During the Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève 2015, the Lady Compliquée Peacock watch won the High-Mechanical award. Inspired by this achievement, Fabergé is introducing three new variations of this artistic high-horology creation. Once again, these exclusive ladies’ timepieces are made in partnership with Jean- Marc Wiederrecht from Agenhor.
The three new Lady Compliquée versions employ the same ingenious and exclusive Geneva made movement created specifically for Fabergé. These latest additions to the award-winning collection are adorned with the three most precious coloured gemstones: sapphire, emerald and ruby, truly illustrating the art of colour.
Hours are read at the winding crown; of the mother-of-pearl or onyx disk that rotates counter clockwise. The minutes are read off the peacock’s tail feathers as they unfurl each hour, only returning to zero when the lead feather reaches 60. These watches perpetuate the ingenious and free-thinking spirit of Peter Carl Fabergé himself who imagined and made many of his creations to be both emotive and fascinating.
Unveiled at the Basel-world exhibition in 2015, the innovative Lady Compliquée Peacock watch pays homage to the famous Imperial Easter Egg, the “Peacock Egg” of 1908.
Its manual-wound movement drives four pivoting blades that fan out simultaneously from 7 o’clock indicating the minutes. Each of those blades is moving independently, but at a different speed to each of the others. As the cycle is repeated each hour, time takes on a new role, going beyond the mere charting of the passing of the minutes to create scenes of ephemeral beauty.
The three-dimensional construction of the dial further enhances the theatrical effect. Aesthetically, the movement presents a rich series of decorations that showcase its architecture and enhance its traditional character.
The system driving the blades is the movement’s most fascinating organ. Each blade except the first one, which remains immobile, advances at a different speed so that the ensemble unfurls in perfect harmony. Agenhor has developed a totally new system inspired by a retrograde display. The unfurling of the fan is thus driven by the rotation of the hours ring. This, in turn, is directly connected to the barrel for greater stability and regularity and is positioned over another ring, whose function is to serve as a cam.
The latter has 12 teeth equivalent to the 12 hours visible on the dial. When the cam turns, it gradually lifts a lever that applies pressure to one of the teeth. Also known as a reading finger or feeler-spindle, it coordinates the display of minutes based on the rotation of the hours ring. The fan then unfurls over the course of an hour before the spindle blades into the next tooth, whereupon it closes again and begins a new cycle.
The synchronisation of the blades is made possible by an innovative mechanical organ known as the AgenFAN. Based on a differential model, it is made up of two series of toothed wheels of increasing diameters on one and decreasing diameters on the other, which are superimposed on the same axis. They mesh along the entire length and are placed side-by-side.
The first is driven by the spindle of the hours cam and drives the second, which individually powers each of the blades. The diameter of each wheel is designed so that the fan unfurls in a perfectly coordinated manner. This construction also enables the first blade to move forward by 15° each hour, the second by 30°, the third by a 45° and the last by 60°.
To guarantee the stability and synchronisation of the ensemble, half of the wheels on the differential are equipped with split teeth. Invented by Jean-Marc Wiederrecht, the founder of Agenhor, they ensure the direct and constant meshing of the gears without the slightest gap between them. As a result, the blades unfurl harmoniously, without jerking.
The blades are also guided and maintained at their tips. Each culminates in a ring hidden under an element of the dial, where a jewel is driven forwards. It advances along a groove hollowed out in a base known as a ‘tier’. The lengths of the grooves vary according to trajectory lengths of each blade.
The chronometric accuracy of the watch has been controlled by another unique system invented by Agenhor. Known as AgenPIT, it enables the accuracy of the movement to be adjusted in a simple yet revolutionary way, while protecting the balance spring against any distortion. In fact, the escapement is usually adjusted by modifying the length of the balance spring by rotating a regulator or by equilibrating the balance using micro-screws placed along its periphery.
The former solution remains the most common but necessitates the cutting of the balance spring to the right length before it is glued to a tiny attachment support known as a balance-spring stud. While this operation is well-known and practised regularly, it has the disadvantage of requiring manual alterations to the spring. However tiny the adjustment, it upsets its physical balance and alters its operation, which must always be executed in the most horizontal and regular fashion.
The AgenPIT system eliminates the balance-spring stud and the regulator, while keeping the balance spring intact. To this end, the last coil is guided into a groove by a setting screw, then fixed by a gripping clip that holds it in place against one of the walls. The lower part of the setting screw is encased in a polymer film to enable the balance spring to move forwards or backwards easily without being damaged. The gripping clip replaces the balance-spring stud and maintains the adjustments by leaning firmly on the balance spring.
The AgenPIT system means that the advantages of ring-shaped balances can be enjoyed without the need of a regulator. Precise adjustments can therefore be made in a simple manner without affecting the balance spring. This ensures optimal accuracy.
The Lady Compliquée calibre can be clearly distinguished by its generous proportions, which make room for larger and therefore more visible finishes. So the angles that mark the perimeter of the components are 0.25 mm thick.
The upper bridges are decorated with horizontal Côtes de Genève and the bottom plate and other bridges are exquisitely circular-grained. All the components are also rhodium-plated for a harmonious finish. Together, such high-quality finishes firmly establish the Lady Compliquée calibre amongst the finest watchmaking movements created and decorated in traditional fashion.