Watchscapes: Dufour Duality – the ultimate one watch to rule them all

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The Philippe Dufour Duality…ultimate in discreteness, and totally unassuming in character, but what a gorgeous, and ultra-complicated movement within.

Nothing unusual from the dial side, but connoiseurs will know from the off-centered subseconds hand at 8 o’clock…an unusual arrangement, promises something interesting.

The movement…viola! as this is a watch which is worn and used by a collector friend, I left the watch condition as is. It may seem alarming that a regularly used watch seems dusty and dirty, but this is absolutely normal. A little cleaning with some compressed air, and a wipe with a microfibre cloth will eliminate these traces of use except for the hairline scratches (which can be cloned out during post production), but I feel this is unnecessary, as I wanted to show the character of a well loved, and well used watch.

Closeup showing the dual escapement, with the differential mechanism hidden under the plate.

Focussing on one of the escapements. Note also the 2 sharp horns on the movement plate, typical of Dufour’s work, and beautifully executed. Normally I would have uses a focus stacking technique to shoot such a beautiful movement to provide greater depth of field. But I neglected to ask the owner not to wind his watch, and as a result, the watch was running when I had it for the shoot. As the escapements were in motion, I could not use stacking to increase the depth of field.

Note that this very small depth of field is characteristic of macro photography. This was shot with the Hasselblad HC4/120 Macro, a specialist lens for macro, focussing on its own to provide a 1:1 image on the sensor. However, I elected to increase the magnification to 1.94X by using both my extension tubes – 58mm+28mm for a total of 78mm extension. This reduces the depth of field even more. Coupled with the smaller depth of field of the larger format sensor compared to a standard DSLR, macro photography at this magnification level is extremely challenging and requires precision and great stability in camera and good lighting.



  1. This is such a beautiful watch. Dufour is truly a master of finishing. I have never fully understood the concept of two balances. Is there a link to a technical description of how this watch works?