Complications Eggsperts: The New Fabergé Watches


High-horology companies Agenhor and APRP have come up with new complicated movements for Fabergé, of Imperial Egg fame. The Fabergé watches with these movements — two for ladies, one for men — were introduced at Baselworld 2015. Here’s what you need to know about them.

Fabergé, best known for its Imperial Eggs and its luxe jewelry, has gone high horology, enlisting the help of some celebrated high-mech movement makers to do so. At Baselworld it unveiled a trio of new complicated pieces. Two of them were women’s watches with fanciful retrograde displays, the work of Agenhor, the movement company owned by watchmaker Jean-Marc Wiederrecht. One watch, the Lady Compliquée Peacock, features a gold peacock that spreads its feathers gradually over the course of an hour, indicating the minutes on an arced scale. The hours are shown by a rotating ring: the current hour is at the 3 o’clock position. When the hour has passed, the feathers snap back to their original position. The most unusual aspect of the display, Wiederrecht says, is that the feathers in the bird’s tail move at different speeds as they fan out across the watch dial (there are four moving feathers; the rest are stationary). The first feather moves forward by 15 degrees per hour, the second by 30 degrees per hour, the third by 45 degrees and the last by 60 degrees. To make this possible, Agenhor invented a new device it calls the AgenFAN. As Faberge describes it, the AgenFAN is based on a differential model and “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 [the hours cam is beneath the visible hours ring] and drives the second, which individually powers each of the blades [i.e., the feathers]. The diameter of each wheel is designed so that the fan unfurls in a perfectly coordinated manner.” The watch ($98,000) was inspired by a Fabergé egg from 1908 containing a bird automaton that could spread its tail feathers.

Faberge Lady Compliquee Peacock Timepiece
Lady Compliquée Peacock
Jean-Marc Wiederrecht
Jean-Marc Wiederrecht

The Agenhor movement is used in another new Fabergé women’s watch called Winter ($67,500). On that watch, the moving segments on the dial represent ice spreading gradually over a freezing lake. It, too, was inspired by a Fabergé egg: the Winter Egg from 1913, made of rock crystal decorated to resemble ice crystals.

Faberge Lady Compliquee Winter Timepiece
Lady Compliquée Winter Timepiece

Fabergé, which is owned by the British gemstone mining company Gemfields, also introduced a high-horology men’s watch, a flying tourbillon model called the Visionnaire 1, with a movement by APRP (Audemars Piguet Renaud et Papi). It is Fabergé’s first complicated men’s watch. The dial consists of six pie-piece-like segments with guilloché finishing and satin- finished edges. The spaces between the segments reveal the movement. On the back of the watch there is an aperture that shows the tourbillon; just above it is a power-reserve indicator. The case, 44 mm in diameter, is made of platinum and titanium treated to make it blue. There will be both black- and blue-dial versions; each will come in a limited edition of 15 pieces. Price: about $250,000.

Faberge Visionnaire I Blue
Faberge Visionnaire I Blue

This article appears in the July-August 2015 issue of WatchTime. Click here to download the tablet edition.

 

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