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More news on Dominique Renaud’s new watch: the DR01 TWELVE FIRST

Further information on the new DR01 with its blade oscillator. Press pics within.
by Peter Chong on March 2, 2016

As we get more informaiton on the new Dominique Renaud DR01 TWELVE FIRST, we will be updating you. This is a new watch by Dominique, with a ground breaking new escapement. First news was brought to you by us here. And this is the second major installment. 

 

So far, we only have computer renderings of the new watch. In this article we will show what has been revealed to us so far, and will continue to bring you the breaking news. Next installment is to be scheduled for March 9.

 

The Dominique Renaud DR01 TWELVE FIRST

 

The Dominique Renaud DR01 TWELVE FIRST.

The Dominique Renaud DR01 TWELVE FIRST.

 

The Souscription Model

The model for the twelve watches which will form this first model release will be by the old style Souscription model. This model is common in the days of A.L. Breguet and helped the watchmaker with funds to start building the watch. For the Dominique Renaud DR01, this is part of Dominique’s vision to involve the enthusiasts in the spirit of creating the watch together. With active participation as each piece can be customized to the collector, and can be considered piece unique. The participating collector will be considered a Dominique Renaud ambassador.

 

The movement: groundbreaking, game changing new escapement

From the advance material we have received, the movement consists of an assembly of cylindrical elements suspended in the center of a 360 degree sapphire crystal capsule. The watch is unlike anything we have ever seen…perhaps only hints of it from the Parmigiani Bugatti Super Sport or Parmigiani’s earlier Bugatti 360 (link goes to the latest iteration of the 360) which also features a 3D like movement in a cylindrical capsule. But the DR01’s movement appears to be truly in 3D, with some of the wheels placed perpendicular to the other.

The capsule is secured by an arch shaped form…the case so to speak, and the collector can chose the material this arch form is to be made. The computer renditions below show two suggestions from Dominique – one done in sapphire, and the other in what appears to be either black DLC steel/titanium or ceramic.

 

©DRSA DR01 TWELVE FIRST BLADE SAPPHIRE

 

©DRSA DR01 TWELVE FIRST RED DIAL

 

The innovation appears to be the new oscillator, which is in the form of a blade.

 

The new blade oscillator.

The new blade oscillator.

 

The blade rests on jewels, and from what little information has been conveyed, it is self tensioned, and flexes in a tiny amplitude (saves energy) but high frequency, and near perfect consistency (good beat rate)

The blade rests on jewels, and from what little information has been conveyed, it is self tensioned, and flexes in a tiny amplitude (saves energy) but high frequency, and near perfect consistency (good beat rate)

 

The blade resonator seems completely new in this execution, though perhaps we first saw glimpses of this developing in the Girard Perregaux Constant Escapement, and in the Ulysse Nardin Anchor Tourbillon. But the DR01 seems to have taken the similar concept of a blade which is self tensioned, and flexing at a consistent rate to another level. Both the GP and the UN feature quasi-traditional balance wheels as the oscillator, but uses the blade concept to act as a constant force power supply. The DR01 seems (we need to confirm this, but from the material we have at our disposal, we are fairly sure of this) to have dispensed with the traditional Swiss Anchor escapement, and replaced it with the Blade Resonator. This is groundbreaking.

The oscillator is touted by Dominique to be high frequency, low friction and allows for an experimental type “lost beat” détente escapement. Accuracy and beat consistency is claimed to be unprecedented optimal accuracy.

The seconds wheel, which can be seen on the image below this paragraph is what Dominique calls “True” seconds, which to us implies a directly driven seconds morte.

 

The movement is very 3D, with gear train going perpendicular to each other, in contrast to a traditional mechanical movement's gear train which is in a single plane.

The movement is very 3D, with gear train going perpendicular to each other, in contrast to a traditional mechanical movement’s gear train which is in a single plane.

 

From the back, it looks intriguing as well.

From the back, it looks intriguing as well.

 

Further thoughts

If this was a watch by any other watchmaker, other than a known “god” which is Dominique Renaud, we would have dismissed it completely. Especially the weak communication releases with little information, incomprehensible teaser images. Even today’s release comprise of only a bit more technical information and computer renderings you see here, suggesting that a working prototype may not exist. But this is Dominique Renaud, and we know his genius, so we followed along.

We have still not seen anything concrete on the workings of this watch. No prototype photographs yet. And the technical information is scant. We wait for March 9 for further information with bated breath.

BTW, the hints we got on the price, which we will not reveal for fear or promoting a rumor, is jaw dropping! We leave you to interpret that.

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