Denis. In 1985, Gilles modified the piece and realized his first creation – just for personal pleasure – some 32 years after the death of his grandfatherThe choice of illustrations for the dials of the pocket watches soon appeared obvious – it would centre on the world of animals. This served as an additional link between Maurice Robert and his grandson Gilles. Maurice was a skilled horseman and Gilles was a world traveller who loved to observe the nature around him.

Technical details: Wristwatch
Dial : Grande complication with appliqués

Case
38-mm, 18K rose gold, with circular-grained decorations on both sides of the case
Anti-reflective sapphire crystal
Crown, two push-pieces, and two correctors that activate the column-wheel “Grande Complication” movement

Movement
Historic Valjoux 88 Calibre, decorated either by hand or with the Côtes de Genève pattern, manual-winding mechanical movement
Diameter: 29.5 mm
Frequency: 18,000 vibrations/hour
Working reserve: 40 hours

Functions
Hours, minutes, seconds, chronograph stop-start, return to zero, seconds counter, 30-minutes counter, hours counter, day, month, date, moon phases

Water-Resistance 30 meters
Bracelet Hand-sewn alligator strap, with 18K rose gold buckle, engraved with the Robert & Fils 1630 logo
Packaging In the form of an antique book
Limited series of 50 pieces.
All component parts have been manufactured in Switzerland

Technical details: Pocket watch
Dial: Grande complication

Case
47-mm, 18K yellow gold, decorated with grand feu enamel and miniature painting by hand, secret compartment with manual opening on the case back, allowing the name of the piece to be seen, hand-engraving on the double case back
Anti-reflective sapphire crystal
Push-piece crown to activate the secret compartment, two push-pieces and two correctors to activate the column-wheel Grande Complication

Movement
Historic Valjoux 88 Calibre, decorated with the Côtes de Genève pattern, manual-winding mechanical movement
Diameter: 29.5 mm
Frequency: 18,000 vibrations/hour
Working reserve: 40 hours

Functions
Hours, minutes, seconds, chronograph stop-start, return to zero, seconds counter, 30-minutes counter, hours counter, day, month, date, moon phases

Chain 18K yellow gold, with security clasp

Packaging For the watch, a corrector push-piece, a loupe, and protective leather pouch in a precious box
Each piece is unique.
All component parts have been manufactured in Switzerland.

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