The Frédéric Jouvenot Helios Carbon watch is an impressive edition which demonstrates the resourceful creativity of the independent watchmaking genre and the ingenuity of its creator. Featuring an extraordinary method of indicating time, this exciting model brings cutting-edge materials into the portfolio of M. Jouvenot, adding to the complexity of its construction and to its aesthetic appeal.
Frédéric Jouvenot is in every possible way, an extraordinary watchmaker. From his bench at his atelier in la Chaux-de-Fonds, masterpieces are created, crafted with a nod to centuries-old horological craftsmanship, but each exhibiting unparalleled originality. In the design of his Solar Deity collection, Frédéric Jouvenot circumvented every previous connotation of time indication thus pushing the boundaries of possibility a little further. Forming part of this astounding wristwatch series, the Helios Carbon model is a spectacular addition to this exciting portfolio.
The watch carries a titanium case measuring 44mm across and with a height of 13mm. Finished in black DLC, the profile of the casing has been enhanced with contrasting brushed and polished techniques, and the trademark features of M. Jouvenot are evident in both the open-worked lugs and the distinctive recesses in the bezel which are positioned so they correspond with each hour.
The dial of the watch is immediately compelling. Offering a three-dimensional architecture, twelve dual faced conical batons represent the hours, each separated by a pyramid crafted from forged carbon. Emanating from the centre of the dial, each baton transforms in its appearance by flicking through 180° from golden to black, or vice-versa, at the passing of the hour. Luminous strips on the dark half of each one ensures excellent legibility in low light conditions. Despite the difficulty of working with the frangible carbon material, its unique texturing ensures that no two dials will ever be the same, and the contrast of its marbled surface with the smooth sunbeam batons is superb.
Having dispensed with the hour hand, an equally exceptional solution has been devised for the minutes. Beautifully simple in its execution and functionality, a central rotating disc, bearing the maker’s motif, aligns its arrow tip against the grey disc which carries the minutes, rendered in pristine white numerals. Finishing this highly original façade, visible screws at the tip of each carbon pyramid enhance the aesthetic and give it a marginally industrial appearance.
Turn the watch over and a sapphire crystal caseback reveals the immaculate detail and hand finishing on the in-house manufacture manual movement within. Notably, the mechanism which is at the heart of the jumping hour indication is enclosed within a 12mm capsule and is demanding of 100 components on its own.
Beating at a brisk 28’800 vph, the calibre has a power reserve of 50 hours, and the detailing of its impeccable Côtes de Genève decoration, beveled edges and mirror polished finishes denotes its Haute Horlogerie prestige. The Frédéric Jouvenot Helios Carbon is limited to only 88 pieces worldwide, and is presented on a black alligator strap with titanium folding clasp.