Watches: A. Favre & Fils Phoenix 10.3 Twin Regulator with Differential Gear (+live pics)
By Thierry Ané on February 24, 2015
During our trip to Switzerland for the Geneva Week and SIHH we stopped at the pop-up Watches Art Gallery that gathered some extremely interesting independent brands in a very nice space at the heart of Geneva.
We already talked about this exciting initiative in my recent article about Louis Moinet’s 20-Second Tempograph CollectionWatches: Louis Moinet 20-Second Tempograph Collection (+live pics). Another brand that I was excited to see there was A. Favre & Fils as I had not met with Laurent Favre since Baselworld 2014.
If you don’t have an encyclopaedic knowledge of the world of Fine Watchmaking, it is possible you have never heard of this brand before. However, let me tell you, that Laurent Favre is not really a newcomer to the horological circles: he is actually the tenth generation of the Favre watchmakers! It is this heritage passed on for almost three centuries by his ancestors that are at the very heart of the brand he founded when, after years of experience in the watchmaking industry, he finally designed his first timepiece.
The Phoenix 10.1 Quantième à Grand Affichage Rotatif
Called the “Phoenix 10.1 Quantième à Grand Affichage Rotatif” and available in pink gold or white gold, this extremely pure model offers the most essential information a watch can display: the time of the day with three central hands, power reserve indicator on the back and an original and patented large date indication through a system reducing the number of necessary moving parts to a minimum as a way of increasing the reliability.
With a power reserve of up to 84 hours thanks to its twin-barrel construction, the in-house DB 1334/1 Henry calibre that powers this elegant model combines the best technology available with some exquisitely refined traditional finishing and decoration visible through the sapphire back.
In 2011, immediately after the release of this introductory timepiece, Laurent Favre also presented the “Phoenix 10.2 Pure”, again in pink gold or white gold. Based on the same calibre, this creation was merely a simplified version of the “Phoenix 10.1 Quantième à Grand Affichage Rotatif” without the original date display.
As I really appreciated the watchmaking expertise that went into the production of these timepieces and the general aesthetic of these watches, I was really sad that the brand had not released anything else over the past four years. I was therefore overjoyed when I discovered in January that Laurent Favre had finally come up with his third model: the Phoenix 10.3 Twin Regulator with Differential Gear!
Although the Phoenix 10.3 is housed in a 41 mm case with the same sober shape as the Phoenix 10.1 and Phoenix 10.2, design-wise similarities truly end there. To mark the departure from the classical influence of previous models, the new watch is crafted in titanium with a nice balance of brushed and polished surfaces to create an utterly modern case that remains timeless and elegant.
The minimalist circular-brushed slate grey dial of the initial two models has also been replaced by a resolutely more technical look: an open-worked face with a symmetric construction inspired by the angular geometry of Art-Deco. It is the perfect way of showcasing the main innovation of the watch: the presence of two oscillators that mutually compensate and harmonise each other!
Indeed, two regulating organs are linked by a differential gear that also acts as a small seconds in an effort to increase the chronometric performance of the calibre. Perfectly visible on the dial side, this sophisticated device also gives this watch its unique character and graphic identity. On a beautiful play with contrasts, the back of the movement boasts a contrasting asymmetric construction and the outstanding finishing and decoration that have become a trademark of this brand.
Interestingly, the design of the Phoenix 10.3 Twin Regulator with Differential Gear is ideal for customisation and Laurent Favre has already imagined several renditions for this open-worked face. One model features a cut-out rhodium-coloured hour chapter to create an extremely industrial-looking piece with a uniformity of colours, while another version introduces contrast through a sapphire hour chapter with blue-coloured numerals. Both versions are extremely appealing and given the creativity of the brand’s owner, we can expect other equally successful renditions in the near future.
The Phoenix 10.3 Twin Regulator with Differential Gear is undoubtedly a great timepiece both technically and aesthetically and the CHF 100,000 price tag will also ensure it remains an exclusive one…
For more information please visit the A. Favre & Fils web site.