When Jean Dunand introduced the Shabaka to the watchmaking community in 2007, he surprised many with a wonderfully avant-garde timepiece with a striking angular construction, and an equally charming minute repeater. This year, the independent watch brand, co-founded by Christophe Claret and Thierry Oulevay (who passed away in 2013), returned to the design, this time presenting the watch in a round case and a Stromatolite dial.
The Shabaka is, first and foremost, a wonderful feat of micro engineering. Not only does it display the day, date, month, the three pillars of the calendar dominating the top half of the dial, but it also includes a leap year indication between 7 and 8 o’clock and a moon phase directly opposite. But add to that a vivid dial, a minute repeater, and a power reserve at the back, and you have to wonder if Jean Dunand isn’t overstretching itself?
In an effort to make the Shanaka more accessible to watch collectors, the watch is now presented in a more traditional, circular case, measuring 47MM and made in pink gold. A base that is – one cannot but point out – remarkably similar to the Christophe Claret Allegro, a minute repeater also made by the brand’s co-founder; although the push-pieces on the caseband at 2 and 4 o’clock serve a different purpose.
In the Shabaka, they set the calendar functions. The button at 2 o’clock sets the day independently, while the button at 4 o’clock advances the entire calendar by 24 hours. On the other side of the case, a minute repeater slide can be activated to strike on cathedral gongs.
Powering the watch is caliber CLA88QP, a manually wound movement by the expert in repeating movements, Christophe Claret, which is beautifully decorated with côtes de Genève, and can admired through its sapphire case-back.
A lot of elements have been packed into the Shabaka. However, the new case construction, and textured dial help them come through to create something very special, and unique!
A one-of-a-kind, like all of the watches in the Jean Dunand collection, the dial of the Shabaka can be customized to the desires of the customer, who can also pick from three materials for the case: white gold, pink gold, and palladium. While prices will vary, base price is set around 460,000 Swiss Francs or just under $500,000.