JEAN DUNAND

The exclusive mechanical watch atelier JEAN DUNAND Pièces Uniques was founded in 2003 by watchmaker Christophe Claret, Switzerland’s leading inventor and constructor of complicated movements for prestige houses, and entrepreneur Thierry Oulevay. The purpose of both men was to create advanced and unprecedented horological mechanisms as the basis for unique timepieces, each representing the summit of contemporary watchmaking .

Thierry Oulevay, an expert in watch design and marketing, gained his experience with the highly respected house, Piaget , and engineered the successful relaunch of the Bovet brand from 1995 to 2001 with an award winning design. He urged Christophe Claret to develop the orbiting tourbillon – an idea many in the watch industry considered impossible.

The two men share a fascination for the work of the Swiss-born artist, Jean Dunand (1877–1942), one of the great craftsmen of the Art Deco movement, embodying one of the most style periods in post-Renaissance times. Their shared interest and appreciation drove them to do the only thing they could consider as a proper display of respect: Oulevay and Claret decided to name their new brand in his honor.

JEAN DUNAND Grand Complication Watch

Art Deco celebrated the machine age – speed, streamlining, aircraft, skyscrapers and ocean liners – to the rhythms of George Gershwin’s music, to Hollywood films at their most elegant, to the automobiles of Bugatti, Delage, and Bucciali. Consecrated at the Paris International Exhibition of Modern Decorative and Industrial Arts in 1925, Art Deco’s simple geometries captured the image of the Twenties and Thirties in furniture, typography, industrial design and sculpture. It touched every area where design mattered.

The JEAN DUNAND Pièces Uniques seek to re-capture the spirit and essence of the Art Deco movement rather than merely to replicate the watch styles of the period. Art Deco embraced the technologies and new materials of its world, emphasizing peerless craftsmanship and functional design above all. The styling of JEAN DUNAND watches thus reflects the elite crafts and techniques of today rather than of the past. But the fine workmanship and clean design of the Art Deco zeitgeist are, and will always be, fundamental to the watches that bear the name JEAN DUNAND.

JEAN DUNAND Tourbillon Orbital

In the JEAN DUNAND watches, Christophe Claret defines what makes watchmaking an art. Essentially it’s to conjure up an impossible dream and then to make it reality. It requires a spatial imagination to configure forces, levers, springs and wheels into mechanical solutions that have never been done before. His stake in the JEAN DUNAND brand gives Christophe Claret the outlet for his prodigious skills and creativity in works that represent the highest levels of contemporary horology. To earn the designation of Pièce Unique, decorations and materials must be different for each timepiece introduced to the market.

The styling and overall form of the watch are, however, always consistent with the Art Deco ideals of simple geometries, true functionality and faultless craftsmanship in precious materials. Each JEAN DUNAND Pièce Unique is thus an integral and contemporary work of art, and a truly unique piece. Only by adhering to these tenets is the watch connoisseur guaranteed an unparalleled level of exclusivity.

JEAN DUNAND Shabaka

Exquisite finishing is an essential component of the watchmaking art, and as such it must be impeccable and comprehensive. The graining, chamfering and polishing of the movement are done entirely by hand. The sharp, inner angle of a chamfered edge, for example, cannot be done by machine. The artwork and decoration of the case are similarly executed to the highest standard.

Thierry Oulevay was already an experienced watch industry entrepreneur when he met Christophe Claret in 2001 and decided to launch a new product concept at the highest level of watchmakings. Oulevay had just sold his stake in Bovet Fleurier, a brand he had resurrected from scratch in the 1990s establishing it among the prestige watchmakers, with an award-winning case design.

Thierry Oulevay & Christophe Claret

They both also discovered a common interest in Art Deco and decided to call the brand JEAN DUNAND Pièces Uniques, after a Swiss artist and academic who was influential in the Art Deco era.

Born in Lausanne, Switzerland, Oulevay graduated from Babson College, Wellesley, Mass. In 1982 and worked in France and Germany for Bahlsen, a high-end food company. But he wanted to be an entrepreneur, not a manager. His break into the watch industry came in 1989 when he met Alain- Dominique Perrin, the president of Cartier. The Vendôme (now Richemont) Group had also just acquired Piaget, and its managing director, Francis Gouten, invited Oulevay to join the company.

His four years at Piaget were a valuable apprenticeship during the revival of the mechanical watch industry, but he still wanted to be an entrepreneur. In 1994, he left Piaget, and with a friend, bought the Bovet Fleurier name from Michel Parmigiani and set about establishing the brand. Entrepreneurship and watchmaking run in Oulevay’s blood. His mother’s parents were watchmakers, operating a small workshop from home. He remembers watching his grandfather assembling extra-slim movements for Piaget, while his grandmother was engaged in precision timing. The entrepreneurs are on his father’s side. The Oulevay family built up Switzerland’s biggest biscuit company after World War II.

Christophe Claret is rare among watchmakers in Switzerland. He is one of the few whose contribution is sometimes acknowledged by the brands who are his clients. Indeed it would be futile to try to hide his talent. Most watches with extreme or unusual complications trace their origins to the Claret workshops in Le Locle, whatever the name on their dials. Claret’s complications start off with the tourbillon, his standard escapement. He is particularly known for his chiming and carillon watches with double-length cathedral gongs, and he is the only watchmaker to produce water-resistant minute-repeaters.

Claret was therefore the natural partner for Thierry Oulevay, whose ambition was to produce watches the like of which had never been seen before. While other brands might impose restrictions, Thierry Oulevay simply wanted Claret to excel himself in originality and mechanical complexity. It was a challenge that the watchmaker couldn’t resist. Claret therefore took the unusual step of becoming a financial partner in his client’s company, World Première Watchmaking S.A., and together they set out to astonish the world under the name of JEAN DUNAND Pièces Uniques.

Born in Lyons, France, Claret graduated from the Geneva School of Watchmaking in 1981. He then trained with watchmaker Roger Dubuis for a few months before setting up his own company. His big break came in 1987 when he received an order from Rolf Schnyder, owner of the Ulysse Nardin house to produce an unusual complication – a chiming watch with animated figures called striking jacks or jaquemarts on the dial.

Claret’s success is partly due to his early adoption of the latest technology, especially sophisticated computer-aided design software. His workshops are among the most modern in the industry, capable of producing every imaginable watch component except for the balance springs.

His work is finished to the high standards demanded by his clients. He now designs and produces movements for more than 15 luxury brands. JEAN DUNAND allows him to demonstrate the full extent of his talent.

Official website: www.jeandunand.com

Jean Dunand Shabaka (New Edition – Stromatolite dial & Pietersite dial versions)

Switzerland based luxury watch atelier Jean Dunand Pièces Uniques presents new versions of its grand complication timepiece: Shabaka, which is entirely conceived and produced in Christophe Claret’s manufacture in Le Locle.

A truly extraordinary timepiece initially launched few years back in association with Christophe Claret, Shabaka boasts a breathtaking combination of a minute repeater on cathedral gongs with a perpetual calendar with ‘jumping’ indications on cylinders and an original moon phase display. It is now introduced in an all new case and with new and unique dials.

Defining both the personality and the originality of this impressive timepiece are the calendar indications, defying the convention of discs by instead using cylinders. Four cylinders are set in motion by 90° transmission devices, each fitted with a security system ensuring precise calendar changes. A proprietary wheel train driven fly wheel mechanism absorbs a y shock from the instantaneous jump and so prevents any lag, damage and premature wear and tear. Also distancing Shabaka from convention are the day and month indications that jump instantaneously at midnight thanks to the release of a sprung mechanism.

Jean Dunand Shabaka (New Edition – Red Gold Case, Stromatolite dial)

Leap – year cycles merit their own, equally novel indication: a white plate under the dial, visible through a cut out opening between 7 and 8 o’ clock, illuminates the letter B (for ‘biss extile’) and the three ordinary years. The leap – year is mirrored by the phases of the moon, with chrome metallization – black sapphire discs that depict the moon craters. These disks skim over the surface of the moon as if it were the shadow of the earth, eclipsing it to the left as it wanes and revealing it from the right as it waxes. This precision moon deviates from the real moon by just one day in 120 years.

For all the complexity of the calendar mechanism, the power reserve indicator on the back of the watch is deviously simple. A single moving part- the main spring itself in an open barrel shows the power reserve of watch against a scale.

Shabaka’s minute repeater strikes on cathedral gongs that go twice around the movement to give a deeper, more resonant chime. The minute repeater slide occupies the left side of the case; all owing the calendar setting controls to reside on the right side. Just two chronograph style pushers are needed to set the entire calendar. The pusher at 4 o’ clock adjusts all calendar indications forward by one day increment while that at 2’o clock adjusts the days of the week only.  A coaxial push – pieces set in the crown adjusts the month s and years, while the moon is set via a push – piece set in the case – band at 5 o’ clock. A complex series of levers and rollers insinuate their way around the movement from the pushers to activate the respective calendar indications.

The Shabaka caliber is of a radically original construction, with the perpetual calendar mechanism integrated in to the 13 – ligne repeating movement. The 7mm diameter cylinders are embedded 2. 5 millimetres in to the minute repeater movement thereby reducing the thickness of the total movement by as much.

Shabaka boasts a design and finishing work of the highest Swiss watchmaking standard. And sooner or later it had to be presented in an authentic formal dress: a generous, 47 mm diameter round case with highly refined, timeless lines, made of polished rose gold, white gold or palladium.

Charcoal black circular – grained base -plate and bridges, exquisitely decorated with concentric Geneva stripes, contrast with the burnished steel set with jewels and gold accents. The beauty of the movement and all it s dazzling complexity can be viewed through the see-through case back.

Jean Dunand Shabaka (New Edition – White Gold Case, Pietersite dial )

On the front side, the geometrical dial architecture is enhanced by the natural beauty of the semi-precious stone it is made of. Two dial versions revealed at this 2015 Baselworld fair: first a Stromatolite dial the deep red tones of which match the rose gold case marvellously well; then a Pietersite dial with blue-grey tones, harmoniously associated with a white gold case. The future will see a large choice of different dials being offered, all made of noble, original materials and produced by the best ‘Métiers d’art’ craftsmen. Hence each piece will be truly unique.

Inspired by the Art Déco style, Shabaka also acknowledges a clear influence from the Tourbillon Orbital, Jean Dunand’s other flagship model that has been produced with a variety of original and precious dials ever since its launch in 2004. All Jean Dunand timepieces including Shabaka are developed and produced in Christophe Claret manufacture in Le Locle, Switzerland.

Technical details
Movement
CalibreCLA88QPRM
Manually wound minute repeater movement with instantaneous perpetual calendar
Balance with adjusting screws on an overcoil spring, swan neck, 18’000 VpH
45 hour power reserve
Number of components: 721, including 54 jewels
Diameter: 29,5 mm (13 lignes)
Calendar plate: 36 mm x 3,2 mm (14 lignes)
Total height, including dial and displays: 12,19 mm

Indications
Hours and minutes with open-work ‘skyscraper’ hands
Day, date and month on cylinders
Leap-year cycle
Moon phases
Power reserve indicated by the mainspring directly
Repeats hours, quarters and minutes on two cathedral gongs

Controls
Pusher in the case-band to set the entire calendar (4 o’clock) and to set the day of the week only (2 o’clock)
Push-piece in the crown to set months and years
Push-piece in the case-band (5 o’clock) to set the moon-phase
Repeating slide along left case-band

Case
18 ct white gold or palladium or rose gold with ‘métiers d’art’ dials
Dimensions: 47 mm x 17,65 mm
Water resistance: 3 ATM (30 m).

Jean Dunand Palace – Manual Winding Flying Tourbillon Watch with Mono-pusher Chronograph, GMT and Power Reserve Display (Inspired from London’s Crystal Palace & Eiffel Tower of Paris)

Imagination, invention, adventure, romance: it was a remarkable half-century, the foundation for the modern era. It gave birth to everything from electricity to radio to cinema, Art Nouveau to Art Deco, automobile to airplane, jazz and skyscrapers and, indeed, the wristwatch. Its heroes and icons included Jules Verne, Rudolph Valentino, the Wright Brothers, Bix Beiderbecke. It was only natural that this extraordinary period would inspire the latest – and boldest – creation from Jean Dunand.
Embodied in the Palace, in this single watch, is the house’s entire ethos. The Palace takes its name from the structure that preceded and heralded the age, London’s Crystal Palace, built for the Great Exhibition of 1851, while sharing aesthetic details with the architectural pinnacle of the era: the Eiffel Tower.

From the atelier of Christophe Claret comes a calibre that marries state-of-the-art functions with the topology reminiscent of a century past. It transcends the merely “retro”, for it adds substance to the style. At the heart of the manually-wound Palace beats a one-minute flying tourbillon, placed at the 6 o’clock position, the balance operating at a frequency of 3Hz. Above it are skeletal hour and minute hands, and a sapphire crystal 60-minute counter for the chronograph. On either side of the flying tourbillon are two vertical tracks, the one in the right-hand corner charting its 72-hour power reserve, the other a linear GMT indicator.
Instead of a rotary dial, the Palace shows its second time zone through 12-hour indications on either side of the oval-shaped trace. Its form reminds the wearer of the legendary “Milwaukee Mile” racing circuit, which hosted its first automobile race in 1903, and witnessed battles between early motoring giants such as Ralph DePalma and Barney Oldfield. The indicator arrow, mounted in a disc that mirrors that of the power reserve, makes two passes. When the disc reaches the end, it flies back to the top and the arrow rotates 180 degrees to chart the other scale. Adjustments to the GMT scale, in one hour increments, are made through the GMT advance button positioned between the lugs at 6 o’clock.

Proudly recalling Charlie Chaplin’s classic film, Modern Times, are the most striking visual clues to the maker’s hommage to the Industrial Revolution: bridges and wheels visible through the back of the Palace, as well as the unique winding mechanism, prominent on the watch’s frontal aspect. The winder communicates its power to the barrel via an exquisitely-fashioned, microscopically tiny chain, designed.
Providing structure to the movement are plates which are ridged to suggest the reinforcement of a massive, cast-iron structure. The plates are separated and supported by ten minuscule pillars, visible through the arched glass windows in the case’s sides. Other details – cast, machined, engraved – recall the cross-pieces found in both the bridges of the era and the form of the Eiffel Tower. Paris’ most iconic edifice also inspired the Palace’s side view: the arches look exactly like the Eiffel Tower’s base.

So complex and detail-rich is the Palace that each will be supplied with a loupe, to enable the owner to study it over the years. Its many details and secrets will reveal themselves surreptitiously, the observer finding something new to admire every time it is examined. Such a wealth of function, form and detail demands a stately enclosure: at 38mm by 36mm the movement is larger than most complete watches, so the majestic case is a generous 48mm by 49mm providing the spaciousness a Palace deserves.
With the Palace, this maker redefines the form of the mono-pusher chronograph, augmented by the GMT function and flying tourbillon.

Technical details
Model: Jean Dunand Palace

Movement details
Calibre CLA 02CMP
Mono-pusher chronograph with manual winding,
Seconds indication, 60-minute counter.
One-minute flying Tourbillon.
Power reserve and GMT indicator for second time zone.
Sliding rod transmission via hollow cam.
Chain-drive for winding mechanism.
Dimensions: 38 x 36.4 mm.
Total height: 12.42 mm.
Number of parts: 703, including 53 jewels.

Tourbillon
– One-minute flying Tourbillon.
– Flat balance-spring, frequency of 21,600 a/h.
– Balance with adjusting screws.
– Centre alignment of mainspring barrel for flying Tourbillon.

Indications
– Minutes and hours hands, Chronograph counter for 60 minutes.
– Power reserve and second time zone via linear displays.

Controls
– Chronograph pusher integrated with winding crown.
– Press button in the case band at 6 o’clock position to adjust the GMT.
– Winding System: Crown at 3 o’clock position, feeding the main spring via micro-chain.

Power Reserve
Approximately 72 hours.

Case
Dimensions: 48.2 x 49.9 mm.;Total height: 16.65 mm.
Caseband made of titanium, bezel-caseback-lugs fashioned in 18 carat 5N red gold or white gold.
Fitted with matching deployant clasp.
Two domed, non-reflecting sapphire crystals.
Two non-reflecting lateral windows in sapphire crystal.
Water-Resistance: 3 ATM (30 metres).
Hands: See-through “Glaive” style in 18k gold.

JEAN DUNAND Shabaka – Manual Wound Minute-Repeater Watch with Instantaneous Perpetual Calendar

Created in collaboration with world renowned master watch maker Christophe Claret, the Shabaka grand complication watch houses a breathtaking combination of a minute-repeater on cathedral gongs plus an instantaneous perpetual calendar with a unique display of the dates, phases of the moon and leap-year cycle, as well as an ingenious state-of-wind indicator.

Defining both the personality and the originality of this impressive timepiece are the calendar indications, defying the convention of discs by instead using four cylinders. A quartet of different 90-degree transmission systems rotate the cylinders, each fitted with a security device to ensure precise calendar changes. Distancing the watch even further from the conventional, the dates – via two digits on separate cylinders – days and months jump instantaneously at midnight, when a sprung mechanism is released. A proprietary flywheel mechanism regulated by a train minimizes any shock from the jump action and so prevents premature wear and tear.

Leap-year cycles merit their own, equally novel indication: a white plate under the dial, in a cut-out on the dial between 7 and 8 o’clock, illuminates the letter B (for “bissextile”) and the three ordinary years. The leap-year is mirrored by the phases of the moon, with black discs skimming over the surface of the moon as if it were the shadow of the earth, eclipsing it to the left as it wanes, and revealing it from the right as it waxes. The mechanical moon deviates from the real moon by only one day every 120 years.

For all the complexity of the calendar indications, the state-of-wind indicator on the back of the watch is deviously simple yet equally original. A single moving part – the mainspring itself in an open barrel – shows the power reserve of the watch against a scale.

Shabaka’s minute-repeater strikes on cathedral gongs that go twice around the movement to give a deeper, more resonant chime. The minute-repeater slide occupies the left of the case, allowing the calendar setting controls to reside on the right. Only two chronograph style pushers are needed to set the entire calendar, the pusher at 4 o’clock advances the date a day at a time, while that at 2 o’clock advances days only. A push-piece set coaxially in the crown advances the months and years, while the moon is set by a push-piece in the case-band at 5 o’clock.

A complex series of levers and rolls insinuate their way around the movement from the pushers to activate the respective calendar indications. The caliber is of a radically original construction, with the perpetual calendar mechanism integrated into the 13-ligne repeating movement.

Emphasizing the stunning geometrical design of the dial, the mesmerizing cylindrical calendar displays are integrated into the Shabaka landscape. This superb piece of engineering exists on four levels composed of a high-tech frame delineating fields of blackened gold set with pyramids of assorted golds. The red hour-markers at 10, 12 and 2 o’clock serve to indicate the day, date and month respectively, against corresponding red triangles in the centre of the dial. Unmistakably and Art Deco-inspired design, with powerful Egyptian influences, the soul of this masterpiece lives in its exotic name – Shabaka, the 25th-dynasty Pharaoh and King of Egypt.

Shabaka has been imagined and realized by Thierry Oulevay and Christophe Claret, and is manufactured in the Christophe Claret workshops in Le Locle, Switzerland. Both are partners in World Première Watchmaking S.A., custodians of the JEAN DUNAND brand.

The Shabaka watch, their third joint project, follows the Tourbillon Orbital and a Grand Complication wristwatch with 12 fully integrated complications. The 7mm-diameter cylinders are embedded 2.5 millimetres into the level of the minute-repeater to reduce further the thickness of the movement.

An anthracite-black finish on the circular-grained baseplate and on the bridges, exquisitely decorated in concentric Geneva stripes, contrasts with burnished steel, ruby and gold to highlight the beauty of the movement. And such beauty is too rare to hide solely for the eyes of the craftsmen who made it. To ensure that the fortunate owner savors every element of the achievement that is Shabaka, the movement and all of its dazzling complexity can be viewed  through the case-back.

Technical details

Movement
CALIBRE CLA88QPRM: Manually wound minute-repeater with instantaneous perpetual calendar.

Indications
Minutes and hours hands.
Days, dates and months on cylinders.
Leap-year cycle.
Moon-phases.
State-of-wind, directly by the mainspring.
Repeating the hours, quarters and minutes on two gongs.

Controls
Pushers in the case-band to advance the entire calendar (4 o’clock)
and the days only (2 o’clock).
Push-piece in the crown to set the months and years.
Push-piece in the case-band (5 o’clock) to set the moon.
Repeating slide.

Balance : With adjusting screws on an overcoil spring.
Swan’s neck index.18,000v/h.
Power Reserve : Approximately 45 hours.
Number of parts : 721, including 54 jewels.
Movement dimensions : 29.5mm (13 lignes).
Calendar plate, 36mm x 3.2mm (14 lignes).
Total height with dial and indications, 12.19mm.

Case
18k white or red gold with a high-tech multilevel dial.
Dimensions, 44mm x 17.65mm.
Water-resistance, 3 ATM (30 metres)

Hands
See-through “Skyscraper” style, in 18k gold

JEAN DUNAND Grande Complication Watch

A brand new manually wound Grande Complication wristwatch, which houses 12 complications and 827 parts, joins the JEAN DUNAND stable of super watches created by Switzerland’s leading watch constructor Christophe Claret, and marketed by his partner Thierry Oulevay.

A true “grand complication” watch gives full expression to the three classical areas of horological complication: the repeater, the chronograph and the perpetual calendar. The JEAN DUNAND Grande Complication does more than qualify for the title, with a tourbillon escapement and retrograde calendar indications as well.

In addition to the tourbillon, Christophe Claret has introduced two novel refinements to improve precision. The first is an isolation device that disconnects the chronograph split-seconds hand from the movement when it is stopped. Without this device, the stopped splitseconds acts as a brake on the movement, affecting its performance.

The other device is a new type of shock-proof bearing that equalizes the amplitude — the degree of swing — of the balance, whether the watch is flat or upright. A specially profiled and off-centred end stone for the balance-pivot creates a slight friction on the balance when the watch is horizontal, bringing the amplitude down to 320°, the same as when it is vertical.

The visible side of the movement reveals the fine finish of the chronograph steel-work, outlined with gleaming chamfered edges. Plenty of sharp points and entrants show the finish is done by hand, for no machine is capable of this refinement. The invisible side of the movement is no less comprehensively and carefully finished. At its hear t is the four-armed notched cam of the minute-repeater that translates the time into the sound of gongs.

Perpetual calendar with retrograde dates and days
Just under the dial, an invisible pattern of wheels, cams and levers computes the varying months of the calendar, not forgetting February 29 every four years. On the dial, the perpetual calendar shows the date, day, month and four-year cycle. Added complications that simplify the calendar display are the retrograde indications for the date and the day. A glance tells you how the month and the week are progressing . At the end of each, the hands fly back to Monday and the first of the month respectively.

Minute-repeater
The extraordinary mechanism that reads the time and communicates it to you in a code of chimes is the most technically difficult of the great classic complications. Push down the lever in the caseband, and the cams, racks and hammers go into action to tell you the time to the minute. The hours are struck on the first gong , followed by the quarters on two gongs and ending with the minutes on the second gong . Synchronising and controlling this spring-driven engine is one of the highest tests of a watchmaker’s skill.

The Tourbillon
The tourbillon is constructed to demonstrate the high level of workmanship required for the classic tourbillon. The balance vibrates 18,000 times an hour on a balance-spring with a Breguet overcoil to ensure its concentric action. The wheel of the tour billon cage drives the chronograph, transmitting the five-beats-a-second of the balance directly on the 1/5-second scale of the chronograph.

The Split-seconds Chronograph
The chronograph and split seconds are controlled by two columnwheels, each governed by its ow n button. The button at two o’clock rotates its column-wheel to activate the levers that star t, stop and zero both chronograph hands together. The button at 4 o’clock stops the split-seconds hand for an intermediate reading and then makes it catch up with the running chronograph seconds. A third chronograph hand at 3 o’clock on the dial counts each minute the chronograph runs.

Technical details
Movement
Mono-pusher Split-second Chronograph with Isolator, Minute repeater, Tourbillon, Bi-retrograde perpetual calendar. Exclusive manually-wound movement created by Christophe Claret, 100% manufactured and assembled in his workshops.
Diameter: : 28.00 mm
Thickness : 10.75 mm
Number of parts : 827
Power reserve of 40 hours

Visible column-wheels.
3 constantly driven logarithmically curved heart pieces.
54 jewels

Functions
Hour, quarter and minute repeater
One minute tourbillon with balance frequency of 18’000 pulsations / hour, with Breguet overcoil to ensure the concentric development of the balance-spring .
Balance amplitude of 320° (constant)
Mono-pusher split-second chronograph.
Split second hand isolator
Chronograph push-piece at 2 o’clock, star t, stop and return.
Split-second push-piece at 4 o’clock, stop and return.
30 minute counter at 3 o’clock.
Date by retrograde hand at 12 o’clock.
Day by retrograde hand at 6 o’clock.
Month and leap year at 9 o’clock.

Finishing
All pieces are angled and polished.
Polished par ts are “polies miroir” by hand.
Revolution pieces are circular-g rained.
Brass and German silver par ts have undergone circular-g raining and electroplating .
Each movement is entirely assembled by the same master-watchmaker.
Time to assemble one movement:120 days

Case, dial and strap
Case diameter: 42 mm
– Red gold case with white dial
– White gold case with black dial
– Red gold case with slate dial
– Red gold case with black dial 
A total of 9 hands
Hand-stitched alligator leather strap.

 

JEAN DUNAND Tourbillon Orbital

Launching the family of JEAN DUNAND watches, a continual program of Pièces Uniques, required something more than a mere aesthetic fillip. The watch had to be fresh, original, groundbreaking. At a time when watch connoisseurs are spoiled for choice, a watch commemorating the great Art Deco artist and craftsman had to be heart-stoppingly beautiful and daring.

That honor fell to the Tourbillon Orbital, the first of JEAN DUNAND timepiece and an achievement never before seen in watchmaking. It features a one-minute flying tourbillon that orbits the dial once ever y hour, on a revolving movement. The watch also introduces a novel power-reserve indicator in the case-band, provides a full view of the movement and displays the phases of the moon on the case-back. So extraordinary is this movement that it is patent-protected.

With every ambitious watchmaker jumping on the tourbillon “bandwagon”, it is not surprising that some enthusiasts are voicing a backlash. Strange though this may seem, the sheer profusion of lesser tourbillons has rendered the complication almost “common”. Thierry Oulevay and Christophe Claret, however have too much respect for the concept to allow it to be devalued.

To this end, they have created the IO200 movement, named after Jupiter’s moon. Invented and constructed by Claret, it defies the opinion of his fellow watchmakers who insisted that an orbiting tourbillon was impossible to realize. It is a gauntlet thrown before the most experienced houses. Furthermore, it returns the tourbillon to its original role as the pre-eminent precision complication. Timing tests prove that the combined rotation of the tourbillon and the movement significantly improves the rate stability of the watch.

Positioned opposite each other, sandwiched between two plates held apart by pillars and rotating on ball bearings, the barrel and the flying tourbillon orbit the center. The revolving top plate is open to reveal the tourbillon. The tourbillon has been raised as much as possible to make it more clearly visible. Unwinding against a central fixed pinion, the barrel drives itself and the tourbillon, while the tourbillon escapement regulates the speed of rotation. As it orbits, the tourbillon cage rotates once a minute against a fixed circumference wheel, connected through a gear train. This elegant configuration reduces the number of jewel bearings to 14, substantially lowering friction.

Christophe Claret devoted two years to solving the mechanical challenge of winding and setting a rotating movement with a mainspring barrel that never stays in one place. The conventional crown through the case-band was obviously impossible. Winding and setting the movement vertically through its central axis is a new solution in watchmaking. A folding key set into the case-back replaces the crown. Lifting the D-ring of the key engages a central wheel on ball bearings that turns the ratchet-wheel to wind the barrel- spring. Pulling out the key engages the hours- and minutes-hands in order to set them in any direction. Positioned against the fixed chapter-ring, the minutes-hand turns with the rotating dial.

Inescapably, the winding key and the moon-phase display on the back of the watch prevent a conventional view of the rotating movement through a sapphire-crystal case-back. Conveniently, though, the absence of the usual crown at 3 o’clock allowed JEAN DUNAND’s case-makers to provide a fascinating lateral view of the revolving mechanisms by cutting two windows in the case-band.

These side windows opened the opportunity for another first in watchmaking – an entirely original way of indicating the power reserve. The window at 3 o’clock displays a vertical needle that moves between F (full) and E (empty). Precisely in the manner of fuel gauges in vintage cars. The secret of indicating the power-reserve in one place from a constantly moving barrel is patented.

Technical details
Movement
Calibre IO200, manually wound rotating movement with off-center flying tourbillon, exclusive watchmaking ball-bearing system with triple rotation within one single block, moon-phase display in the back and power-reserve indicator on the side. Vertical winding and setting through the center of the movement from the back.
Dimensions: 33mm x 10.4mm (14 1/2 lignes).
Bearings :4 ball-bearing races, 14 jewel bearings.
Number of parts :215
Double ball-bearing with slow rotation, thermostatic, one rigid plate and two mobile plates, mainspring barrel and going train rotate around the central ball-bearing system, limited radial balance. Alignment mainspring barrel – center – flying tourbillon.
One-minute flying tourbillon (one-hour movement rotation),
balance with adjusting screws on a flat spring, balance frequency of
21’600 a/h, central ball-bearing system.

Indications
Hours and minutes, seconds on the tourbillon, power reserve, moon phases
Power reserve : Approximately 110 hours,indicator located in the caseband (linear reading system with gauge).Moon phase :Located in the caseback at 9 o’clock, precision of 29,5 days, lacquered golden disc.

Controls
Rapid push button: Located in the case back at 6 o’clock, manual push-piece to set the moon.
Winding System :Located vertically in the case back at 3 o’clock,two position winder (folding key).

Case and dial
In 18k rose gold, white gold or platinum with matching buckle. Two windows in the case band. Fir-tree engine-turned back.
Dimensions:45mm x 15.30mm.
Glass: Non-reflecting domed sapphire crystal. Two domed sapphire crystals in the caseband, one domed sapphire crystal in the caseback.Water resistance: 3 ATM (30 metres).
Dial : In 18k gold.
Hands: In 18k gold,“Skyscraper” style.

JEAN DUNAND Tourbillon Orbital DIAMOND BAGUETTES

Jean Dunand’s ambitious undertaking to create Pièces Uniques, one of-a-kind timepieces that combine cutting-edge mechanical innovation and aesthetic singularity is a gauntlet few contemporary watchmakers would be able to take up. Thierry Oulevay and Christophe Claret rise to the occasion with this dazzling Tourbillon Orbital; a mesmerizing timepiece where passion for Art Deco design and close involvement with master artisans has conspired in the most brilliant fashion to create an incomparable masterpiece.

Jean Dunand’s stylized interpretation of a 12-point fir tree is the decorative theme of this watch. This design is inspired by the abstract geometric designs and floral motifs prevalent during the Art Deco period that aimed to transmit the essence of an object in its sleekest, most elegant and streamlined form. Capturing the zeitgeist of the 20’s and 30’s the fir-tree pattern radiates from the dial in concentric circles and is set alight with 428 brilliant cut icy diamonds, a beautiful allegory of a winter tree covered in frost that emanates beams of light.

The chapter ring encircling the symbolic fir tree is studded with brilliant cut white diamonds and a solitary black diamond at 12 o’clock set into black gold echoing the Art Deco penchant for elegant black and white tonalities. In line with Jean Dunand’s commitment to fostering métiers d’art, the technique of invisible setting has been used to mount the 92 Top Wesselton baguette diamonds on the bezel and lugs. This meticulous and extremely time-consuming technique allows these opulent stones to shine in all their faceted glory without any visible means of support, dispensing with prongs, claws or other traditional means of securing stones.

Often imitated, but notoriously difficult to accomplish, the objective of invisible setting is to make the mount of the setting vanish into thin air, making it indistinguishable to the human eye. Developed and honed in the ateliers of haute joaillerie, invisible settings allow craftsmen to breathe life and form into their jewellery without the constraints and aesthetic interference of traditional settings.

However, unlike high jewellery pieces that are often designed and inspired around the specific features of a stone, Jean Dunand’s craftsmen invert the process. At Jean Dunand the thematic and conceptual features of each timepiece are given pride of place so that the design is not limited or conditioned by the stones. The theme dictates the direction and the overriding challenge for our craftsmen is to bring to life a flat 2-dimensional design. Once a mock-up of the timepiece has been elaborated and the position of each stone determined, does the lapidary source the stones. Having selected the appropriate gems, the next stage involves cutting the stones, a task that demands consummate skill. More often than not, the dictates of the design mean that almost half the stone is sacrificed during this procedure. But this is just the beginning of this meticulous odyssey.

Underneath the gleaming surface of the case and lugs lies a miniature world of support systems to anchor the diamonds in place. To confer solidity to the structure, the rose gold undercarriage of the invisible setting needs to be at least 2mm thick and explains why invisible set pieces contain more gold than traditionally set ones.

The heart of the invisible setting -hailed as the sine qua non of gem setting- relies upon an ingenious set of tiny rails. However, before all 92 baguette cut diamonds are placed on the rails, channels or grooves are cut along the sides of each gem. Here the talent of the stone cutter is put to the test when 1/10th of a millimeter is all that separates one stone from the next. Mistakes come at a high price and three days’ work can be lost in a matter of seconds.

A special “door” at one end of the track allows the stones to be slid along the rails and held in place side by side without any further consolidation and thanks to the special doors, stones can be easily repaired or replaced.

Confecting a watch of this complexity and beauty requires the craftsman to adopt the precision of a mathematician, the 3-dimensional vision of an architect and the patience that only experience can confer. Watching the flying tourbillion orbit the sumptuous 8-carat constellation of precious diamonds on this timepiece is a truly unique and magical spectacle of light in motion.

JEAN DUNAND Tourbillon Orbital Confucius

The world of high complication watchmaking and belle horlogerie have married the technical expertise of a master watchmaker with the artistry of a miniaturist painter to produce a unique, one-off masterpiece. The mechanical prowess and poetry in motion of the gyrating tourbillon is enhanced with a miniature painting of sublime Oriental charm, an exceptional and highly original work of art.

Miniature painting is still practiced by an elite group of artisans, master craftsmen whose vir tuosity is still alive today in a tradition that can be traced to 14th century Persia. With the expansion of the Mongol Empire, the mastery of miniature painting spread to India and the powerful courts of the Mughal emperors. Mughal painting flourished in the mid-16th century with precious works of art whose colours and exquisite detail are still vibrant today.

In Europe miniature painting developed from the art of illuminating manuscripts and was practiced extensively throughout the Middle Ages. By the 1520’s the courts of France and England commissioned miniaturists to create portraits of their loved ones and following the flight of the Huguenots from France in the 17th century, the tradition of miniature painting found a new home in Geneva making its way onto watch dials and cases in the sumptuous tradition of haute horlogerie.

Jean Dunand, the Swiss artist whose work embodied the spirit of the Art Déco period and whose fascination and appreciation of Oriental art was made patent in his reper toire, is the inspiration and guiding light behind the Jean Dunand watch brand.

Jean Dunand’s passion for the Orient is recreated today in this miniature line portrait of Confucius, hand-painted on a very thin black onyx dial that has been inserted on top of a gold disk.

The Chinese philosopher, renowned for his teachings that revolved around the personal virtues of benevolence, charity, jen-humanity, reciprocity and the importance of ancestor worship, was born to a family of the lesser aristocracy in 551 B.C. Confucius set about to bring order and peace to a divided nation of feudal states and following unsuccessful attempts to secure a patron, turned his attention to the teaching of young men. Following a fruitful and selfless life, Confucius died peacefully at the age of 72. Upon his death in 479 B.C., Master Kong, or Confucius, was buried just north of the city of Qufu and his disciples planted trees from all over China in his honour. The Kong Lin forest is the world’s oldest and largest private family cemetery and is the resting place for 76 generations of the Kong family, an amazing example of ancestral perpetuity that has never been matched by any other imperial or royal house.

Jean Dunand’s mechanical wonder celebrates the enduring Confucian legacy and has entrusted the meticulous travail of painting a miniature line portrait on the diminutive onyx surface to the capable hands of one single craftsman; the only artist in Switzerland capable of executing the demanding task. Countless hours of manual labour and fifteen kiln firings have been invested in this miniature.

The first challenge for Jean Dunand’s miniaturist is to reinterpret the original rectangular drawing onto the round surface of the onyx and a grid is used to plot the picture. Using top quality Swiss varnishes, the artisan blends his colour palette before undertaking the artistic odyssey where steady hands, keen eyes and patience are called upon, vital prerequisites that pay homage to the Confucian adage that “Impatience over little things introduces confusion into great schemes”.

Because of the delicacy and precision required, the artist handcrafts his paintbrushes from marten hair, often employing only a wisp of twenty odd hairs. Working from the face outwards with the aid of a binocular microscope, the artist applies the colours often repeating a stroke to increase volume that can be appreciated on Confucius’ beard or drawing out the stroke to achieve the nuance and gradation to render the curve of Confucius’ forehead. Each painting session is followed by a stint in a 90-100° C kiln culminating in a final kiln firing of 6-7 hours. The final result, a mere 3/100ths of a millimeter thick, is proof positive that complication and ornamentation, exceptional technology and consummate artistry do indeed produce remarkable results.

JEAN DUNAND Tourbillon Orbital Chinese lacquer

The exquisite dial of the Tourbillon Orbital, embellished with geometric shapes and rich Chinese lacquer, is a fitting tribute to the craftsman and Ar t Deco ar tist Jean Dunand, the guiding aesthetic light behind the formidable watchmaking duo formed by Thierry Oulevay and Christophe Claret.

This unique masterpiece is the quintessence of the founders’ philosophy that combines a passion for métiers d’art – rekindling long lost traditional craft techniques such as the art of lacquering- with revolutionary technology powering this unique tourbillion. Not only does this watch feature a one-minute flying tourbillon that completes a full orbit every sixty seconds, but the entire tourbillon continuously rotates around the dial, completing an entire circle every hour. A watchmaking first and with innumerable technical challenges such as transmission of winding energy to the barrel that is never in one fixed place.
The bold geometric figures and solid colours on the dial celebrate Jean Dunand’s incursion into the abstract geometric style fashionable in the 1920’s. Like the pocket watch cases that were exhibited in those years featuring geometric designs and bright lacquer colours, the stunning application of Chinese lacquer on the Tourbillon Orbital transcends its common use as a protective varnish and becomes an intrinsic, integral part of the decoration.

An ancient technique that is painstaking, unpredictable and extremely complicated to master, Thierry Oulevay invested 2 whole years researching the almost mystical world of lacquer to achieve this splendid dial. The technical challenge included developing novel ways to apply lacquer on the diminutive surface of the dial while respecting the contours of the sharp 90° angles, the circumference of the round window displaying the orbital tourbillion and the tiny cavity of the zigzag rhomboids with millimetrical precision.

A similar kind of passion consumed Swiss craftsman Jean Dunand who revealed his inestimable know-how in the art of dinanderie -or bronze embossing- in exchange for Japanese master lacquer Seizo Sugawara’s millenary secrets of lacquering in 1912. Jean Dunand’s fabulously embossed vases and other ar tistic creations would soon be embellished with this precious resin and his name would become synonymous with the sublime art of lacquering.

Art historians agree that China was the birthplace of the art of lacquering following the discovery of a red lacquer wood bowl dating to the Neolithic period in Zhejiang well over 7,000 years ago. Initially used to protect everyday objects from water, acid and alkaline elements, the art of lacquering came into its golden age with the splendid Han Dynasty (202BC- 220 AD) adorning precious objects for the imperial court and combining coloured lacquer with gold and silver inlays.

The Rhus Vernicifera or lacquer tree occurs naturally in China and has been cultivated for millennia for its sap that is collected by tapping the trees and bleeding them at very precise intervals. Traditionally, the precious liquid is sieved through a fine cloth to remove impurities and left to settle, clarify and separate for several months in a dark, damp, cool environment.

The creation of coloured lacquer is a complex process combining powdered vegetable pigments and Tung oil that are notoriously difficult to blend. But the real challenge lies in applying nature’s wonderful gift. Much like working with liquid honey, lacquer has to be applied slowly and great care exerted to avoid leaving trails or traces in each coat

Traditionally, paintbrushes confected from Chinese human hair were employed because marten hair and other animal origin hair were deemed too thick. The environment has to be impeccably clean because the slightest particle of dust will be embedded for posterity in the lacquer.

In keeping with Jean Dunand’s patronage of métiers d’art, master lacquer painters were selected from one of the very few Western workshops capable of manipulating this wonderful material to execute the lacquering details on the dial of the Tourbillon Orbital. Using the champlevé technique to create a recessed pattern to house the lacquer, troughs or cells are hollowed into the gold base. Once the areas have been clearly demarcated, the lacquer –up to 10 individual coats- is applied layer by layer. Each layer must be perfectly dry before its surface is buffed and smoothed with charcoal and then meticulously polished to acquire its unique lustrous sheen.

The dial of the Tourbillon Orbital features red, grey, rich indigo and black lacquered geometric shapes, each colour emanating a distinct warm luster and depth. True to the Art Deco personality of the dial, the skyscraper hands are skeletal allowing for a clear view of the magnificent canvas.

The diamond hour markers on the chapter ring and the 18-carat rose gold case provide the perfect frame for this sumptuous lacquered dial that sets geometry in mot ion: a formidable and unique artistic accomplishment.