Not only is Frédéric Jouvenot a prodigiously talented young watchmaker and creator of horological fantasies, but he is also the dynamic and energetic driver behind his eponymous independent watch company whose astonishing collections have won over the hearts and minds of collectors and critics alike.
Of course all manufacturers of mechanical timepieces are inextricably bound to the centuries old invention of their forebears, but in how these old ‘blueprints’ are interpreted Frédéric Jouvenot have parted company with tradition, and so their watches which leave the atelier in la Chaux-de-Fonds really are like no others.
In the Frédéric Jouvenot Solar Deity collection each model has been conceived to celebratethe great ancient sun gods worshipped by different civilisations around the world, and even the display of time has taken on a different and innovative form, as the hands have been dispensed with entirely, giving rise to a family of intriguing and technically accomplished timepieces which will always beg a second look from curious admirers.
The Solar Deity Helios models recall the great Greek sun god who wore a crown of sunbeams and whose gigantic statue once looked outacross the port of Rhodes.
In the Frédéric Jouvenot Helios Titanium DLCthe effect on the eye is almost monochromatic with the black carbon coating on the lightweight titanium case being complemented by the black central minutes disc and the lower reaches of the dial.
Beneath the sapphire crystal, it is of course the dial which is the centre of attention. Twelve triangular steel plates, layered to give a 3D effect surround the unique system of twelve dual faced conical batons which represent the hours. Emanating from the centre of the dial, each one transforms in its appearance by flicking through 180°from black to polished gold, or vice-versa,at the passing of the hour. Luminous strips on the dark half of each baton ensure excellent legibility in low light conditions.
Having done away with the hour hand, the solution for the minutes is equally creative, yet also beautifully simple in its execution and functionality, as the minutes are displayed on a central rotating gold disc bearing the FJ motif and which aligns its arrow tip against the 60-minute display below to indicate the precise time.
Turn the watch over and a sapphire crystal caseback reveals the immaculate detail and hand finishing on the in-house manufacture manual movement within. The black gold screw balance wheel which is the heart of the movement pulsing at a relatively leisurely 28,800 vph, the screw heads and beveled edges of the plates and bridges polished to a mirror finish and the surfaces decorated with Côtes de Genève.
The Frédéric Jouvenot Helios Titanium DLC is limited to only 88 pieces worldwide, and is presented on a black alligator strap with titanium folding clasp.
At The Limited Edition we totally love what Frédéric Jouvenot is doing. To us his work underlines the importance of a healthy independent watchmaking industry; employing, training, creating, inspiring, surprising and completely unchained from the constraints of designing for the masses.