Independent watchmaker Claude Meylan is the descendant of one of the four historical families behind the watchmaking tradition in the Vallée de Joux. What started as a cottage industry to while away the long winters blossomed into an industry. Claude Meylan’s watchmaking skills include his passion for skeletonisation, which he has perfected into an art form. The Claude Meylan brand was established in 1988 and is now in the hands of CEO Philippe Belais.
The latest Claude Meylan watch takes its inspiration from artwork popularised in the Near and Middle East. While Philippe Belais was in Dubai for work, he spotted a profusion of intricate arabesque designs and decided they would create a beautiful motif for Claude Meylan’s skeletonising skills. Islamic art is renowned for its complex geometric patterns that avoid figurative images. These complex, repetitive patterns transcend the merely decorative function and are intended to be a bridge to the spiritual realm. One of these designs, known as arabesque, is formed by images of vines, flowers and curvilinear motifs.
Named after the fictional wife of a sultan, Scheherazade is the storyteller of One Thousand and One Nights, a collection of tales originating in the Middle East. Scheherazade unifies the 1001 stories in her evocative narrative that has passed on through generations. The name Lionne is a collection of Claude Meylan watches named after the river that runs through the valley with round cases and elongated teardrop lugs. The other collections include Line Lac, Line Tortue, Line L’Abbaye and Line Légends, all names associated with the region.
The 35mm diameter of the Lionne Scheherazade makes it a versatile case size for both men and women. The case is gold-plated stainless steel and polished throughout except for the caseback, which features a steel ring and a sapphire crystal to view the movement.
The black Roman numerals are placed on a golden flange below the bezel and protective sapphire crystal. The four corners of the elaborate hand-skeletonised gold-plated arabesque motif meet the chapter ring at 12, 3, 6 and 9 o’clock. The elegant golden arabesque motif is like a polished lattice structure allowing a view of the entire movement. With varying levels of thickness and complex swirling patterns, all the edges of the skeletonised arabesque motif are beautifully bevelled and polished.
Most of the golden bridges are decorated with perlage, and the structure over the barrel at 6 o’clock is engraved with floral motifs. Complementing the black Roman numerals, the leaf-shaped hour and minute hands are also black, although the central seconds hand is golden and quite hard to pick out against the golden scenery.
The Lionne Scheherazade is equipped with a manual-winding or automatic mechanical movement. The automatic movement reveals its golden openworked rotor through the sapphire caseback. A Peseux 7040 or a Peseux 7001 are fitted inside the manual-winding models. Both are ultra-thin manual-winding movements offering a 42-44 hour power reserve and beating at a frequency of 3Hz; the automatic movement runs on a classic ETA 2892.
As mentioned, the 35mm diameter of the Lionne Scheherazade makes it an appealing choice for both women and men. The printed alligator calf strap would probably be more suitable for men, while the black tech satin strap would be ideal for women’s wrists.
The price of the Claude Meylan Lionne Scheherazade automatic model is CHF 4,600; the manual-winding model retails for CHF 2,690. For more information, please visit www.claudemeylan.ch.