This is one of those watches that I never considered at first but once discovered... I must admit it is causing me to loose some sleep lately for two different reasons. The first is that I love the back, the second is that I hate the front. Please take time to look at the pictures of the different movements I am including here. Simply breathtaking. Not only the astonishing finish but the whole architecture and design of the movement. Spectacular. The crown is on the back (one of my favorite features) and on top of that the proportions are just close to heaven. These being 41 millimeters wide and 11.3 millimeters thick. It simply fits most wrists from small-medium to large. The case is of classic conception but has some more modern accents. What a beauty. I am speechless.
Now, once I turn the watch and look at the front I just cry in despair. Awful. (Incidentally, I hope nobody at RG is actually reading this... actually if you are, please skip this chapter and go to the next) I just can't get to understand how this can come to be. Is it just me? I know that I am heavily biased against off-centered dials. However, this one is even worse since it is completely off-balance with nothing south on the dial to compensate. Even the design of the dial says absolutely nothing. Blend and boring... only barely elegant. My question to anybody that waste time reading this blog; Do you like the dial? Please be honest. I am trying to convince myself to get one of these works of art, pretty much like I try to convince myself that the Mona Lisa is actually a beautiful woman. After all these years she still looks to me like a flat-chested chubby woman without eyebrows. As far as art is concerned I was always more impressed by Goya's interpretation of "Saturn devouring one of his sons" than with the "Gioconda", connotations aside. Could this be the same here, could I be the "uneducated insensitive to art caveman" that my wife has been telling me for years? Hmmm, possibly...
The finish of the movement is really something to be very impressed about. One of the most difficult things to produce in handmade movements are sharp angles on bridges and baseplates. There are basically two kinds; outward angle and inward angle. The second of these two being the hardest one. When looking at a movement the way to immediately see if it's handmade is to look for these sharp angles. To date these can only be made by hand. No machine, no mater how expensive, can properly execute such angles. Now, until now I have not seen anybody, I mean anybody, make such a deep inward "anglage" like the guys at Romain Gauthier. By that I include any of the big guns like Lange, AP, L.U.C., Vacheron or Patek. These guys are in fact light years away from such finishes. Yes, these finishes are even above those of Voutilainen, Philippe Dufour and could even challenge the ever magnificent reign of Greubel Forsey. Look at this, judge, sit back and enjoy.
The only thing I am certain of is if Romain Gaultier were indeed one day to center its minutes and hours I would be looking for my piggy bank (life savings) like Jack Nicholson was looking, axe in hand, for his wife in the "Shining".