After the impressive introduction of the Visionnaire DTZ at Baselworld 2016, I didn't think that Fabergé could make me like the brand more, but they managed to do so with the release of the Chronograph in 2017. A beautifully complicated timepiece for those who love watches outside the norm.
Surprise! Fabergé reinvents the chronograph in 2017
This year, Fabergé has gained further recognition in watchmaking. The fruit of a collaboration with designer Jean-Marc Wiederrecht, the Visionnaire Chronograph reinterprets one of the most famous complications of Swiss and international horology.
By Benjamin Teisseire
It all started with prizes obtained at the Grand Prix d'Horlogerie de Genève (GPHG) two years in a row – in 2015, the Lady Compliquée Peacock was awarded a prize in the Ladies' High-Mech category while the Visionnaire DTZ won the Travel Time category in 2016. Fabergé has maintained the momentum in 2017 and has gained further recognition in Swiss watchmaking excellence.
Innovation, functionality and readability
Fabergé focuses on quality and creativity in the invariably surprising creations that join its collection. In 2017, the Visionnaire Chronograph reinterprets one of the most famous complications of both Swiss and international watchmaking. And beautifully, for that matter. The Fabergé team has developed the exclusive movement in collaboration with a famous name of Haute Horlogerie – Jean-Marc Widerrecht, from Agenhor. He has conceived for them a wonder of accuracy, innovation and creativity.
The three second, minute and hour counters have been removed. Information can intuitively be read with the help of three central hands that measure short times on three concentric disks. The large hand indicates the seconds, the medium one the minutes, and the third one the hours. As time ticks by, the hands follow one another after each revolution as if in a ballet performance. ‘What about time then?’ I hear you say. Well, it is easily read on the exterior disks thanks to the two external markers with concentric circles that are dedicated to the chronograph. The thick one runs along the hour indexes that surround the central complication, and the second, longer and thinner disk travels elegantly across the 'track' made between the circle at the center and the minute scale that surrounds the whole. Both are coated with TCI Luminescent for better readability. It is amazingly user-friendly since it features only one pusher for starting and stopping the chronograph at 2 o'clock plus the resetting button at 10 o'clock. The winding crown has been off-centered to 4 o'clock to improve the watch's balance. Simple, effective and innovating – watchmaking as we like it.
Fabergé Visionniare Chronograph Pink Gold
While the timepiece strikes a perfect balance with its rounded angles, it also dons sportiness. This can be seen in a number of details: the materials chosen (pink gold and titanium), the different volumes of its dial, the contrast of pale and dark grey, the sharp angles of the lugs, and the rectangular-shaped pushers. The watch is also available in a black ceramic and dark grey DLC-coated titanium case with a black dial for an even more sporty touch. Patents have been filed and the new chronograph will undoubtedly interest more than aficionados of the prized complication.
Fabergé Visionnaire Chronograph Pink Gold
Traditional and streamlined refinement for men and women
Fabergé has also presented a streamlined version of the Lady Compliquée Peacock. In this version, the movement's originality is marked by the absence of diamond settings so that the sheer beauty of the retrograde peacock's fanned tail feathers can be admired. This will undoubtedly delight women who like refined, original and playful watchmaking complications. The black timepiece features a peacock whose retrograde silver feather tails indicate minutes. It exudes rare elegance, blending watchmaking complications and time poetry.
As for men looking for a classic style, the new Fabergé Altruist Black will meet all their requirements. The streamlined design of the case with curved lugs – polished on the surface and brushed on the rim – gives the watch a splendid look. The sapphire glass is domed to give the timepiece the shape of a polished pebble that can be touched like a reassuring talisman. It floats above an elegant dark grey, opaline dial that is decorated with a sunburst wavy guilloché from the center outwards. The wavy design catches light so easily that it gives the impression that the front of the watch is animated.
Fabergé Altruist Black
All three thin hands, inspired by Breguet, sport an opening in the shape of an elongated egg (rather than a circle), which is a playful allusion to Fabergé's identity. It's all about simplicity and details. For example, the crown has a protecting rotating bow, which is lifted to wind the watch like old clock keys – yet another touch of tradition and humor in the Fabergé collection. The masculine timepiece is smoothly driven by the self-winding Vaucher 3000 caliber. Reminders of the designs of the founder Peter Carl Fabergé, the decorations are enhanced by the 22K solid gold oscillating mass and signature curls.
Once again, Fabergé innovates, surprises, and makes us smile and dream. The seasoned jewelry brand established in the 19th century has easily morphed into its role as watch designer. And it has brought about a splendid French luxury touch to Swiss watchmaking.