The first time we met with Remy Cools and presented his work on MONOCHROME was in 2018. At the time, Cools had freshly graduated from his watchmaking school, the Lycée Edgar Faure in Morteau. This talented young craftsman had caught our attention with his montre d’école, the school watch that he completed in order to graduate as a watchmaker. Now 23 years old, and after working with Greubel Forsey for a few months, the young watchmaker has set up his own workshop on the shores of the picturesque Lake Annecy, in France, some 50 kilometres away from Geneva. He is now offering a reworked and improved version of his montre d’école… A good reason to hit the road and pay him a visit!
The Tourbillon Souscription is an evolution and an improved version of Remy Cools school watch. His montre d’école was superb and meticulously crafted over 800 hours… yet it was made with the limited resources of a student. For instance, at the time, it would have been difficult to have a domed sapphire crystal manufactured (worth several thousand euros for a unique piece). Now that he has set up as an independent watchmaker, things are different. His Tourbillon Souscription retains the aesthetics of his school watch but it has been fundamentally reworked.
First of all, the watch is smaller and thinner. Fashioned out of steel, the case features more elegant proportions and now measures 40mm x 15mm (vs. 42mm x 17mm for the school watch). Visible under an impressive sapphire dome, the hand-wound movement has been completely reworked and is entirely handmade. Cools’ workshop is equipped with tools to be able to handcraft all parts by himself. The symmetrical architecture of the dial has an oversized (15.5mm) one-minute tourbillon at 6 o’clock and off-centred hours and minutes indication at 12 o’clock. The two-part silver dial is finely micro-blasted, hand-engraved and circular-brushed at the periphery.
These elements stand out from the movement with minimalistic but beautiful micro-blasted decoration and distinctive stepped bridges (inspired by Breguet and Daniels). All visible and invisible parts of the movement are entirely hand-finished with top-notch decorations: hand-chamfering including inward angles, black polished, circular-brushed surfaces… The large variable inertia balance wheel runs at 18,000 vibrations per hour and is paired with a hairspring with its Breguet terminal curve shaped by hand. The eccentric-moon hands are mirror polished, flame-blued, and mounted on a steel polished chaton. Their manufacturing requires no less than 50 hours of meticulous handwork and the result is truly impressive.
You may have noticed that the watch has no crown… Turning the watch over, two symmetrical flip-up keys sit flush with the caseback. One is used to wind the movement and the other to set the time. Last, the upper and lower part of the caseback feature sapphire crystals revealing the movement.
The Remy Cools Tourbillon Souscription is worn on a handmade alligator strap with a pin buckle. On the wrist, the watch looks superb and has a great presence. The 40mm diameter makes it versatile and it will suit most wrists. And thanks to the ultra-domed sapphire and the thin casebands, it wears thinner than the 15mm height would suggest.
The Tourbillon Souscription is a limited production of nine watches only and as its name suggests, it is available through a subscription program. Price is set at EUR 85,000 (excl. taxes). For more information, please visit www.remycools.com.