French jewelry brand Boucheron has offered its limited-edition Boucheron Reflet XL Chateau Latour Vintage Millesime 2005 (Ref. WA009219) that is built using a piece of ancient stained oak used to make wine barrels. This is not the first timekeeper that uses a piece of wood to decorate its dial, but this is certainly the first one (at least, to my knowledge) to incorporate a piece of equipment originally created to produce fine alcoholic beverages.
There is a winery in France that was established around five hundred years ago.
Currently known as Chateau Latour (because since XIII century the neighborhood was protected by a guard tower, which is now displayed on the House’s logo,) the winery is owned by a local business tycoon Francois Pinault who bought it from the British company Allied Lyons for around £86 million and made it a part of his holding company Groupe Artemis.
Chateau Latour is mostly known for its grand vin Chateau Latour, which is a blend of 75% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Merlot, with the remainder Petit Verdot and Cabernet Franc.
To get its signature aroma and taste, the vine is held in special barrels made of 200-year old French oak. After a certain time, the oak wood becomes stained and acquires a dark-brown color that you can only see in expensive furniture, luxury cars, and exclusive parquet flooring.
Although Boucheron is not the first jewelry brand that uses precious wood, the result is impressive.
The dial is large enough to demonstrate the grain of the wood and its hue is perfectly matched by a brown leather strap (the watch is shipped with a spare stainless steel bracelet if the leather is not the material of your choice.) The stainless steel bezel, that also has wood-grain-like stripes on it, provides perfect visual support for the small piece of oak.
The applied Arabic numerals look a trifle too large for me, but an oversized crown with an engraved Chateau Latour logo somehow balances them out.
A rectangular stainless steel case is offered in a size of 31.5 mm x 45.0 mm and is only 9.8 mm thick, which will make it comfortable for just about any wrist. The case is slightly curved to better embrace the wrist.
The Reflet XL Chateau Latour Vintage Millesime 2005 is powered by a relatively new Girard-Perregaux GP4000 automatic caliber, which is built on 26 jewels and beats at standard 28,800 vph.
The French jeweler limited the timepiece’s production to only 100 units.
Boucheron plans to sell them at MSRP of $14,200, which is a hefty price tag for a watch in stainless steel that doesn’t sport any complication.
Boucheron Reflet XL Chateau Latour Vintage Millesime 2005 (Ref. WA009219) specification
Price: $14,200 (MSRP)
Movement: Girard-Perregaux caliber GP4000, automatic, 28,800 vph, 26 jewels, Swiss Made
Functions: Hours, minutes, seconds, date
Power reserve: 40 hours
Case: Stainless steel
Size: 31.50 mm x 45.00 mm
Case height: 9.8 mm
Dial: Stained oak
Hands: White Gold
Water resistance: 50 meters
Strap: Brown leather and a Stainless steel bracelet