Baselworld 2013: A sense of coherence - Competentia 1515 by Julien Coudray
The watchmaking brand Julien Coudray 1518 is a favourite with connoisseurs. No less than 42 skilled trades operate side-by-side at the Manufacture de Grande Horlogerie. Its founder, Fabien Lamarche, creates his pieces entirely by hand…
It’s difficult for a seller of timepieces to champion the special features of these rare pieces in great detail without making apologies for all the attention given to production information by other brands. In effect, apart from adopting a name in tribute to a particular clockmaker to King François I, known during the Renaissance for his talent for combining art, science and technology, they also embody the very quintessence of watchmaking knowledge and craftsmanship. A watchmaking enthusiast passionate about micromechanical engineering, robotics and computing, Fabien Lamarche, although little inclined towards branding, will take this obstacle and turn it into an advantage. Of course, sales are made virtually direct, but his reputation already knows no boundaries.
95 % of this watch is made from 1.5 kg of platinum Pt950: movement, case, crown, buckle. The manufacture involves no chemical deposits or lacquer. Manufactured at Le Locle, Switzerland.
The threefold ambition at work within this workshop in the north of the Neuchâtel canton, whose sister company is dedicated to producing complications for other brands, is as follows: firstly to perpetuate the great watchmaking tradition while adding a touch of ‘regal subtlety’. Secondly to cause a stir with unusual brand values, such as movements made entirely, depending on the case material, in platinum, white gold or rose gold. And finally to being the connoisseur client into the realms of the emotions, a far more persistent feat than either technology or reason can achieve. The authenticity and rarity of the designs, not to mention a price that dispenses with the usual commercial margins, take care of the rest.
Tourbillon bridge. Each component is decorated and engraved by hand. The calibre itself is made of platinum.
Of all the collections, the Œuvre Competentia 1515, a one-minute tourbillon, captures the very essence of the watchmaker’s art. The mechanical movement with manual winding in solid platinum, painstakingly decorated and engraved by hand, features a power reserve of 55 hours and a function indicator in enamelled 18K gold. The case is made of platinum Pt950 and measures 43 mm in diameter. It is also water-resistant to 5 ATM and includes anti-reflection treated sapphire crystals, on back and bezel, revealing the hours, minutes and seconds functions, a function indicator at 12 o’clock, power reserve indicator at 8 o’clock and day-night indicator on the back. The solid gold Pd125 dial comprises 11 parts, the concave cartouches are in ‘grand feu’ enamel in traditional black and white. It features plique-à-jour ‘grand feu’ enamel in a translucent blue crafted in the purest tradition and it tells the time via blue-steeled hands, perfectly in harmony with the navy blue alligator skin strap, padded and sewn by hand and lined. The model is secured firmly to the wrist by an engraved ardillon buckle solid platinum. Fine workmanship, without the shadow of a doubt.
The Competentia 1515 features a power reserve of 55 hours