America’s largest luxury watch show, WatchTime New York, returns to Manhattan’s Gotham Hall on October 14-15 (Click here for event details and to purchase tickets). Among the innovative independent watchmakers taking part in this year’s event is Le Sentier-based Romain Gauthier, which will be showcasing its 2013 Geneva Grand Prix prize-winning timepiece, the Roman Gauthier Logical One.
The watch features an in-house movement, on full display through sapphire crystals in the front and back, whose featured technical attraction is watchmaker/brand founder Romain Gauthier’s 21st-century reinterpretation of a traditional fusee-and-chain constant force mechanism. Situated to the left of the hours-and-minutes subdial and its overlapping small seconds subdial, it has an unusual snail cam connected to the mainspring barrel by a ruby-link chain. With the snail cam and mainspring barrel thus configured to be on the same plane, force is transmitted in a straight line for an ultra-efficient transfer of energy. The relatively short length of the chain — which is joined together via a smart snap-clip system — enabled its designers to use strong, extra-large steel links, with rollers made from low-friction, hard-wearing synthetic rubies.
To eliminate potential uneven friction within the mainspring barrel — a problem that occurs when the metal spring scratches against the edges of the brass barrel while it is unwinding — Romain Gauthier has placed the mainspring in the Logical One between synthetic sapphire plates. Sapphire has a low coefficient of friction with steel, making it an ideal material for this purpose. The result of all these innovations, according to the brand, is a movement boasting two full days of constant force, and hence a high level of timekeeping precision.
Another distinguishing feature of this watch is its clever push-button winding system, with an ergonomic pusher set into the side of the 43-mm case at 9 o’clock. Protruding just slightly from the caseband and following its curves, this pusher efficiently transmits force to the barrel on the same plane. When fully wound via this pleasurably tactile method, the watch stores 46 hours of power reserve, which is displayed on an indicator on the back of the fully visible movement. The time on the hour and minute hands is set separately, via a crown at 2 o’clock.
The Logical One’s multi-patented, manual-winding movement is a feast for the horolophile’s eye; many highlights are visible on the dial side, including a large balance wheel with curved arms and calibrated eccentric weights; a curving balance bridge; bespoke gear wheels with circular arms for maximum strength; hand-decorated bridges; high-efficiency profiles of the gear teeth; polished screw heads with s-slot for more length; and a triangular pallet lever, developed by the brand, for maximum rigidity.
On the back, you’ll find bridges with polished, rounded bevels that were executed by hand, hand-polished jewel countersinks, the built-in power-reserve indicator, and more rubies and s-slotted, polished-head screws. Romain Gauthier says that as many as 90 hours are devoted to decorating each movement, even the components that are hidden from view.
The Romain Gauthier Logical One is offered in three distinct versions — 18k white gold case with a rose-gold-treated movement (pictured here); 18k rose gold case with NAC-treated movement; and 950 platinum case with palladium-treated movement. The latter two are limited editions of 20 pieces. Three styles of dial are also available: white enamel on a gold base with flame-blued steel hands (pictured here); black enamel on gold base with gold hands; and blackened brass with clous de Paris guilloché and gold hands.
To find out how this award-winning timepiece looks and feels on your own wrist, and to discover the rest of the Romain Gauthier collection, click here to reserve your spot at WatchTime New York.