In watchmaking, it’s almost as if there are unwritten design rules, accepted ways of doing things which must abide by. But every so often a watch comes along that’s so different to anything else that its appearance alone is enough to stir the curiosity, and the D. Candaux 1740 by independent Master Watchmaker David Candaux is just such a watch.
Born and raised in the Swiss watchmaking heartland of the Vallée de Joux, David has allowed the natural beauty of his surroundings and the palette of technical know-how on his doorstep to permeate his inspiration and influence his approach to his first piece of work, and the result is this extraordinary example of free-spirited and expressive horologic poetry. Even its name marks the year when the history of watchmaking began in la Vallée.
Even to the untrained eye, it’s immediately apparent that 1740 is not like any other. There’s no side mounted crown, so its profile is pure and flowing, its dial layout is asymmetric yet somehow balanced, with time and a beautifully executed tourbillon positioned side by side, and while the traditional influences are abundantly clear throughout, there is also something very modern about it too.
It’s encased in 18Kt Titanium with brushed and polished surfaces, and from every aspect, this is a piece of exquisite execution throughout. Beneath the gently domed sapphire crystal, the face is inclined from top to bottom, so that even when facing away it’s easy to reference. From the center of the dial, a single long blued steel hand indicates the seconds, while next to the flying tourbillon on a white grand feu enamel micro dial the hours and minutes are displayed.
To set the time the secret crown, which is positioned between the lugs at the bottom of the case, rises telescopically and to facilitate its unique gearing, the components of the handcrafted manual winding movement are configured in a series of cascading steps, each offset by increments of 3°; a quite profound and beautifully executed technical solution. The plates are finished in Côtes de Solliat and through a sapphire case back, the detailing of the movement is utterly breathtaking.
A technical tour de force, each 1740 by David Candaux is rare and exclusive and serves notice of a new force in innovative horologic engineering. It is presented on a black alligator leather strap with folding clasp.