Julien Coudray 1518 – Part 3: The Birth of a New Watch
Previously, we discussed both the man behind Julien Coudray 1518 (see here) and his collection of remarkable timepieces (which you can find here). If this afternoon spent with Fabien Lamarche and his team hadn’t already been amazing for us, the pinnacle came with getting the first look at a brand new watch: yes, we had the honour of wearing the first prototype of a new collection, having just observed the last steps of assembling it and seeing it brought to life for the first time! We bring you the JC 1588 Sport, Julien Coudray 1518’s new model.
What a pleasure to attend the birth of a new timepiece, to discuss it with the creator while perusing the first drawings from its conception, to feel the work being done and to see the last steps of its completion. As we told you, Fabien Lamarche is a very humble and approachable man. When we met him, not only did he take the time to present to us the brand, the whole collection and his story, but he also gave us the chance to play with a brand new model. This is a moment shared only rarely, whether from the first draft on paper to the final completion, or with the newly finished prototype placed upon the wrist.
When I arrived for the meeting with Fabien, I saw a bench full of watch parts. But something seemed strange to me, since I was noticing among them titanium bracelet links, a strange watch-case and, on one corner of the bench, an automatic movement. Fabien was completing a new watch. Good time for my interview. As we were talking, he was working at the final steps of the construction of the titanium and gold JC 1588 Sport.
The new creation of Julien Coudray 1518 is a departure from the other models of the brand. Because of the high demand from his clients, Fabien decided to create a sport watch, meaning: a solid case, lightweight, water-resistant and utilizing an automatic calibre. All these requirements have been included in the universe of the brand and it gives a very strong result, something entirely unique on the market. However, contrary to the rest of the collection that finds its inspiration in Renaissance and Baroque styling, this watch evokes something more along the lines of the industrial revolution and the 19th century.
This watch is a big step for the manufacture as it introduces some major novelties. The most important is the new automatic calibre. The movement of the JC 1588 Sport is realised in titanium and adorned with a checkered flag engraved on the bridges and then coloured in purple by heat, on selected parts. We can also find purple coloured titanium on the bevelled angles. As the watch is still in development, we don’t have lots of information on it, except that it will boast a 55h power reserve. The cool factor comes in with an enamel plate on the rotor that can be personalised – you could of course match it with your car’s license plate.
The watch itself is very surprising. The design is strong and feels unique. As usual with the manufacture, the dial is made of 13 pieces and has the service indicator at 12. However, there is no enamel dial here but instead, it has a gold guilloche centre plate and 12 cambered titanium parts with digits in relief. The titanium case is sized at 41mm and features a crown-guard and a screwed crown.
On the wrist, the watch feels light and very comfortable, due to its reasonable size – 41mm – and a very flexible bracelet. As we said, the design is strong and the watch has a huge presence. It’s a watch that you either love or hate, but one that always catches attention. It brings a sporty feeling to the classical codes of the brand, always with an astonishing level of quality, even for a prototype.
The watch will be available in full titanium for CHF 35,000 Swiss Francs, gold and titanium (as the prototype here), and platinum and titanium, always with a titanium movement.
It was a great pleasure and honour to be one of the first to discover and wear this watch. For that great moment, I would like to thank Fabien Lamarche and his team. Thank you also to Romain for his help with the photos.
More information: on the website of Julien Coudray 1518