Stepping into Cédric Johner’s modestly sized workshop in Carouge in the outskirts of Geneva is a unique experience. Inside you will find an eclectic mix of old tools and hand-operated machines as the independent watchmaker started his career as a jeweller. With this background, Johner is a versatile artisan with a very personal way of looking at traditional mechanical watchmaking, using original techniques and crafts to make his watches by himself, in very small numbers, with a highly personal design. And the Cedric Johner Abyss Chronograph 30th Anniversary, equipped with a superb version of the Valjoux 23, is a typical example of his work.
To celebrate 30 years of independent watchmaking, Cedric Johner has started a 30-piece limited edition based on his signature Abyss case in a chronograph version. The beautiful hand-wound, column-wheel chronograph movement found in this limited-edition Abyss is a refinished old-stock Valjoux 23 calibre. The origins of the legendary chronograph maker Valjoux go as far back as the late 19th century when the Reymond brothers set up their movement manufacture in the Vallée de Joux. Reymond Frères SA would become Valjoux in 1929. The company is known today for the ubiquitous architecture of 7750, and some of the most prominent watchmakers have used Valjoux movements: Rolex, Patek Philippe, Audemars Piguet or Vacheron Constantin – to name just a few. With its 30mm diameter, this large chronograph movement incorporates a column wheel and a horizontal clutch into an elegant and classical architecture. Running at 18,000 vibrations/hour, it can store some 46 hours of power reserve.
The way Cedric Johner refinishes this calibre is unique. For instance, the shape of some bridges has been slightly modified to slope down. But the most visible touch is the small seeds decoration applied throughout the bridges and the main plate, using a technique that is directly derived from jewellery bead-setting. The result is unique and polarizing.
The highly-polished case of the Cedric Johner Abyss Chronograph 30th Anniversary is entirely hand-crafted from a 316L steel blank series Johner has in stock. The unusual Tonneau shape is 39.00mm x 41.20mm and 47.50mm lug-to-lug. The caseback is handmade and hand-engraved with the individual limited-edition number. The two-register dial is in anodized grade 5 platinum and printed with fancy Roman numerals. The applied registers are in 925 silver. The round silver applique inlaid at 6 o’clock is engraved with the individual limited-edition number. The watch comes on a hand-sewn alligator leather strap fitted with a steel pin buckle hand-crafted by Cédric Johner.
The Cedric Johner Abyss Chronograph 30th anniversary is a limited edition of 30 pieces (1/30 to 30/30). Watches are manufactured upon reservation with an interesting set of personalization options (dial colour, printing, movement colour, etc.) with no additional cost. Cedric Johner can produce only a handful of watches per year so the lead time for delivery is to be discussed case by case. Price is set at CHF 28,500 excl. taxes.
For more information and reservations, please visit cedric-johner.ch.