The French jeweler Chaumet -a brand that belongs to the same conglomerate that owns such loud names as Bulgari, Hublot, Zenith, and, last but not least, a certain Ardbeg Distillery of the isle of Islay in Scotland- has introduced its signature Dandy timepiece equipped with a metronome second hand module. Naturally, the new Chaumet Dandy Edition Metronome watch (ref. W1118C-25M) is dedicated to the famous Frederic Chopin who, for a time, lived in the same building in Paris where Chaumet’s Salons is currently located.
The French-based brand plans to produce and sell only 100 of these dressy watches crafted of 18-carat white gold.
The watch features the same “Metronome Second Hand” complication that was originally developed by the Swiss master watchmaker Jean-Marc Wiederrecht for the American-based Steinway & Sons brand and employed in their recently introduced Steinway & Sons Seconde Metronomique Limited Edition hand-wound watch.
In short, a pair of three-handed second hands rotating in opposite directions at the same speed creates an illusion of a single second hand counting time like a tiny metronome. The illusion is so immersive that it could have been used by Herr Sigmund Freud himself to put his wealthy patients into hypnosis.
Frankly speaking, I do not completely understand how Chaumet managed to acquire the complication, which is featured in this watch.
Although Mr. Ariel Adams in his post for Luxist implies that both brands are owned by the Richemont Group and there was an act of technology transfer between two fellow brands, it doesn’t appear to be so.
Firstly, the house of Chaumet is owned by LVMH, not by Richemont. Secondly, Steinway & Sons is an independent brand, which is owned by Steinway Musical Instruments company that has been traded at the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) for the last 14 years and doesn’t seem to be affiliated with any major Swiss watchmaking conglomerate. And finally, the watches seem to be using different base calibers to house the complication modules. This one, for example, uses a larger ETA/Peseux 7001 hand-wound movement as a base for their “Caliber CP12V-VI” mechanism.
I assume, that Steinway & Sons simply didn’t bother to reserve exclusive rights to use the complication in its own watches. Well, that is not particularly good for Chaumet, since their watch is not the first and, certainly, not the last to sport the metronome module, and is absolutely bad for the American company.
The “Metronome Second Hand” could have become a real point of differentiation for the young watchmaking brand allowing for literally dozens of limited editions that could sell at a hefty premium.
But no such luck.
Chaumet Dandy Edition Metronome (ref. W1118C-25M) hand-wound watch specification
Price: €24,000 (MSRP)
Movement: Manual (hand-wound,) Caliber CP12V-VI (base ETA/Peseux 7001,) 21,600 vph, 17 jewels, Swiss Made
Functions: Hours, minutes, metronome seconds
Power reserve: 32 hours
Case material: 18-carat white gold
Bezel material: 18-carat white gold
Case shape: Cushion
Bezel shape: Cushion
Case size: 40.00 mm
Lug width: No data
Case height: 11.00 mm
Dial: Black and white
Numerals: Arabic, at 12 o’clock
Hands: 18-carat white gold
Water resistance: 30 meters
Strap: Black and white leather
Case back: Sapphire