Watches: Pierre DeRoche TNT Royal Retro 43 Bonnie & Clyde
By Thierry Ané on March 3, 2015
An important reason why the watch industry fascinates me so much is that despite the presence of large groups with standardized products taking up most of the window space of multi-brand retailers, there is always room for small independent brands exercising their creativity at all levels of the price range.
With exclusive modules developed by renowned manufacturer Dubois Dépraz, original complications and a strong visual identity, Pierre DeRoche is such a brand. With a lot of passion for traditional watchmaking and determination to stand out from the crowd, Pierre and Carole Dubois are building an exciting collection of fine timepieces one creation at a time for watch aficionados who are not afraid to tread off the beaten track and display their individuality on the wrist.
A model that summarises their vision of watchmaking and has become a spearhead of their brand is the TNT Royal Retro introduced in 2009. In a complex 47.50 x 14.00 mm case made of black titanium case bands, titanium bezel and stainless steel lugs, crown guards and screw-down crown, beats an exclusive self-winding calibre featuring six retrograde seconds hands offering a constant show on the open-worked dial.
The uncluttered view of the central bridge, six retrograde seconds ratchets and intricate gear system as well as the variety of finishing makes this model absolutely mesmerising. On a personal note, I added this model to my collection when it was first released in 2009 and can attest that it has retained all its appeal: I am always very happy to take it out of my safe for a day on the wrist!
The “TNT” collection has hugely expanded since then to include other equally exciting complications like the TNT Penta with a large date and flyback chronograph, the TNT Rendez-Vous and its acoustic appointment/date reminder, or else the TNT Royal Retro Power Reserve featuring the namesake complication in addition to 4 retrograde seconds hands.
It is the original TNT Royal Retro, however, that has been most re-interpreted over the years including a stunning TNT Royal Retro Sapphire version using crystal bridges for more transparency and the TNT Royal Retro 43 with a smaller 43.00 mm case for those slightly intimidated by the generous proportions of the original TNT Royal Retro!
This year again, Pierre and Carole Dubois are inspired by their iconic model and will officially unveil the TNT Royal Retro 43 Bonnie & Clyde versions during Baselworld 2015. These beautiful renditions, limited to 101 pieces each, play the “her & him” card while retaining the visual markers that have made the success of this line.
The 43.00 mm case still relies on a sandwich construction with alternating black PVD titanium and stainless steel parts but with a new bezel crafted in itr²®. This hypoallergenic material created from carbon nanotubes is transparent in its original state. It has been charged with ceramic particles on the TNT Royal Retro 43 Bonnie to put on a white colour and with carbon particles on the TNT Royal Retro 43 Clyde to end up black.
In order to highlight the presence of this high-tech material, both models play with the black and white contrast. First of all for the alligator straps (white with black stitches for Bonnie and black with blue stitches for Clyde) but also on the finishing of the open-worked dial. Indeed, the central bridge and the minute ring of the TNT Royal Retro 43 Bonnie have received a white galvanic bath treatment to stand out on the black mainplate. The colours are obviously reversed on the TNT Royal Retro 43 Clyde. If both cases, though, this contrast works beautifully with the blued hours and minutes hands with white Super-LumiNova, six blued seconds hands with red tips and gilded gears.
For more information please visit the Pierre DeRoche web site.
For a technical description of the timepieces and additional pictures:
Additional timepieces mentioned in this article:
Pierre DeRoche TNT Penta Titanium and Pink Gold
Pierre DeRoche TNT Rendez-Vous Titanium and Steel
Pierre DeRoche TNT Royal Retro 43 Titanium and Steel
Pierre DeRoche TNT Royal Retro Power Reserve Titanium and Steel
Pierre DeRoche TNT Royal Retro Sapphire Pink Gold and Titanium
Pierre DeRoche TNT Royal Retro Titanium and Steel