hybridisation of high-end watches

hybridisation of high-end watches

Postby koimaster » May 17th 2018, 8:42am

Hybrid designs combining mechanics and electronics is one path being explored in chronometric watchmaking. But beyond precision, hybridisation may also be a strategic tool for moving upmarket (Seiko), asserting a pioneering spirit (Piaget), charming elegant women (Journe), putting a poetic slant on luxury (Van Cleef & Arpels) or jumping with both feet into the nextgeneration watchmaking of the 21st century (Ressence).

Genuine progress or smoke and mirrors? It could be one or the other. Or a mixture of both.

Quartz in the Carré des Horlogers

Invited to the Carré des Horlogers at the last SIHH, François-Paul Journe chose, astonishingly, to showcase only his Elégante collection. Quartz watches in this purists’ stronghold? No! Electro-mechanical watches!

The word “quartz” has an impure ring to it. So if this cheap-sounding technology wants to slip through the cogwheels, it needs to dress up and put on its Sunday best. Elégante –in this case, elegance means being able to shut down if taken off for more than 35 minutes and go into complete hibernation for a given period of time – months or even years – and in a split second reset itself to the exact time when picked up again. Worn daily, it boasts more than eight years of autonomy, and in standby mode up to 18 years. And you can only do that with (luxury) quartz.

It took eight years of research, notably in collaboration with the EPFL (Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne), to perfect this cutting-edge quartz timepiece, the printed circuits of which have a finish every bit as noble-looking as any mechanical movement. After all, Elégante is made by Journe.

With this hybrid horology, François-Paul Journe is clearly stating his objective and he makes no bones about it. The aim is to charm women who have an eye for fine watchmaking but do not want to be bothered with it non-stop. Look beautiful and keep time! In doing so, he’s taking a strategic risk with his image. But the intention is also to show that electronics can be glamorous too.

https://www.europastar.com/time-busines ... tches.html
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