Delaneau, a fashion brand that specializes in ultra-luxury items designed for ladies, is selling its brilliant Amazone Blueberries 1608 one-off. Besides a wonderful mix of materials, textures, and colors, the new timepiece also features a not very common all-digital “interface” on its dial with the usual hour and minute hands replaced with a pair of jumping hours and minutes indicators.
You know what? It is always a great pleasure to find new watches for women that are not centered on girls’ best friends, the diamonds.
While precious stones are always welcome, the real pleasure enters when the new model also boasts some horological value, too. If you thought that jumping hours/minutes complication is reserved for male-centric brands like A. Lange & Sohne (I am talking about their iconic Zeitwerk collection,) think again: jewelry brands like Delaneau have something interesting in their pockets, too.
In the case of Delaneau, it is, of course, the Caliber 1608 automatic movement. This is the well-known Frederic Piguet’s FP 1150 automatic caliber with an add-on digital representation module.
Capable of displaying jumping hours and minutes, the movement is also the first one that places the hour and minute display windows close to each other, not on the opposite sides of the dial, like it is done in A. Lange & Sohne Zeitwerk.
Now, I understand that, from a purely technical perspective, the Caliber 1608 is not as advanced as the hand-wound Caliber L043.1 that powers the Zeitwerk: for all its worth, the mechanism probably simply exchanges hour and minute pointers for a pair of rotating disks and a “jump” module that releases its energy every sixty minutes and sixty seconds respectively. Still, the complication makes the Amazone 1608 a lot more interesting toy for ladies that know a thing or two about high horology.
By the way, the number “1608” here is not a year when the brand was established (the story started in 1880 in Bienne, Switzerland,) but a number of “jumps” that the movement makes in 24 hours: 1584 jumps of the minute indicator and 24 jumps on the hour display if I counted them correctly.
The “jumps” come at a cost, though. While the FP 1150 base caliber has an official power reserve rating of around 100 hours, the Caliber 1608 is rated only for 48 hours. Well, it is still more than enough for an accessory that will be worn once or twice per year on very special occasions.
Dial & Legibility
The design not only makes reading the time easier, but also leaves more real estate on the dial for the company’s artisans (stone setters, engravers, finishers, goldsmiths, watchmakers, jewelry designers, and enamel artists) to adorn the watches with the finest pieces of art that money can buy. Just visit an image finder at your favorite search engine, enter “Delaneau” and “1608” keywords and you will be amazed by beautiful timepieces (most of them are unique “only” pieces that are selling at a price of a Bentley Continental GT or even more) that were designed around this special movement.
The black onyx dial is adorned with literally hundreds of diamonds and twenty blue sapphires that together form a picture of a blueberry branch: a simple, yet classy motif.
Case & Strap
Back to our proverbial sheep, though.
The Delaneau Amazone Blueberries 1608 is presented in a fairly large 42 mm case that you have seen in other Amazone models. The body is crafted from 18-karat white gold that was first mirror-polished and then set with 97 diamond baguettes and 132 round diamonds weighing 10.47 and 24.81 carats respectively. The Amazone Blueberries 1608 will occupy a great deal of space on a normal wrist, but that is the whole idea of the collection: it must be clearly visible on you.
The Swiss company asks about $264,580 for this beautiful one-off, which is fair taking into account the total cost of material and skilled labor invested into making each of these beauties.
Build Quality: 5/5
Overall Legibility: 4.5/5
Nighttime Legibility: 1/5
Value for Money: 4.5/5
Overall Rating: 4.5/5
Delaneau Amazone Blueberries 1608 specification
Movement: Caliber 1608, base FP 11.50 with Delaneau’s add-on module, 27.40×29.90 mm in length and width, 5.75 mm thick, 218 parts, Swiss Made
Complications: Jumping hours and minutes
Power reserve: 38 hours
Case: White gold
Bezel: White gold with 229 diamonds
Size: 42.0 mm
Dial: Black Onyx
Numerals: Arabic, digital display
Water resistance: 30 meters