Welcome in the heart and soul of independent watchmaking from the Vallée de Joux, yet with a modern eye… A few weeks ago, we met with one of the most interesting surprises from Baselworld 2017, the “1740 The first 8” – and of course with its creator, David Candaux. See what hand-made and creative watchmaking mean!
The name David Candaux could potentially sound familiar to some of you, as he has been the behind-the-scene architect of some spectacular developments, for several prominent brands. He worked several years for Jaeger-LeCoultre and then, he started a new career as an independent movement designer. In this role he was involved in several watch developments, however always anonymous and behind the scenes. When he was a child, David was thinking that he would become an accomplished watchmaker only once he would design and make his own timepieces, by his hands. This time has come and, to say the least, David is a very talented watchmaker.
His first creation as an independent watchmaker, the 1740, the first 8, is a remarkable piece of horological ingenuity, with exquisite craftsmanship and exceptional detailing. Most of all, it is a very personal work by a man who has reached an age where his main purpose is to make the things important to his heart and soul (“le coeur et l’esprit” in French, as engraved on the dial).
The name of the David Candaux 1740 is a clear allusion to where these watches are manufactured. It refers to the year when the presence of a watchmaker has been attested for the first time ever in the Vallée de Joux. On this rather unique watch, the first thing to catch your eye is its asymmetrical design. Made of hand-grained pink gold, the dial is inclined, raised at 12 o’clock and lowered at 6 o’clock to make it easier to read the time. It displays off-center hours and minutes on a subsidiary enamel dial with a wind rose motif.
The watch is regulated by a 30-degree inclined flying tourbillon, made in titanium and mounted on a ceramic ball-bearings. Its balance features regulating screws and a hairspring with Breguet overcoil. To ensure constant chronometry, as soon as the power reserve falls below a critical level, the movement automatically stops. Precision is a real focus for David who has tested the watch with Chronofiable and plans to submit his production to COSC, to obtain the Chronometer cerificate.
Just like the dial, the movement is inclined (wheels and bridges). The bridges are no longer forming a flat uniform surface but are cascading. This highlights their decoration and accentuates the reflection of light on their superb angles. The movement finish is indeed impressive all the more that the plate and bridges are crafted from untreated titanium, with the exception of the small steel bridge! These are decorated with “côtes du Solliat”, a new (and superb) type of stripes elaborated by David. The anglage and polishing of all parts are top-notch.
The steel case is 43mm in diameter. Its sleek asymmetric design features a secret retractable crown located at 6 o’clock. It is unlocked by pressing on it with 3 positions. (neutral, reset and winding). The asymmetric box-shaped crystal is crafted from sapphire. The watch is worn on an alligator strap secured by a pin buckle, engraved with David Candaux’s “bear” logo. David chose this animal as a logo for his brand because of his solitary, sometimes rough character – But do not be mistaken, David is a super friendly person. In addition to that, he also brews his own beer, which is another good reason for the Monochrome team to pay him a visit soon in the Vallée de Joux! For more information, visit www.dcandaux.ch.
On the right, the future, non-limited edition with brushed silver-colored dial
Technical specifications – David Candaux 1740 the first 8
- Case: 43mm x 12.65mm– stainless steel – sapphire crystal – sapphire back – secret crown – water resistant to 30m
- Movement: caliber 1740 – 35.00 mm x 6.20 mm – wheels and bridges inclined 3° – mechanical with manual winding – 55h power reserve – 21’600 vibrations/h – 47 jewels – off-center hours and minutes, center seconds, power reserve indication, inclined flying tourbillon
- Strap: integrated alligator strap with pin buckle
- Limitation: 8 pieces
- Retail price: 237,800 USD