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The Reference 1 was the first watch model we conceived, as passionate watch lovers and watchmakers we knew we had a very accurate idea of what our first dress watch should be. It needed an enamel dial, hand finished bridges of the movement, a 38mm diameter and a purposeful, but minimal dial configuration.
After many months of practice and development we have reinvigorated the Reference 1, with the Reference 1R. The revised model has features which may appear subtle to many, but contain elements only exhibited by a very small selection of watches in the world.
The revised 1R contains two significant new aspects; a two piece enamel dial and hand finished hands.
Each dial contains two separate enamel dials, which are then soldered together - an incredibly challenging process throughout, even with the most skilled artisans 75% of the dials created will bubble, crack or develop other imperfections and not reach our quality standards.
Each individual hand of the watch requires approximately 20 hours of hand finishing, a process so rarely done due to the massive highly skilled labor involved. We think it's worth it - each hand is shaped, filed and polished using traditional techniques until they take on a beautiful lustre. Finally - the middle component of the hands (known as the boss) is created in a small lathe and then polished to a 'black polish', which is an example of ultimate flatness and finish.
The 1R is available in both white and eggshell dial variations - although sometimes too difficult to produce we welcome any requests for bespoke dial colours.
DIMENSIONS & MATERIALS
Case diameter (mm): 38.00
Case thickness (mm): 9.00
Lug width (mm): 19.00
Case material: 316L stainless steel
Dial material: vitreous enamel (hand fired)
Crystal: curved sapphire with clear anti-reflective coating
Caseback: see-through sapphire glass
Strap material: Louisiana alligator (Mississippiensis)
Buckle: Folding deployant clasp
Buckle material: 316L stainless steel
Water resistance: 30M/3ATM/100 FT
Thickness (mm): 2.60 (ultra-thin}
Diameter (mm): 30.00 (13¼ Ligne)
Number of parts: 176
Number of jewels: 29
Frequency: 3 Hz (21,600 v.p.h)
Power-reserve: 48 hours
Certification: CLA Chronometry - each movement is impartially tested for accurate timekeeping before achieving chronometer certification.
Features: free-sprung variable inertia balance with gold inertia blocks, ceramic ball bearings in automatic winding assembly, tungsten micro-rotor, hacking seconds
Decoration: hand beveled bridges, radial Côtes de Genève
Location of Manufacture: Fleurier, Switzerland
Each hand of the watch is painstakingly finished by hand to a flawless state of polish. Each hand is made of two components, the steel black polished boss, and the tempered (blue or purple) flank. An individual hand takes approximately 12 to 20 hours to reach our standard of finish.
Two-Layer Grand Feu Enamel Dial
Grand feu, or great fire in English, is one of classical watchmaking’s most difficult arts. Hand-firing soft glass in an oven at around one thousand degrees yields a remarkably lustrous and rich appearance unachievable in any other medium, and immune to fading over time.
Enamel dial-firing is a painstaking process. The majority of dials fired will be rejected on the part of the artisan responsible for the finish.
We work closely with our dialmakers; Donzé Cadrans to produce our stunning enamel dials.
Micro-Rotor Automatic Movement
Ticking away within the Reference 1 is a 29-jewel, ultra-thin, micro-rotor automatic movement. Its finishing includes hand-polished bevels and radial Côtes de Genève, all visible through the back of the case. The movement is a formidable example of fine, traditional watchmaking.
This movement is produced in partnership with renowned manufacture Vaucher based in Fleurier, Switzerland.
316L Stainless Steel Case
The case, traditionally sized at 38mm, offers an entirely original design. This is a reflection of our values in watchmaking – simple, elegant, but with the devil very much in the details. 316L stainless steel ensures an outstanding degree of hardness and resistance to corrosion. Each case takes many hours to finish by hand using a free-floating polishing technique and specialized equipment.
All of our cases are water resistant to 3ATM.
See more pictures of what we do in our workshop here.
Hand-Finished Bevels (Chamfering)
Each bridge (pictured here on a holder) of the movement is carefully finished on all of its surfaces, a process known as 'chamfering' is the act of creating a polished chamfer on the edges of the part. Purely an aesthetic finish, the 45-degree angles around the bridge are delicately finished by hand. The art of chamfering not only removes machining marks, but glistens in the light and frames each component.