An extraordinary watch in every regard, the Cabestan SnakeNera defies convention in design and how time can be displayed, and in its astonishing execution of horological innovation makes this spectacular timepiece one of the most exclusive and exotic pieces of contemporary independent watchmaking.
Even on first glance the SnakeNera is immediately an unusual watch, with its flamboyant styling and imposing presence utterly irresistible to the eye, and a signature of thjs specialist independent company. A moment later, and a closer look reveals a piece which is quite breathtaking in the complexity and beauty of its miniature mechanical engine which is fully exposed beneath a sapphire canopy.
The SnakeNera literally turns watchmaking tradition on its side, with its linear displays for the time and power reserve on rotating drums with luminous numerals and three dimensional views of its exquisite hand finished movement. With the graceful elegance of a chain and fusée constant force, and the sophistication of a linear tourbillon embedded within its horizontal horologic configuration, its ultra modern conceptual aesthetics are built upon those most traditional and intricate watchmaking innovations from the age of the pocket watch.
The indications are very easy to read, and displayed in a horizontal line along the upper axis the hours and minutes drums align with red arrow markers, with the seconds rotating below on the tourbillon’s axis. The power reserve is shown next to the polished conical spindle which dispenses the miniscule links of the fusée chain as energy is delivered in a constant force across a 72 hour period. At the centre, an orb of black and rhodium plated halves spins slowly on a vertical differential to replicate the moon phase cycle, and it’s almost enwrapped in the body of the white gold snake which writhes up and down across the mechanism, itself a masterpiece of hand crafted jewellery engraving.
The case in brushed and polished palladium white gold is sculpted and symmetrical, and frames a rectangular sapphire glass, which is individually fitted to the watch – a small detail, but one which emphasises the exclusivity of this hand manufactured exception, and via tiny pull-out handles in three of its four pronounced capstans, the time and moon settings are adjusted, as well as the winding of the manual movement.
The Calibre CAB-SNK-V1 comprises an astonishing 942 components, each finished and assembled by hand, and from concept to reality, is an entirely in-house Cabestan Manufacture masterpiece of profound technical invention and uncompromising Haute Horlogerie craftsmanship throughout. Fully wound, it has a 72 hour autonomy and it beats at 21’600vib/h.
An outstanding and magnificent piece of contemporary horological art for the outgoing lover of finest avant garde watchmaking, the Cabestan SnakeNera is a remarkable mechanical wonder with a compelling presence and an allure which is absorbing and endlessly fascinating. It is produced in a limited edition of eight pieces.