Fabergé eggs were known to have fabulous surprises in the centre. Created by St. Petersburg artist-jeweller Peter Carl Fabergé during the late 19th to early 20th centuries for royal courts and in particular the Romanov family until the 1917 Revolution, the richly decorated eggs contained jewelled miniatures of places and objects, automata, mini paintings and portraits.
To perpetuate the tradition, Fabergé Timepieces decided to create a watch with a surprise in the centre. Together with master watchmaker Jean-Marc Wiederrecht and his team at Agenhor Manufacture in Geneva, they presented in 2016 the surprising Fabergé Visionnaire DTZ. Pointing to hours and minutes presented on the periphery, open-worked hands rotate around a raised dome in the centre of the dial. And in the centre of the dome, a second time zone is viewed through an aperture. The Fabergé Visionnaire DTZ won the Travel Time Watch Prize at the 2016 GPHG.
In 2017 Fabergé introduces the Fabergé Visionnaire Chronograph, shown here. Like the DTZ, this new timepiece is offered in a 43 mm case, and like the DTZ, it presents a rotor on the dial side, visible as it spins and winds the watch under the sapphire crystal ring that forms the outermost part of the dial. Prevailing time is displayed on the periphery of the dial, with TCI luminous coating on the hour and minute hands and the 15-minute indicators.
But this time, it is not a second time zone that we see in the centre of the dial; here, the surprise is a dedicated central dial reserved for an innovative and easy-to-read chronograph display with three co-axial hands.
The indications of the Visionnaire Chronograph are displayed centrally with concentric counters, providing a reading that we see at a glance. Rather than having to look for the seconds, minutes and hours displayed at different places on the dial, all the indications are provided on one central dial. Reading is made even easier thanks to the chronograph hands in gilded aluminium with red tips. Oblong pushers are conveniently positioned at 10 and 2 o’clock for comfortable use whether on your wrist or held in your hand.
Like a Fabergé egg, the Visionnaire Chronograph greets us first with its outside beauty. Within beats the automatic calibre 6361 – AgenGraph that brings exceptional clarity, precision, and efficiency to the chronograph complication. Developed once again by Agenhor, the result of almost a decade of work and five patents, this is the fourth complication resulting from the collaboration between the two companies. With functions of hours, minutes and chronograph (24 hours, 60 minutes, and 60 seconds) the movement has a power reserve of 60 hours.
New instant start indications made possible with a system of snail cams provide a significant advantage over traditional chronographs and their semi-instantaneous twitches. The innovative AgenClutch, and the chronograph reset function that streamlines both construction and energy consumption, are additional features that add to the precision and efficiency of the chronograph.
And thanks to the rotor on the dial side, along with the sapphire case back, we have a clear view of the movement that shows off bridges decorated with Côtes de Genève and hand-polished chamfering. When in-hand, you will discover a secret laser-engraved etching of a Fabergé egg on the case back.
Complemented with an alligator strap and water resistant to 50 meters, the Fabergé Visionnaire Chronograph comes in an 18K rose gold and titanium case with opaline dial priced at USD39,500,
or in a black ceramic and titanium version with black dial priced at USD34,500.
Expected arrival in stores from November 2017.