Presented at Baselworld 2017 under AHCI candidate’s banner, the extra-ordinary mechanical watch D. Candaux 1740 – The First 8 created by David Candaux, pushes boundaries of traditional watch making through its sleek design, asymmetrical conception and world-premiere technical features.
Born and brought up in the Vallée de Joux, the most important region in the traditional Swiss luxury and high-end watchmaking industry, David Candaux comes from a family of traditional watch makers. Proudly expressing the young master watch maker’s talent, ideas and sensitivity, the D. Candaux “1740 – The First 8” timepiece combines 3 patents and 8 design registrations.
Asymmetrical interplay is at the core of the 1740 – The First 8’s design, from the casing to the mechanism, ultimately creating a perfectly harmonious and innovative piece. The watch face showcases the asymmetric design. The unusual face is raised at 12 o’clock and lowered at 6 o’clock, thus optimising the watch-bearer’s field of vision and making it easier to read the time. The luminous enamelled and hand-crafted surface is also easy on the eye.
The hour and minute markers are located on the right side of the watch face. These inverted “syringe” hands are manually flame-blued and the white enamel of the 18 carat grey gold micro dial is made using the traditional technique of “grand feu” enamelling. The black enamel inscription of the roman numerals and timers are pad printed. The four “compass rose” compass points are made of grey gold. The central background in 5N 18-carat rose gold is grained by hand. A plain black varnish protects the main flange in satin-finished gold.
The flying tourbillon cage rotates on the left side of the watch face. Made of titanium, it is mounted on a ceramic ball bearing inclined at 3 degrees from the case. The balance inside the flying tourbillon cage is again inclined from the mobile base, this time by 30 degrees and it is thus aptly named a “bi-plan” flying tourbillon. It is constructed in such a way as to ensure a continual change in position of the cage, thus optimising its capacity to calculate the average of the disturbances (gravity or impacts) that could impact on its proper functioning. It completes a full revolution in 60 seconds and offers a constant amplitude of 250 degrees due to its design, the Breguet-overcoil spring for a perfectly steady set-up, and the constant device. This balance ensures an optimised and precise movement.
The aesthetic and ergonomic design based on asymmetrical proportions has in turn influenced the innovative and patent-protected conception of the movement. The technical imperatives linked to the secret crown mean that the entire gear train and bridges have been inclined at 3 degrees in relation to the plate. This reinterpretation of the standard principles of construction has impacted on the position of the bridges in relation to each other. As a result of this change, each is inclined at 3 degrees from its neighbour. They therefore reveal a general surface which is no longer uniform but cascading, highlighting even better their finish and accentuating the reflection of light.
The increased refraction of light also serves to showcase the “Côtes du Solliat”, a new type of decoration elaborated by David Candaux. Wide and thus delicate to make, each band gives the subtle impression that it is made up of three different bands. The angles are all rounded by hand, which has made the creation of the 23 “inner angles” all the more complex.
With the exception of the small steel bridge, all the fixed elements of the calibre are made of untreated titanium, other than the additional polished and brushed decorations. The semi-brilliant with polished sinks rubies are held in gold bezels in order to vary the colour spectrum and fluidify the workings. All the inscriptions are engraved by hand.
In order to ensure the complete continuity of the movement, all the technical specifications required to update the calibre have been included on the plate. The specifications of the balance, its CGS number, its inertia, the lift angle and the quality indicator can be found on the fixed second wheel.
With 309 parts, the movement includes pinions polished on a wooden grinding wheel and with a groove just after the pivot. This ancestral technique ensures that the lubricating oil remains in place. Chronometry certified, it guarantees a power reserve of 55 hours, indicated by a gauge at 12 o’clock, and which camshaft system is being patented.
In order to preserve the harmonious design, there is no visible crown on the 1740 – The First 8. It has thus been replaced by an exclusive secret and retractable version counting no fewer than 31 parts.
Positioned at 6 o’clock, it is activated by pressure according to three successive positions: neutral, reset, and winding. By removing the crown from the edges of the case, David Candaux has solved one of the major aesthetic problems associated with wrist-watches: the visual unbalance. This true engineering prowess is protected by a pending patent.
The 316L stainless steel case measures 43.5mm in diameter and 12.65mm in thickness. The asymmetric upper glass is crafted from anti-reflective sapphire.
On the underside, the glass box-shaped sapphire back is held in a metal frame with an olivette to ensure safe and easy access to the calibre. The asymmetric lugs fittingly link the strap to the case. The hand-made watch strap is made of alligator leather and equipped with a pin buckle.
Manual-winding mechanical movement
Gear wheel, wheels and bridges inclined at 3 degrees in relation to the plate (patent-pending design)
Frequency: 21,600 rotations per hour
Number of jewels: 47 semi-brilliant with polished sinks rubies with solid gold settings
Number of parts: 309
Dimensions: 6.20 mm in depth, 35 mm in diameter.
Titanium plate and bridges
Titanium and blued titanium tourbillon cage
Constant Device Bridge in polished steel
Fine watchmaking workmanship: hand-crafted polished and brushed angles, Côtes du Solliat.
Single-axe titanium flying tourbillon inclined at 9 o’clock: cage inclined at 3 degrees in relation to the plate, balance inclined at 30 degrees in relation to the cage.
Power reserve: Roughly 55 hours.
Chronometry: stops automatically when there is insufficient energy.
Indication by camshaft system (patent-pending)
Hours and minutes on a separate counter
Grand central second
Power reserve indicator at 12 o’clock
Central background in 5N 18-carat rose gold, grained by hand
18 carat grey gold and “grand feu” white enamelled hours & minutes micro dial
Black enamel pad-printed numerals
Hand-polished compass points made of 18 carat grey gold
Satin-finished gold flange, cellulose black varnish
Hours and minutes: “syringe” shape, made of steel, shaped and polished by hand, flame-blued
Central second: made of steel, shaped and polished by hand, flame-blued
Power reserve: inverted “syringe” shape, shaped and polished by hand, flame-blued
316L Stainless steel
Diameter: 43 mm
Total thickness: 12.65 mm
Asymmetric, anti-reflective sapphire outer watch face; sapphire back, glass box-shaped
Background clipped with olivette at 6 o’clock
316L Stainless steel screwed side inserts
316L Stainless steel asymmetric lugs
Fine watchmaking workmanship: satin-finishing
Waterproof to 30 metres
Secret, unlocking via pressure
3 positions: neutral, reset, and winding
Integrated in the case
Made of alligator leather, large scales
316L Stainless steel inserts