An astonishing watch which defies convention in almost every regard, the D Candaux DC6 Blue Solstice Carbon by independent master watchmaker David Candaux perpetuates the traditional values of classical artisanal watchmaking, in a breathtaking piece of contemporary mechanical haute horlogerie. In an elaborate case constructed in dark and brooding high tech composite material, against which the bright blue strap and dial detail contrasts vividly, it is a very modern interpretation of a centuries old craft whose fundamentals remain largely intact today.
A truly profound talent from the very cradle of Swiss watchmaking in the Vallée de Joux, David Candaux is a third generation master watchmaker who follows in the footsteps of his grandfather and father, who continues to work alongside him. Refining his prodigious gift for traditional haute horlogerie over many years at the grand maison of Patek Philippe, that uncompromising craftsmanship which is evident in his extraordinary timepieces, has gained him full membership of the prestigious, invitation-only Académie Horlogère des Créateurs Indépendants (AHCI).
Marking his arrival as a true thoroughbred independent in 2018 with his head turning debut named 1740 The First 8, this remarkable talent’s concept has continued to evolve. The DC6 Blue Phantom is the latest in a series of magnificent hand crafted wristwatches, each with a completely original perspective on how the time is displayed, and with breathtaking complexity, encased in a dark and brooding case of ultra-lightweight forged carbon fibre the Blue Phantom takes the novel and beautifully engineered design off in a cool, high-tech direction to devastating effect.
Featuring a stunning face which has deeply engraved guilloché decoration across its surface, there are two round apertures where the time and the inclined tourbillon are displayed next to each other, and above, the sapphire crystal has been manufactured specially with two domes to accommodate them.
The hours and minutes are displayed on a domed bright blue dial, with blued hands and applied arabic numerals. Although taking up only a small portion of the face of the watch, the time is still easily legible. Adjacent, the unique Bi-plan flying tourbillon is offset at an incline of 30ª. Within its round aperture, it rotates every sixty seconds, and a little blue pointer indicates the seconds while the tiny mechanism revolves on its axis. At the top of the dial a curved letterbox aperture shows the power reserve.
Weighing only 29.8g, and boasting an impressive water resistance of 50m, the forged carbon fibre case measures 43mm across, and it sports unusually clean lines as there is no crown on its side to interfere with the perfectly round silhouette. Instead, in another feat of Candaux’s engineering endeavour, the crown is integrated into the surface of the case at the six o’clock position, from where, when pressed, it rises telescopically for the purposes of winding and adjusting the time.
Inside the case, and visible through the sapphire exhibition caseback the movement is entirely manufactured and finished by hand in the watchmaker’s atelier in the village of Le Solliat, using traditional local Joux Valley know-how, and encouraged and inspired by his neighbour, mentor and friend Philippe Dufour. A breathtakingly beautiful work of uncompromising precision and exquisite finesse, the Calibre 1740 is manufactured in natural titanium, and its plates are finished with Cötes de Solliat stripes and mirror polished anglage around their curvaceous edges. Even here, where it is largely hidden from sight, the watchmaker’s obsession with perfection and individuality are to be found, as the plates and the gear train are inclined at 3ª and cascade in minute but obvious increments from one to the next. Beating at 21’600 vib/h it derives 55 hours of power reserve from its single barrel.
Presented on a bright blue rubber strap with folding clasp, the DC6 Blue Solstice Carbon by David Candaux is a modern-day marvel of micro-mechanical engineering and high tech composites materials, and an outstanding exemplar of the very highest standards of traditional haute horlogerie in independent watchmaking.