The new 1740 Half Hunter Tourbillon by the independent watchmaker David Candaux taps into the historical period when horology was still perceived as a major science, and watchmaking fell under the realm of mathematics, philosophy and astronomy. This was an era when the quest for accurate timekeeping occupied the minds of the greatest inventors of European civilization. The 1740 Half Hunter Tourbillon pays homage to these precision instruments of the past, timepieces that were in use by the explorers and master mariners of the 18th and 19th centuries. A novelty of the time, these highly accurate timepieces allowed ship’s captains to literally and physically carry the time of their departure harbor with them, and therefore calculate the longitude of their location at sea easily without requiring star-gazing, ephemerides, astronomical tables and several hours of navigational calculations.
With this history at hand, the 1740 Half Hunter Tourbillon goes a step further, representing a more radical stylistic interpretation and technical advancement in comparison to the classic historical half- hunter concept; simultaneously it represents a more futuristic development to the first models of the present 1740 collection.
The first visual aspect one notices is the incredibly finely executed, complex decoration of the front face of the watchcase. It has been given a handmade, engine-turned guilloche pattern named Pointe du Risoux that deliberately recalls the patterns of the local Risoux fir tree forest that surrounds the Candaux atelier as seen from the air. Created as a contemporary approach to antique guilloche traditions, this pattern was not only meant to be visually inspirational; it was also deliberately designed to invite the user to sensually engage with its complex surface, adding another level of interaction between the timepiece and its owner. With a subtle and completely contemporary touch, this guilloche patterned front cover has been created in high palladium content 18K white gold. This precious metal is one of David’s favorites due to its subtle glow, and subdued, introverted elegance.
The new 1740 Half Hunter Tourbillon by the independent watchmaker David Candaux represents his contemporary reinterpretation of the classic half-hunter pocketwatch form as it was used in the stressful, active environments found on land and the seven seas. David’s particular inspiration were the forms found on antique captain’s watches, as well as many seafaring instruments such as compasses, wherein the viewing area, partially encased in metal, only allowed port-holes for viewing the required indications. In this manner, the half hunter form provided excellent protection of the dial glass, hands and movement from shocks under extreme conditions, anywhere they might be experienced.
Set into this magnificently adorned front cover of guilloche finished 18K white gold, the timekeeping indications and open view of the tourbillon have been placed under two tiny spherical, convex shaped portholes of specially machined sapphire glass, with the power reserve situated under a small, separate arch of sapphire glass at the top edge of the case front.
The hours and minutes are read on a spherical, convex micro-dial under the rightmost sapphire dome with its two curving hands of hand finished and blued steel that precisely follow the curving dial’s exact form. The fully visible, The fully visible, twice-inclined flying tourbillon is situated under the sapphire dome on the left, providing running seconds via a blued index placed on the edge of the tourbillon cage. The mesmerizing beauty of the fully visible, twice-inclined flying tourbillon is situated under the sapphire dome on the left, providing running seconds via a blued index placed on the edge of the tourbillon cage. The mesmerizing beauty of the fully visible, patented and tilted tourbillon, echoes the display of the three dimensional hours and minutes window. It perfectly and harmoniously balances the symmetry of the front, directly evoking the half hunter timepieces and marine compasses of previous centuries. In addition to these details, the entire front of the 1740 Half Hunter Tourbillon has been gently and almost imperceptibly inclined; standing slightly higher in the case at the 12 o’clock position and lower towards 6 o’clock. This unusually positioned bezel comfortably enhances reading the time, thus providing an optimized field of view for the user. Like the original 1740 model, the 1740 Half Hunter Tourbillon is also fitted at 6 o’clock with the unique retractable crown, for which David Candaux has received two patents.
1740 Half Hunter showcases David’s intimate vision of haute horlogerie. The timepiece is entirely designed and handmade by one of the best watchmakers in Switzerland, with the utmost respect for the tradition of the Vallée de Joux. Sober of appearance, it reinterprets the classical codes through a form design, high-quality materials and fine finishing, all carefully executed with extreme attention to detail.
The 60-seconds flying tourbillon has been designed using a ceramic ball bearing inclined at 3 degrees from the horizontal. Within another construction inside the tourbillon’s grade-5 titanium cage, the balance has been placed in a position with another 30 degrees inclination, hence the name ‘bi-plan’ flying tourbillon.
The result provides a definitive improvement on the standard, horizontally orientated tourbillon construction found in wristwatches today. The original tourbillon design, as used in pocketwatches, was conceived for dealing with the forces of gravity from mainly vertical positions in breast pockets. The situation today is totally different: as used in wristwatches, the tourbillon must adjust to the angles and movements of our contemporary lifestyle and daily life, as experienced on the human wrist and all of its tilted or angular positions – whilst sitting, reading, arms on the desk whilst behind the computer, or walking and running.
David Candaux’s bi-plan flying tourbillon was created in such a way as to ensure a continual change in position of the cage and of the regulating organ in relation to these types of wrist positions people normally use in daily life, thus optimising its capacity to compensate the influence of gravity that could affect chronometric results. Following the best practices possible, the curve of the spiral has been given a Breguet overcoil ending in a Phillips terminal curve, thus optimizing the balance spring’s poise and functionality, with a resultant lower friction on the balance staff in every vertical position. The spiral extremity of the spring is maintained by a stud specially developed for this timepiece in order to guarantee reliable, long-term fixation. Details like these ensure the optimal long-term functioning of the movement and guarantee the quality of chronometric results.
Frequency: 21,600 rotations per hour. Gear wheel, wheels and bridges inclined at 3 degrees in relation to the plate
In order to preserve the harmonious design, there is no visible crown on the 1740.
Chronometry certified, it guarantees a power supply of 55 hours, indicated by a gauge at 12 o’clock, and which camshaft system is being patented