Claimed to be inspired by the famous district in the center of Paris near the Eiffel Tower, the new Saint Honore Trocadero Automatic Open Dial (ref. 880020 1NRN) wristwatch is a nicely decorated, yet somewhat understated timekeeper that, while being powered by a completely unimpressive, mass-produced movement and featuring very limited functionality, still brings you an interesting, pleasant to look at design of its open-worked dial.
It looks like the guys from the French fashion brand Saint Honore know a thing or two about making a cheap thing (okay, a reasonably priced thing) look beautiful or, at least, extravagant.
Although watchmakers that offer us timekeepers with skeletonized dials usually go into a great trouble of painstakingly skeletonizing their movements or, at least, buy skeletonized versions of mass-produced base movements from serious ebauche makers like ETA, Saint Honore didn’t really bother with all the extra work.
They simply cut out four holes in the matte black dial of the piece giving us view at the base plate of the good old ETA caliber 2824-2 automatic movement and at its slowly rotating calendar wheel that, too, comes as is.
Surprisingly, the result looks quite interesting or, at least, amusing showing us that there indeed is a certain beauty even in an undecorated blank movement, which is produced and sold by the millions.
The effect partly goes thanks to the applied silver Roman numerals and nicely shaped luminous hands that seem to be rhodium-plated and are surprisingly good at accenting the brass and steel parts of the caliber.
Purists will probably snort contemptuously at this artifact, however if you are primarily looking for a fashion watch that is reliable, looks cool, and doesn’t cost like a Ferrari (well, the official price is yet to be announced, but the Saint Honore Trocadero Automatic Open Dial is said to be modestly priced around $1000-$1500*), you should probably take a second look at this item.
The only thing that I am not particularly impressed with is the underwhelming water resistance rating of this Trocadero Open Dial: just 5 ATM may be more or less adequate for a lot more expensive timekeepers target at persons who can afford having at least two or three timekeepers in their weekly rotation, each suitable for particular weather and activity. This one will probably be a “daily beater” for the greater majority of potential owners and its ability to protect the mechanical guts from corrosive properties of water doesn’t seem to be good enough for the piece to be as versatile as one might have expected.
Photos: Saint Honore
* UPDATE ON PRICE: It is actually priced at just €795 as listed at the brand’s own online store making it an even more interesting proposition.
Saint Honore Trocadero Automatic Open Dial (ref. 880020 1NRN) watch specification
Price: €795 (MSRP, available on the brand’s site, tax included)
Movement: Automatic, ETA caliber 2824-2, Swiss Made
Number of jewels: 25
Movement frequency: 28,800 vph
Power reserve: 40 hours
Movement decoration: No data
Functions: Hours, minutes, seconds, date
Case material: Stainless steel
Bezel material: Matches case
Crown material: Matches case
Case shape: Round
Bezel shape: Round
Case size: 41.00 mm
Case height: No data
Lug width: No data
Numerals: Roman (chapter ring) / Arabic (calendar wheel)
Hour markers: Silver, applied
Water resistance: 50 meters
Strap: Black leather strap on special deploying buckle
Case back: Solid, engraved