Saturday, March 11, 2017

Fabergé Visionnaire Chronograph

Following the tremendous success of the award winning Visionary DTZ timepiece, Faberge brings a powerful new addition to its high technical watch line. Before exploring the aesthetics and technical details of Fabergé Visionnaire Chronograph, which is to be unveiled at Baselworld 2017, I would like to bring your attention to some major events associated with the House of Fabergé, especially those happened in 1917.

Politically, the year 1917 was a great milestone in the history of modern world as it witnessed the Russian revolution, which dismantled the Tsarist autocracy and led to the eventual rise of the Soviet Union. The year 1917 is also dear to Fabergé as it was the year for Peter Carl Fabergé, the artistic jeweller of St Petersburg to finish the commissioning of fifty two imperial Easter eggs for royal family of Romanov. The project was started in 1885. Exuberant showcases of skilled decorative techniques, these eggs featured intricate gem-setting, hand-turned guilloche works and grand-feu enamelling. However one of these fifty two eggs was never completed.

The Tsarevich Constellation Egg was to be presented to the Tsarina Alexandra for Easter 1917 featuring the constellation of Leo to signify the starts under which the Tsarevich Alexei, and their apparent to throne, was born in 1904. Shortly before the Constellation egg could be completed, the February Revolution of 1917 broke out. Tsar Nicholas II abdicated, the imperial regime fell, the Fabergé family went into exile and the Constellation egg vanished.

Francois Birbaum, Faberge's Chief designer from 1895 to 1917, in a letter to Eugene Fabergé, described the egg as being of blue glass, on a cloud shaped pedestal of opaque rock crystal. The component parts of the unfinished Constellation Egg - the cloud of rock crystal and two empty halves of a blue glass egg engraved with constellations were found in a storeroom in the Fersman Mineralogical Museum in Moscow. Neither the clock mechanism which was to be housed within the Constellation Egg, nor the concentric outer ring which would have indicated the time, have ever been found.

In 2017, after 100 years, Fabergé pays tribute the unfinished Constellation Egg by unveiling the Visionnaire Chronograph. It took 3 years to design and develop this timepiece and work on its complex mechanical movement was already commenced a decade ago.
The Visionnaire chronograph is powered by the automatic calibre 6361. Thanks to this revolutionary new movement by Agenhor, the Visionnaire chronograph transforms the standards of chronographic precision and legibility. This modern day micro mechanical marvel evokes the outer time telling disc of the unfinished Constellation Egg, as well as the rotating rings found around certain stars and planets, by displaying prevailing time on the periphery of the watch dial while the chronograph function featuring three hands on a single, shared spindle takes centre stage. This concentric arrangement, in which prevailing time wholly surrounds a chronograph mounted on a single spindle, is a world first, made possible by the innovative Agenhor 6361 calibre which creates space at the centre of the movement so that it can house complication modules.
Realised by the Geneva based movement specialist, this new chronograph movement is the fourth complication arising from the collaboration between Faberge and the legendary master watchmaker Jean-Mark Wiederrecht, and his team of horological experts.

The indications of the Visionnaire chronograph are displayed centrally, with concentric counters. The outermost chapter ring and minuterie are for time telling, traversed by luminous markers that appear to hover over the dial with no central attachment point. A dedicated central dial is reserved for the chronograph display, with its three co-axial hands. The unique construction of the calibre 6361 has enabled the watchmaker to set a chronograph module within an annular base movement. As a result, the is remarkably easy to read in contrast to conventional chronographs where the seconds, minutes and hours are each displayed at different places on the dial.
Taking inspiration from DTZ timepiece, the rotor of the Visionnaire chronograph is visible under the sapphire crystal ring that forms the outer most part of the dial. As the rotor spins and winds the watch, the radial lines on its surface subtly catch the light, adding a constant dynamism and motion in keeping with a sports complication. To mark the 100th anniversary of the last Imperial Easter Egg commissioned, the Faberge Visionnaire chronograph features a laser-cut etching of the 1917 Constellation Egg on the sapphire crystal caseback, visible only under certain light conditions.
The oblong chronograph pushers are positioned at 10'o clock and 2'o clock, intelligently positioned for comfortable use on the wrist or in the hand. The case diameter of 43mm enhances the authority of the Visionnaire chronograph on the wrist while the ergonomic, integrated strap attachment maintains the modern, compact profile of the Visionnaire design. The Visionnaire chronograph will launch in two versions, both featuring case accents in titanium. Those who prefer a more classic aesthetic can opt for the rose gold case with grey opaline dial, while those in favour of a stronger look may prefer the black ceramic case with black dial.

Technical details
Movement
Self winding 6361
Diameter: 34.40mm (15 lines)
Jewels: 67
Number of components: 477
Power reserve: 60 hours
Frequency: 21,600 vibrations/hour (3Hz)
Decorations: Main plate circular grained, Bridges Cotes de Genève, hand polished chamfering

Functions
Hours, minutes, chronograph

Visionnaire chronograph Rose Gold

Case
18 carat rose gold and titanium case
Diameter: 43mm
Domed sapphire crystal and caseback with single sided antireflective treatment
Laser cut Faberge constellation Egg on the sapphire caseback
18 carat rose gold and rubber crown
18 carat rose gold pushers
Water resistance: 50 meters

Dial
Inner bezel: Opaline dial with TCI luminescent coating 15 minute indicators
Sapphire with grey metallic treatment on the external parts and applied numerals and hour indicators
Opaline decorative part applied on the rotor
Chronograph section: Opaline with grey printed indicators

Hands
Hours and Minute: Glided brass with TCI luminescent coating
Chronograph: Glided aluminium with red print

Strap
Alligator strap
18 carat rose gold and titanium Fabergé folding clasp

Visionnaire chronograph Ceramic

Case
Black DLC treated ceramic and dark grey DLC treated titanium case
Diameter: 43mm
Domed sapphire crystal and caseback with single sided antireflective treatment
Laser cut Faberge constellation Egg on the sapphire caseback
Dark grey DLC treated titanium and rubber crown
dark grey DLC treated titanium pushers
Water resistance: 50 meters

Dial
Inner bezel: Black dial with TCI luminescent coating 15 minute indicators
Sapphire with grey metallic treatment on the external parts and applied numerals and hour indicators
Black Opaline decorative part applied on the rotor
Chronograph section: Black Opaline with silvered printed indicators

Hands
Hours and Minute: Glided brass with TCI luminescent coating
Chronograph: Glided aluminium with red print

Strap
Alligator strap
Black DLC treated ceramic and dark grey DLC treated titanium Fabergé folding clasp

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