Staying true to its name, the new Paul Picot Gentleman Arc-en-ciel (Ref. P2052.SG.3601) (‘Arc-en-ciel’ stands for ‘Rainbow’ in French) automatic watch displays the usual seven days of week on its calendar window each colored in one of the seven colors of the rainbow. Although the concept somehow diminishes ‘classic’ appeal of the wristwatch, it is still good to know that there is a timekeeper somewhere that doesn’t look as suffocatingly ‘dressy’ as the majority of watches of this kind.
As you can see on the image below, the day of week indicator is located between 10 and 11 o’clock and is counter-weighted with a similarly shaped “Gentleman” plaque between 1 and 2 o’clock.
For some unknown reason (the watch is named in French and the company is located in Le Noirmont, Switzerland, almost on the opposite of the long Swiss-Italian border, and, according to Wikipedia, there are just 25 persons there that speak the Italian language) the days of week are represented in Italian, making it difficult to understand what day of week it is now, especially if it is “Venerdi” on the 1st of January. However, the choice of language not only expands you active vocabulary by whole seven new words, but, again, makes the watch a little more ‘different’ than the rest of the pack that seems to prefer English, French and German.
From where I stand, the dial of the watch still looks a little too crude, mainly thanks to its eleven hour markers that seem to be a bit too thick for the hour and minute hands.
The hands, too, look a trifle awkward. The normal dauphine-shaped hands would look totally at home here, but guys at Paul Picot, probably, wanted to make the watch stand out from the rest of the crowd that, when it comes to dress watches, draws its inspiration from the legendary Patek Philippe Calatrava family.
As you can see on the photos, the watch is available in two versions. One (Ref. P2052.SG.3601) sports a black dial and the other comes with a sportier silver-toned dial with blue hour markers. Well, since this is primarily a dress watch, I certainly would prefer the one with black dial.
Since the watch is supposed to look as “classic” as possible, it is issued in a mid-sized round case. Crafted from high-grade stainless steel, the body of the watch is 40 millimeters in diameter (not including the crown) and sports a very thin bezel, which makes it look especially slender.
Paul Picot plans to sell the watch at CHF 2450 (around €1617,) which seems to be more than an adequate price for a timepiece in a stainless steel case powered by a slightly modified base ETA 2834 automatic caliber.
Based on the good old ETA 2824-2, the mechanism adds a ‘day of week’ module. Since the component is designed and built by the same manufacturer, it not only doesn’t compromise the movement’s reliability in any significant way, but also makes the watch more repairable compared to other similar mechanisms that are equipped with third-party add-on modules.
Build Quality: 5/5
Overall Legibility: 4.5/5
Nighttime Legibility: 4/5
Value for Money: 3/5
Overall Rating: 4/5
Photos: Paul Picot
Paul Picot Gentleman Arc-en-ciel (Ref. P2052.SG.3601) automatic watch specification
Price range: CHF 2450 (MSRP)
Movement: ETA 2834 base caliber, automatic, Swiss Made
Cadence of balance: 28,800 vph
Complications: Date, day of week
Power reserve: 42 hours
Case material: Stainless steel
Bezel material: Stainless steel
Case shape: Round
Transparent case back: No, solid back, engraved
Case size: 40.00 mm
Case height: 12.00 mm
Dial: Black or silvered
Hands: Stainless steel
Water resistance: 50 meters
Strap: Leather crocodile strap on tongue buckle
Crystal: Sapphire, AR-coated