Chaumet Creative Complication Colombes
GPHG 2017 Ladies High-Mech category
For the 2017 GPHG Ladies High-Mech category Chaumet have put forward the Creative Complications Colombes, a very beautiful handless watch, which instead see a pair of revolving and rotating diamond set doves indicate the time, against the backdrop of a cloudy starlit night sky.
For Chaumet, watchmaking is only one aspect of the overall extent of their activities, but as those are principally the manufacture of very high class exotic jewellery, so their watches have been progressively become more sophisticated, and are a regular presence in the GPHG in recent years.
The concept behind this watch is based around the bespoke CP12V-Xii self winding movement, which has been seen here before, back in 2013 on the Attrappe-moi... si tu m'aimes piece which made it through to the same stage at the GPHG in that year. On that occasion, the movement powered a bee and a spider for indicators which faced off on a web effect dial, so on the Creative Complication Colombes, the application is a slight variation of this animation, using the pair of birds instead.
The effect is certainly pleasant, as the dial is a night blue enamel with golden stars and guilloché decoration, and the clouds are overlaid in an opalescent enamel, and the doves play out a charming dance. The finishing is of course exceptional, and overall the watch is elegant and luxurious, and at 41mm it is the largest in the category, but is being pleasant and luxurious sufficient to win over the jury? I'm not convinced that it is.
As this is the High-Mech category, the time only, hours (centre) and minutes (revolving) seem almost basic in comparison to some of the other finalists, and even though the self winding movement has proven to be a versatile mechanical platform for Chaumet to bring to life its creations, there are more complex and equally charming alternatives in competition for the award.
The Watch Press prediction:
No. As delightful as it is, the Chaumet just doesn't have the degree of technical complexity on display elsewhere in the category, and that, I believe, is the key for success on the night.
CASE: White gold
BUCKLE: Folding clasp
MOVEMENT: Self winding mechanical. Power reserve: 36 h, 28'800 vph
FUNCTIONS: Hours, Minutes
SIZE: ø 41 mm
THICKNESS: 14.5 mm
WATERPROOFNESS: 30 m
PRICE EXCL.VAT: CHF 113'000