Artisanal watchmaker, Sylvian Pinaud releases his second watch – called the Origine. Totally conceived, designed, and built in his tiny atelier Ste-Croix.
Press Release information with commentary in italics.
New: Sylvian Pinaud Origine – insider commentary and specifications with price
Retail pricing of the Sylvian Pinaud Origine is set at CHF 65,000 with steel bridges and blue hands and CHF 68,000 with rose gold bridges and rose gold hands.
We haver been excited with Sylvian Pinaud ever since we first saw his Monopoussoir Chronograph presented in 2019. We covered the watch and Sylvian with our release notes. And a comprehensive hands on review here. The quality of the work is top grade. So much, that the Chief Editor had to include it as a bonus in his Top Picks from Baselworld 2019. However, Sylvian has received very little publicity in the early years. This year, perhaps it is set to change. This novelty is nominated for GPHG, and have recently garnered some press interest.
The Monopoussoir Chronograph was priced at CHF 78,000 in a titanium case. Which we felt was a bit on the hefty side (but more of this later in this commentary), especially considering that the base movement is from the humble ETA 649. Though, to be fair, it is totally stripped out, retaining only the gear train. As the 6497 is not a chronograph, Sylvain had to fabricate the entire chronograph works on his own. All the bridges, the mainplate, the winding system and balance wheel which were completely rebuilt and manufactured to fully integrate the chronograph. With traditional finishing.
But this new watch, the Origine is a totally new movement. Conceived and designed by Sylvian from ground up. Read the release attached to understand the design principles, but basically Sylvian started with the dial layout, which is very attractive, and somewhat reminiscent of the Greubel Forsey Signature One or the Balancier Contemporain, though the elements are laid out differently. The quality of the work as we have discovered with his Chronograph during our hands-on session, as well as the high resolution photographs Sylvian sent show a standard of finish which is perhaps at the same level as the venerated works which bear the Greubel Forsey signature. This is high praise indeed, especially for a small independent. To date, Sylvian tells us that the atelier comprise of a three man team.
The layout and design makes this a very attractive watch to our eyes. The asymmetry of the main hour-minute dial and the continuous seconds hand sub-dial is well balanced by the large balance assembly in its magnificently black polished bridge at 6. This is a simple time only watch, but it does exude class and sophistication. Almost all the work is done in-house. Including the gear train and escapement. The movement parts are also made in the atelier with milling and turning performed on traditional machinery. The barrel and spring, screws, jewels and hairspring are outsourced. The case and dial is made by Comblémine. Sylvian tells us that he hopes to be able make 10 Origine watches a year.
While we had felt that the CHF 78k for the chronograph was on the high side in our 2019 review, we admit that we may have perhaps been wrong. And thus have recalibrated our sights (and wallets). Currently, we feel that the asking price for the Pinaud Chronograph is perhaps quite a representative good value. For example, in comparison to the Grönefeld’s new Grönograph, which is a ground up design by Andreas Strehler for the Grönefeld brothers, retail for more than double. And this level of pricing has attracted orders that have exceeded production capacity. Orders for the stainless steel version is now temporarily halted and the tantalum version is sold out in almost immediately after release. We hope to photograph one for a hands on review soon.
Also, the aforementioned Greubel Forseys are also pitched at price points far exceeding the Pinaud Origine’s asking price. So with this view, the CHF 65k that Sylvian seeks for his Origine seems to place it in a good spot. Especially as Sylvian is gaining recognition this year. The Origine is a nominee for the Men’s Watch category. It will be no secret that the Origine will get my vote as a member of the Academy. And if he wins, fame and hopefully fortune will come his way soon.
Of the two versions offered, we feel that perhaps we might have a slight preference for the rose gold version as it has some colour to the dial side which hints at a bit of romance. Having said that we do have a soft spot for monochromatic watches, and the one with the steel bridges and blue hands is more technical looking.
ORIGINE OF SYLVAIN PINAUD
Son of a french watchmaker and having spent a lot of time on his workbench since childhood, I first discovered the fascinating profession of watchmaker by his side. Captivated by his work and convinced that it was for me a vocation; it is naturally that I joined the watchmaking school of Morteau.
Once graduated in 1998, it followed years of practice in discrete restoration workshops or large watchmaking factories that allowed me to forge a solid experience working on complications and prototyping.
In 2018, I set up my workshop in the small town of Ste-Croix, And dedicate all my time to the realization of high-end watches. To satisfy my quest for a qualitative and practical handcrafted watchmaking in accordance with my values. At the crossroads of art and science.
I started my independent career with the realization of a monopusher chronograph, Presented in 2018 and which allowed me to be laureate of the competition, Meilleur ouvrier de France the same year.
This realization allowed me to master the design and manufacturing in my workshop. Using conventional machines, such as lathes and milling machines.
A meticulous work, requiring creativity, rigor and patience.
After 3 years of creation and development, I present you today the Origin. A three- hand watch that I wanted to be elegant and timeless.
The first thing I designed was the face of the watch. I created a horizontal dial layout with a little asymmetry, and a large chronometric balance at six.
I then had to work extensively on the proportions and the mechanism so that it would be harmonious and the original intention would be preserved.
I attach great importance to the design, because I believe that watchmaking can only be an art, and my goal is to achieve an art of quality and dedication without compromise.
In line, I hope, with the most beautiful achievements of the science of horology.
The primary intention is to create a delicate harmony. The graphic composition of the entire piece is highligthed by the unique asymmetric layout of the dial. That shares the spotlight with the regulator elegantly placed at the front. This original solution creates an animated scene that is an irresistible invitation to explore the movement.
The silvered dial, of a rare complexity, plays on contrasts and extraordinary finishing to offer perfect readability. Particular care has been taken in the design of the hand-finished hands, which immediately and accurately indicate the time.
The dial is emphasized by its polished steel cartouche, which accentuates the depth and contrast.
The unique composition of colors and finishes creates a spectacular visual dynamic, giving prominence to the large balance wheel, highlighted by finely polished bridges whose match the hands.
The watch is available in two versions, one with the balance and escapement bridges in steel, which is combined with flame-blued steel hands.
And another version with bridges in pink gold, with hands in the same noble material.
At the crossroads of art and science.
This creation is also distinguished by its elegant neoclassical simplicity. The overall aesthetic is very refined and pays tribute to the craftsmanship and finesse of each component.
Each elements of the watch harmonizes with the round lines of the case and the gracefully arched lugs embody classic elegance, and provide great comfort on all wrists.
I wanted to create an elegant watch that could be worn every day.
The construction of the movement has been carried out without compromise in terms of reliability and chronometry. The design and manufacture of the components are made to ensure a long life and guarantee an irreproachable precision, for centuries.
From the beginning I wanted a large free sprung balance wheel, coupled with its Phillips balance-spring, which allows for precision adjustment and beating at 21600 V.P.H. Combined with a mainspring that delivers an important torque, the movement offers stable timekeeping, over a long power reserve of 55H.
The Swiss lever escapement has also been developed in-house to guarantee a perfect operation in the original architecture of the movement.
When the crown is pulled, the hacking lever which stops the balance wheel allows precise time setting by the robust and convenient keyless works.
Only traditional materials in their simplest treatment are used in this movement.
The main plate and bridges are made of German silver. And to put them in the spotlight, the bridges of the regulating organ are made of finely polished gold.
From the outset, I had in mind to make with the origine a watch for the most discerning collectors. It was therefore imperative that the movement be at the height of a timepiece of this level and in line with the requirements of purists.
The exceptional level of decoration is naturally applied to all parts of the movement, which are finished and worked at length by hand according to the highest standards.
This is why I have inscribed the words “Hand made” on the dial.
The bridges are grained or black polished and bevelled with inward angles. The wheels feature « cerclage » or « soleillage » and bevelled arms. All countersinks for jewels and screws are polished.
Sylvian Pinaud Origine Technical Specifications
– Hand wound mechanical movement – Frequency : 21’600 v.p.h.
– 22 Jewels
– 55 hour power reserve
– Movement Size : 33,8mm X 6,9mm
Balance and escapment
– In house escapement and balance wheel with variable inertia – Balance diameter 13.2 mm with Phillips spiral
– In house swiss lever escapment
– Stainless steel 316 L
– Diameter 40mm X 11 mm thick ( glass include ) – Sapphire crystal glass with anti reflect + anti UV
– 30 meters ( 3 ATM )