Unveiled at Basel world 2017, Romain Gauthier Logical One Empire’s Secret – Song Dynasty is the model from specially-commissioned series, Logical One Empire’s Secret.
The special edition ‘Song Dynasty’ timepiece features an 18k red gold case with red gold cover. The top half of the cover front features a micro-painted engraving of a scene adapted from “Along the River During the Qingming Festival”, the celebrated painting depicting 12th century daily life in China by artist Zhang Zeduan (1085–1145).
The bottom half of the cover front is sumptuously smooth and mirror-polished, while an off-centre aperture allows for views of the white enamel hour-minute subdial and small seconds featuring flame-blued steel hands.
A squeeze on the pusher at 4 o’clock unlocks the cover, which can be lifted up to reveal a further micro-painted engraving on the entire inside cover – a full elaboration of the same scene evoked on the front. This animated snapshot of everyday life during the Song dynasty depicts bustling crowds of people, market stalls, animals of labour, boats and nature next to a bridge.
Indeed, this bridge scene forms the centre and primary focus of the original monochrome-ink-on-silkscroll “Along the River During the Qingming Festival” which measures 5.25m (17ft)by 25.5cm (10 inches), and has been referred to as “China’s Mona Lisa”.
The intricately hand-engraved and hand-painted micro-scale adaptation of this masterpiece on ‘Song Dynasty’ was painstakingly carried out at the ateliers of Olivier Vaucher in Geneva, and it wonderfully recalls a golden age of Chinese civilisation.
Under the Song Dynasty (960-1279), huge strides were made in agricultural technology and handicrafts; paper money and tea drinking were introduced; gunpowder, printing and the compass were invented; and many noted poets and scholars emerged during this period.
Inside this unique beats Romain Gauthier’s Logical One in-house movement. This multi-patented movement – here treated with anthracite NAC – features a revolutionary snail cam and friction-minimising ruby-link chain, plus sapphire-lined mainspring barrel, to offer nearly two days of constant force.
Its spectacular decoration includes hand-created and hand-polished rounded bevels, hand-frosting, snailing, straight-graining, circular-graining as well as hand-polished jewel countersinks.
The sapphire crystal display back affords further views of the finely finished movement, in addition to a 46-hour power reserve indicator.
The Romain Gauthier Logical One Empire’s Secret – Song Dynasty watch is a unique piece.
Model: Romain Gauthier LOGICAL ONE EMPIRE’S SECRET – SONG DYNASTY
18k red gold case with red gold cover featuring micro-painted hand-engraving of an adaptation of “Along the River During Qing Ming Festival” by Zhang Zeduan
Dial and hands
White enamel dial on an 18k gold base complemented by flame-blued steel hands
Dimensions: 35.5mm x 10.5mm
Power reserve: 46 hours
Number of jewels: 63 in total, including 26 for the constant-force chain
Number of components: 359
Balance frequency: 28,800 vph / 4Hz
Movement components in: steel, stainless steel, beryllium copper, brass, titanium and German silver
Finishing: Highest-level haute horlogerie finishing
Case material: 18k red gold
Dimensions: 43mm x 15mm
Water resistance: 30m/3atm/100ft
Sapphire crystal with interior anti-reflection coating, front and display back
Crown for time setting at 2 o’clock
Push button for winding at 9 o’clock
Pusher for unlocking cover at 4 o’clock
Strap and buckle
Brown alligator leather strap hand-stitched in Switzerland with 18k red gold pin buckle