On April 26th, a new brand emerges. Announcing the Chopin Op. 10 No. 12 timepiece. The brand was unveiled at the Fryderyk Chopin Museum in Warsaw. This a new brand, with a mission to combine the great composer’s legacy to contemporary watchmaking and design. The leitmotif of the Chopin brand’s first model is Étude in C minor Op. 10 No. 12, otherwise known as Chopin’s Revolutionary Étude.
Chopin Op. 10 No. 12
Their main wish was for their very first model, Chopin Op. 10 No. 12, to combine the best of both the composer’s genius and contemporary horological design. The watch hands have been oxidized to attain their blue hue and designed to mimic styles popular during Chopin’s time.
The timepiece’s indices are placed on a multilevel stave, with numerical indices at 10 and 12 o’clock being a reference and a tribute to Chopin’s famous piano work.
The left side of the watch face features a power reserve indicator that resembles a piano keyboard. Another element that uniquely captures Chopin’s spirit is a rim of brilliant red – made from precious stone, carnelian – which surrounds the sub dial located at 6 o’clock. This volcanic stone’s deep, red color is not only a direct reference to both the 19th century November Uprising in Poland and Chopin’s incredible sensitivity, but also symbolizes the composer’s heart, which was embedded in a pillar at the Holy Cross Church in Warsaw on the 96th anniversary of his death.
96 is also the total number of hours of the watch’s power reserve. The most important dates from the composer’s life are engraved on one of the movement’s two barrels, while multiple references to his artistic achievements are included on the dial.
The watch movement also features an engravement of an excerpt from Chopin’s manuscript, in which the renowned composer gave voice to his frustrations after learning of the Uprising’s failure.
There is one more element that makes the Chopin Op. 10 No. 12 so unique. The brand’s partners at Schwarz Etienne developed a method of coloring the balance wheel a deep, red color – another representation of the very essence of Chopin’s heart. Manufacturing the balance wheel, what is commonly referred as the “heart” of any timepiece, requires a great deal of precision and care, as even the slightest miscalculation can disrupt the mechanism and, consequently, the watch in its entirety. The red balance wheel is a distinguishing feature of Chopin brand watches.
“Fryderyk Chopin’s work is one of the greatest treasures of Polish culture. For us, this watch, dedicated to one of the most world-renowned artists, is a source of great pride. In a way, creating this timepiece was a nostalgic journey to the present. The exclusive Chopin Op. 10 No. 12, with production limited to just 56 pieces per year, represents the very essence of elegance. We believe that our watch will appeal to true art connoisseurs and those with a special place in their heart for classical music both in Poland and abroad”Michał Dunin, CEO of Błonie, the company responsible for establishing the Chopin brand.
“Time is the best censor, and patience the most perfect of teachers” – these words by Fryderyk Chopin inspired Antoine Tschumi, the founder and artistic director of world-renowned Swiss design studio NeoDesis, in creating his design concept for the Chopin watch. As a brilliant pianist and genius composer, Chopin was surely aware that designing and creating timeless works of art requires a great deal of patience and humility.
The brand’s owners sought cooperation with prestigious independent Swiss watch manufacturer Schwarz Etienne, an over 100-year-old, family-owned company with a reputation of being one of the very best in the watchmaking industry. As a valued partner, Schwarz Etienne is responsible for the manufacturing and quality control processes involved in the creation of Chopin brand watches.
Chopin Op. 10 No. 12 was created under the guidance of the Fryderyk Chopin Institute and annual production of the Chopin brand’s watches is limited to 56 pieces, making it a real catch for horology connoisseurs and collectors. The number of watches manufactured annually by the Chopin brand can only be changed with consent from Poland’s Minister of Culture and National Heritage. Poland-based watch manufacturer Błonie is the company behind the establishment of the new Chopin brand.
Chopin Op. 10 No. 12 can be purchased via a dedicated website: www.chopinwatches.com or through selected partners. Its retail price has been set at 14 500 CHF (12 750 EUR).
We have requested Chopin sends us a review sample to do a detailed review. Stay tuned.