WatchTime New York, our biggest and most luxurious watch collectors’ event to date, will take place October 23-24 at Manhattan’s Gotham Hall. (Click here for event details and to purchase tickets). Among the new timepieces on display will be the Emmanuel Bouchet Complication One — a watch that has generated much buzz since its launch in late 2014, and now a finalist for the “Mechanical Exception” award in the prestigious “Watch Industry Oscars,” the Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève.
The Complication One is the very first timepiece in the eponymous watch brand of French independent watchmaker Emmanuel Bouchet, who became known in the watch-aficionado community as the mastermind behind the innovative Harry Winston Opus 12. With the Complication One, Bouchet strives to pay tribute to time-honored watchmaking tradition while also adding his own avant-garde, 21st-century spin.
The Complication One features both a new type of transmission system and a unique way of reading the time that shows off the intricacies of the movement, Caliber EB-1963, which is hand-wound and contains 283 parts. The heart of the mechanism, the double escape wheel with inward teeth and the distinctively designed anchor, are positioned prominently in the center of the dial.
In most watches, the balance, or regulating organ, oscillates between 21,600 to 36,000 vph, a rapid rate that makes it impossible for the wearer to observe in detail the inner workings of the mechanism. This watch’s frequency is deliberately lower — just 18,000 vph — in order to showcase the mesemerizing motion of the escapement and at the same time to pay homage to traditional watchmaking.
The rear side of the movement, visible through a sapphire caseback, is dominated by double barrels that store the Complication One’s 72-hour power-reserve. One barrel drives the going train to the escape wheel, regulated by a free-sprung balance on a Breguet-type overcoil, while the other barrel keeps the transmission escapement on the dial under tension. This escapement snaps forward every 15 seconds to replicate what goes on in the other escapement five times per second. The center wheel of the first train rotates an elliptical triangle, which turns in the lever fork on the dial, swinging it aside every 15 seconds to unlock and lock the double escape wheel.
The watch’s multi-level dial is comprised of sapphire disks that seem to float in space over the white or black onyx dial base. The hours are displayed on a subdial at 8 o’clock, while the minutes and ten-minute increments are indicated in an unconventional manner by two jumping hands (a retrograde hand for the ten-minutes) on a subdial at 4 o’clock. The tips of the hour and ten-minutes hands are finished with sanded sapphire to accentuate their legibility. Balancing out the design is a running seconds subdial at 12 o’clock, with a day-night indicator on a disk underneath.
The Emmanuel Bouchet Complication One is offered in three case materials: 18k rose gold, platinum, and titanium with black ADLC (“amorphous diamond-like carbon”) treatment, a smooth, shock-resistant, scratch-free coating.
If you’d like to get a closer look at this groundbreaking watch and find out how it looks and feels on your own wrist, click here to reserve your spot at WatchTime New York, America’s Luxury Watch Show. Tickets are going fast!