Montres KF is an independent watch brand created by German master watchmaker Karsten Fraessdorf in 2016. Renowned for his hyper-resilient, exposed, oversized and patent-protected Spirograph Tourbillon, Fraessdorf’s watches are packed with technical solutions, allowing them to be worn and enjoyed on a regular basis. The latest model to issue from his La Chaux-de-Fonds workshop is this Montres KF EI8HT, a tourbillon complication for women housed in a robust, sporty pink gold case set with an ensemble of diamonds weighing over 7 carats.
The first KF EI8HT tourbillon by Fraessdorf appeared in 2020. In a departure from the more conventional round cases of earlier editions of the tourbillon, the EI8HT gets its name from the faceted octagonal shape of its case and bezel. Initially offered for larger wrists in a 44.5mm diameter, the EI8HT returned in 2021 in a smaller 42mm case size for women coupled with bespoke gem-setting options and powered by a new, smaller movement.
Although the case material and practically every decorative feature of the watch can be customised, the photos are of an 18k pink gold model with diamonds set on the bezel and lugs (7.78 carats). The dynamic architecture of the octagonal three-part case is highlighted with a bright polished finish. In contrast, the equally dynamic eight-sided bezel is set with brilliant-cut diamonds of different sizes to adapt to the contours produced by the scalloped, bevelled areas. With a height of 11mm, this EI8HT has one of the most attractive cases I have seen in a long time. The impression it produces is of layers of swirling warm pink gold set alight with ribbons of diamonds. The large fluted rose gold winding crown is decorated with the number ‘8’ in relief and polished against a sandblasted background. The crown is also fitted with a shock-absorbing system (to avoid damage to the movement in case of an accidental shock) and has a double gasket to ensure the 50m water-resistance.
The raised upper half of the dial reveals an icy frosted diamond background with a slightly off-centred hour and minute counter. Framed with a pink gold arc set with diamonds, pink gold diamond-set hands indicate the time. Most of the lower section of the dial has been removed to reveal the magnificent one-minute tourbillon. Also displayed against a glistening diamond background, the deep well carved for the tourbillon allows for a mesmerising show.
Patented in-house movement
The hand-wound Novamag 02 calibre is regulated by a large, light, stainless steel one-minute tourbillon beating at 18,000 vibrations per hour, a nod to the historical tradition of chronometry. However, in Fraessdorf’s pursuit of precision and resistance, the balance wheel features a technical, never-before-seen architecture with variable inertia and auxiliary thermo-compensation – you can read more information about the Spirograph balance in Xavier’s detailed review. Another unusual feature is the balance-stop mechanism allowing you to stop the tourbillon carriage and the balance at any time without damaging the escapement.
The caseback reveals an anthracite-coloured grille composed of five-pronged stars and other geometrical shapes set with diamonds. Some areas are skeletonised to reveal the hand-wound Novamag 02 calibre, a smaller derivation of the Novamag 01 to fit the smaller 42mm case size. One of the advantages of the Novamag 02 calibre is its reinforced anti-magnetism that complies with ISO 764-2020 standards, meaning that the escapement and movement can maintain accuracy regardless of the environment. Another interesting aspect of the movement is the theoretical 72-hour power reserve that has deliberately been reduced to 45 hours via a “Maltese cross” stopwork mechanism to ensure a more stable driving force.
Like the men’s version of the Montres KF EI8HT, this model is available as Bespoke Only. Just to give you an idea of the bespoke options for the case and dial, you can select the case material, the style of hands, the texture of the dial (natural stone, frosted, gem-set, etc.), the inscription on the crown and case, the strap and buckle, and you can even personalise the finishing of the balance studs with your favourite gemstones, your initials or a dash of Super-LumiNova.
Given the enormous array of customisation options, the price is upon request. For more information, please visit montres-kf.com.