D. Candaux 1740 - The First 8

D. Candaux 1740 - The First 8

2017 GPHG Tourbillon & Escapement Category Finalist

Ethereal and otherworldly in its design, sophisticated and inventive in its complexity, the 1740 - The First 8 by independent master David Candaux is an exceptional horological achievement of unique and breathtaking beauty.

In a category where the use of superlatives is de rigeur when discussing them, to stand out among the six pre-selected finalists for the 2017 GPHG Tourbillon and Escapement award would take something special, and this extraordinary hand made piece surely is just that. From every perspective it is innovative and unconventional, with its pop-out secret crown allowing pure and flowing contours, its ergonomically inclined dial, through to the design and execution of a hand winding masterpiece within.

On a salmon background the enamelled micro dial on the right displays the time, while next to it the blued titanium tourbillon cage, which rotates offset from its pivot by 30°, serves notice of the technical sophistication elsewhere. To accommodate the vertical axis of the secret crown, the bridges and gear wheels are inclined at 3° in a cascading arrangement, which is visible through the caseback, which also shows off the stunning Côtes de Solliat ribbing, and that's not all either because the big blued seconds hand is coupled with a five-second remontoir constant force device, which stores and regulates the energy from the barrels. Remarkable.


It's something to remember that when this same process was going on this time last year, David Candaux was burning the midnight oil working on his own debut watch. To find the 1740 - The First 8 here now, contending for outright category glory, just twelve months later is quite some way to make an entrance, but is being a GPHG finalist as far as it goes this year?

With the brothers Grönefeld winning in 2014 with their Parallax Tourbillon, there's no doubt that the indies can triumph, so that will not be a problem. It's the competition for this jealously cherished Aiguille award that's the problem, and it might even be in the form of fellow independent Beat Haldiman who is also pretty handy with a tourbillon too.

Will it be a dream debut?

The Watch Press prediction

I'm going to say yes. And that's because I think it should. I'm not overly familiar with the man or his brand, other than what I've learned on his website, and so there's no personal favouritism, but every so often a watch appears and it just gets your attention time and again, and the 1740 - The First 8 is one of those in 2017.

The pertinents

CASE: Steel
BUCKLE: Pin buckle
MOVEMENT: Manual winding mechanical. Power reserve: 72 h, 21'600 vph
FUNCTIONS: Hours, Minutes, Seconds, Power reserve, Tourbillon
SIZE: ø 43 mm
THICKNESS: 12.65 mm