2 years ago, a French passionate had a rather crazy idea: launching a watch brand. In this market driven by massive companies, there is however some room for smaller, more exclusive and more soul-driven pieces, some watches that will answer the needs of more mature or more selective collectors. The Olivier Jonquet Elie achieved its subscription process and all the pieces offered were sold. Time is now for more rational projects, with new watches to be introduced, still with the same concept. Here are the Olivier Jonquet Carosse and Captain watches.
I have something special with Olivier Jonquet, not only because I find his watches actually pretty nice and because I like the idea behind his brand, but also because, as me, he’s French (and promoting French-made parts) and because the Elie watch was actually the subject of one of my very first articles at Monochrome-Watches – and please, if you read it, be indulgent with me…
The Elie Watch, the first model created by Olivier Jonquet
To bring you a quick reminder, in 2014, Olivier Jonquet designed his own watch, with a rather personal, vintage-inspired style; a 1920’s / 1930’s inspired cushion case, some heat-blued steel Breguet hands and a milky-white enamel dial, with again antique numerals. However, having the external parts designed in a vintage way was not enough and Olivier pushed the concept even further, by powering his watches with vintage hand-wound France Ébauche FE 233/69 movements, reworked, restored and adjusted to perfectly work. That’s where I found the concept to be really interesting. However, these movements are not so easy to source and time has come for something more rational, more mature but still in the same vein: the Olivier Jonquet Carosse and Captain watches.
With these 2 new watches, Olivier Jonquet keeps the same concept, a cushion-shaped watch, properly vintage-inspired, still some antique-looking dials and hands but a more regular, standard production. The vintage movements are out of the package now, but it is still mechanically driven. Just like the Elie Watch, the case is formed and has this specific cushion-shape, however in the Carosse and Captain watches, it has been reworked and resized, measuring now 43.5mm x 43.5mm (instead of 38mm x 38mm before) and still made out of polished stainless steel. The straps, hand-made in France in a shoe-maker style, are attached to the case with thin wire-lugs, again a reference to 1930s watches.
The base of the collection is the Capitaine watch, which will be available in two versions: polished steel with white dial and blued hands, or black PVD-coated steel with black dial and white hands. While the first is a clear reference to pocket watches, with its white enamel dial and black Roman numerals, the latter is slightly different, mixing this vintage feel with more modern and sportier appeal, thanks to the black case and enamel dial (a black enamel dial is always something to be appreciated…) and white inscriptions and hands.
Alongside the two regular watches (non-limited) is a first limited edition, named the Carosse, which definitely pays tribute to pocket watches from the 19th century. Its dial shows a specific style, with blue Roman numerals in “cartouches”, some raised and curved areas directly on the enamel plate. This edition also shows specific hands, this time matte and gilded. This edition will be produced in 200 pieces.
Inside the case, no vintage movement this time. This is easily understandable, when you consider how difficult it is to source vintage and unused movements in order to insert them in a watch in regular production. Instead, the Olivier Jonquet Carosse and Captain watches are powered by a classical, perfectly known and highly reliable ETA / Unitas 6498-1, without the small second sub-dial. It comes in “Top Finition”, meaning the version with Geneva stripes, blued screws and circular graining. A specific engraving has been applied on the ratchet wheel. To sum up, a movement reliable and, considering its size and history, which fits well the concept of the watches.
These watches are all available from now on the website of Olivier Jonquet here. The Capitaine Acier (steel, non-coated, white dial) is priced at 2,190 Euros. The Capitaine Noir (steel, PVD coated, black dial) is priced at 2,390 Euros. Both are non-limited editions. The Olivier Jonquet Carosse will be produced in 200 pieces and priced at 2,390 Euros. (all prices including EU taxes). montres-oj.fr.
Specifications of the Olivier Jonquet Carosse and Captain watches
- Case: 43.5mm x 43.5mm – polished stainless steel – sapphire crystal on the front and on the back – 30m water resistant
- Movement: ETA / Unitas 6498-1 – manual winding – 46h power reserve – 21,600 vibrations/h – hours and minutes
- Strap: hand-made leather strap with steel pin-buckle