Régulateur à détente RP1 is the third creation of Switzerland based independent watchmaker Raúl Pagès. Created according to the most challenging benchmarks of traditional fine watchmaking and handcrafting, this timepiece houses a brand-new precision movement with a pivoted detent escapement with the anti-tripping device.
Raúl Pagès has entirely conceived, designed and produced the Régulateur à détente RP1 with his own hands in his workshop in Les Brenets. The hand-wound mechanical calibre with a pivoted detent escapement places the Régulateur à détente RP1 in line with the tradition of exceptional chronometers.
The remarkable precision of the movement is matched by the regulator dial, offering its own space for each of its hands: hours, minutes and seconds. The minutes hand is positioned the centre of the dial, while the hours and seconds are located at 12 and 6 o’clock respectively.
Elegance, purity and the detent escapement are the three key aspects of the new calibre developed by Raúl Pagès. Technically, the detent escapement is “free” from any stress during its additional arc. In this system, the escape wheel transmits its force directly to the balance wheel, giving it a much better mechanical efficiency in comparison with the traditional Swiss lever escapement.
The Régulateur à détente RP1 movement is a major accomplishment in terms of miniaturisation and horological craftsmanship. This new calibre houses the rarest and most difficult escapement to make: the pivoted detent escapement.
The independent watchmaker has not only designed this escapement himself but also hand-made it. Not only the ébauche but also the regulating organ is made in-house. The entire architecture of the calibre has been designed in the best possible way to give it maximum emphasis.
Thus, Raúl Pagès has opted for a unique construction, positioning the seconds wheel on the dial side of the main plate. This judicious choice confers an innovative and mysterious aspect to the movement, as the kinematic chain appears to be interrupted. In addition, this technical trick allows a masterful view of the escapement wheel and the perfect positioning of the detent bridge. Equipped with a gold counterweight, the pivoted detent has been optimised to be particularly well balanced and therefore adhere to modern chronometric requirements.
Raúl Pagès has also addressed and solved a vital problem encountered by the detent escapement in a wristwatch: shock resistance. The Régulateur à détente RP1 is therefore equipped with a patented system that prevents the escape wheel from leaving the rest position when the watch is shaken.
The detent is equipped with a beak, which cooperates with a third roller on the balance shaft. In the event of a shock, the beak of the detent rests on the roller and thus prevents the escapement from tripping. The low frequency (18,000 vibrations per hour) of the large 13.30 mm-diameter balance wheel enables every detail of the escapement’s operation to be appreciated. The Breguet balance spring with a Phillips terminal curve enhances isochronism. Adjustment weights in 18k gold allow the fine setting of the rate by modifying the inertia of the balance wheel.
Measuring just 0.02 mm thickness, the detent unlocking spring of this extreme complexity escapement mechanism is entirely formed by hand. Finally, its adjustment must be extremely meticulous because even a slight tension would instantly stop the balance wheel.
The architecture of the movement and the finishings are highly exceptional. Meticulous attention was paid to layouts, choice of materials and finishes for each of the bridges and the main plate. Both the detent and balance wheel bridges are made of mirror-polished steel, and each has four inward angles.
Their extreme openwork design provides an exceptional view of the escapement. The other bridges are made of nickel silver, frosted and bevelled. Each anglage is then entirely polished by hand with gentian wood. This exceptional finishing enhances the inward and outward angles while sublimating the play of light of the movement’s curves.
All 171 elements of the watch enhance the traditional know-how of fine watchmaking and show extreme care thanks to the hand-made finish. Every component, visible or not, is bevelled, polished, satin-finished or circular-grained by hand.
An example of mastery in the craft, the entire gear train is countersunk, bevelled and circled on both sides. The barrel has a circular-grained cover and a snailed drum, while the interior is polished.
The finishing of the ratchet and crown wheel is also breath-taking. Tooths and screw sinking are bevelled and polished, contrasting beautifully with the matte finish of the frosted surface. The steel click, mirror-polished and hand-bevelled, is a reference to the most noble and complicated historical pocket watches. Such operations require prodigious expertise and know-how, particularly for the hand decoration of all the parts.
Passionate about art, history and architecture, Raúl Pagès pays tribute to the modernist forms and colours sublimated by the acclaimed architect Le Corbusier. The dial features a unique architectural and chromatic composition.
The minute divisions are cantilevered, bringing lightness to the flange. Its black colour contrasts with the main plane and allows a clear reading of the minutes. The seconds dial has an outer diamond polished chamfer and is set back from the main plane. Its colour is called cerulean blue 59 and represents, in the iconography of Le Corbusier, the sky and the sea; it comes from his colour palette Polychromie Architecturale created in 1959.
The hour ring is beautifully circled and has diamond polished edges, inside and out. The handmade hands are also beautifully rounded and polished, and the domed fixing screws give the elegance of 19th century precision timepieces to the dial.
The 38.5 mm diameter case in steel faithfully reflects the refined and modern aesthetic of Soberly Onyx, Raúl Pagès’ first timepiece. It also employs impeccable finishing techniques.
The top of the lugs, the bezel and the case back are polished, while the case middle is satin-finished, giving the Régulateur à détente RP1 case a contrast and alternation of subtle and technical surface-finishes. The “box” sapphire crystal glass brings in three-dimensionality and sensuality. The lugs screwed to the case middle of this timepiece also refer to the technicality of traditional marine chronometers.
Model: Raúl Pagès Régulateur à détente RP1
Material: 316L stainless steel
Polished bezel, top of lugs and back
Satin-finished case middle
Bevelled and polished lug screws
Dimensions: 38.5 mm x 10.2 mm (with sapphire crystal)
Between lugs: 19mm
Water resistance: 3 atm -30m -100 ft
Sapphire crystal with anti-reflective coating, bezel and caseback
Sandblasted, diamond and nickel-plated dial
Black nickel-plated minutes flange
Diamond-polished, circular-grained and rhodium plated hours flange
Seconds dial matt lacquered, cerulean blue 59
Hardened steel hands: chamfered, rounded-off and polished
Domed and polished fixing screws
In-house movement with manual winding
Escapement: pivoted detent with anti-tripping system
Balance: variable inertia with four 18K gold weights
Dimensions: 33.6 mm x 5.6 mm
Power reserve: 47 hours
Number of jewels: 17
Number of components: 171
Balance frequency: 18,000 vibrations per hour / 2.5 Hz
Component materials: nickel silver and steel
Treatments: nickel plating and gold plating
Finishing: haute horlogerie, hand-made
Strap and buckle
Supplied with two hand-stitched straps in black and beige leather with blue stitching, fitted with bars featuring a tool-free removal system
316L stainless steel buckle with “Pagès” logo engraving