Apart from Baselworld and SIHH, watch enthusiasts around the world also have the opportunity to admire nice timepieces in smaller, more intimate exhibitions, such as QP in London or Belles Montres in Paris. As you know, we from Monochrome, we never miss the chance to present you with nice photos, great watches and fascinating stories. To begin a series of captivating articles, let’s see what Belles Montres 2013 has for us.
Belles Montres is the meeting of the year in Paris to contemplate timepieces. This show is far away from the madness of Baselworld and gives visitors a warm atmosphere and a closer look into an incredible selection of brands. 2013 is a transitional year for the exhibition – the French press group Le Point bought it in June 2013. This year, we have seen fewer exhibitors, slightly fewer visitors, but the quality of both, in our opinion, improved. Most of them are enthusiasts, connoisseurs that can meet directly with the owners of brands, discover exclusive models or uncommon mechanics. This was an occasion for Monochrome to get in touch with watchmakers we like.
Belles Montres is quite eclectic considering the offer presented with both institutional brands such as Cartier, Breitling or JEANRICHARD and independent watchmakers such as Greubel Forsey, Richard Mille or HYT. Such brands are not only bold in their design but also offer an impressive amount of innovations.
This year’s show marks the return of Cabestan after a change of owner and its new model, the Terra Luna, built around a vertical movement, with fuse-chain, tourbillon, moon-phase and cylinders to display the hours, minutes, seconds and power reserve. An impressive engine that we will show you in detail soon.
4N is one of my favourites in Belles Montres 2013: a really creative dial with no less than 10 rotating discs to display the time, an impressive quality and lots of details in the finishing, thanks to a collaboration between François Quentin (the founder of 4N) and Renaud & Papi.
Apart from timepieces, we also have the opportunity of privileged moments with two great watchmakers, Konstantin Chaykin and Fabien Lamarche, founder of Julien Coudray 1518. Konstantin is one of our favourites here. We already have talked about him (see here) but meeting this humble man, talking about his creations and his story, is always a great time.
He came to Belles Montres with pockets full of wonderful, creative watches, including the Cinema Watch (see here) and the recently presented Carpe Diem. We’re in front of a very poetic, highly esoteric watch with an hourglass system to show the minutes, an engraved dial and again a sublime movement. Full story of this man and hands-on with the collection to come soon.
We also spent a few hours with Fabien Lamarche – and what a nice time! When you’re ready to talk about traditions and Haute Horlogery, Julien Coudray 1518 is a brand that can suit you. Not only are the models impressive, but the way they’re built is from out of a bygone era, meaning a completely in-house production, made manually and only with the most precious materials (gold, platinum, titanium as well as grand feu enamelling).
Talking with Fabien is an amazing experience that we will share with you, as well as a remarkable surprise to come. To conclude, this event was a great time for the watch lovers that we are.
The general atmosphere of Belles Montres allows proximity with exclusive brands and with watchmakers, something rare enough to be appreciated. Next year has been announced with more brands, more visitors and again the ability to closely admire the timepieces presented. We won’t miss the chance to see it (again) for ourselves! And just for your pleasure, a small selection of the most interesting models presented.