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-style seconds hand module. Naturally, the 2011 Chaumet Dandy Edition Metronome (ref. W1118C-25M) is dedicated to 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-karat white gold.
The Dandy Edition Metronome 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 hand-wound Seconde Metronomique watch.
In short, a pair of three-handed second hands rotating in opposite directions at the same speed creates an illusion of a single seconds hand counting the 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 watchmaking conglomerate. And finally, both 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 bad for the American company.
The “Metronome Second Hand” could have become a real point of differentiation for the young 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) specification
Price: €24,000 (MSRP)
Movement: 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: 18-karat white gold
Size: 40.00 mm
Case height: 11.00 mm
Dial: Black and white
Numerals: Arabic, at 12 o’clock
Hands: 18-karat white gold
Water resistance: 30 meters
Strap: Black and white leather