New variant: Petermann Bédat 1967 Second Series – live pics

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Petermann Bédat releases a second series to their seconde morte 1967 model with the new model in titanium case and a magnificent blue dial they call Blue No17. We go hands on and present these live photographs.

It is no secret that we have been enthralled by the Petermann Bédat seconde morte watches ever since we first saw them at their pre-launch stage. The prototype had a dial which many people might have been kind to describe as a disaster, even though at that time, we were already very impressed by Gaël Petermann and Florian Bédat, the two young chaps working on the watches. And they have come a long way from those heady early days. They hired a dial designer, and engaged Kari Voutilainen’s Comblémine to manufacture the actual client delivered watches, while keeping to their own (impossibly) high standards in the movement finishing.

The first series of 20 watches (10 in RG and 10 in WG) are now sold out. So to continue, they are introducing a second series in titanium, using the same (amazing and magnificent) movement. Here are our coverage of this small independent so far:

The new model, called the 1967 Second Series, will have a titanium case and a titanium dial which is anodized in a bright blue.

New with live photographs and hands-on: Petermann Bédat 1967 – the Second Series

Retail price of the new 1967 Second Series at SGD 110,000 inclusive of GST / CHF 69,800 ex-VAT, and is a limited edition of 25 pieces.

The brilliant blue dial is made in titanium, and anodized. The center medallion and chapter ring are in this brilliant blue, which Petermann Bédat calls No 17 Blue.

The immediate reaction when we were handed the prototype watch was, “Wow! Bright blue!”. And indeed this was the intent of Gaël Petermann and Florian Bédat. In a recent WhatsApp chat, Gaël told us that this had been their intent from the first day they founded the company – to do a bright blue dial. They manage to coerce the fine folks at Comblémine to do a titanium dial, anodized to the bright blue, a colour which they call Blue No17. We say coerce, because making the dial in titanium is a lot harder than a standard brass, gold or silver. For example, it is estimated that the hand beveling on the dial edges take twice the time, and considerably more skill. As a note, Comblémine also made the dials for the client release units of the first series.

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Side note: In our WhatsApp discussion with Gaël, we were told that the model name of the watch is the Petermann Bédat 1967, and Chapter 1 was a description of their first work. Many journalists, ourselves included, thought that it was part of the model name. We have corrected this, and from now on, the watch in question – the seconde morte will be known as the Petermann Bédat 1967. The first series was 20 units in RG and WG, and now the second series of 25 units in titanium.

As we said in our review of the RG and WG versions of the watch, the dial design is certainly a huge step up from the rather bland prototype. The dial now speaks. And her voice is loud and beautiful. The design calls for a semi-open dial which showcases the craftsmanship of the duo. It features a centerpiece in the brilliant blue, surrounded by a chapter ring for the minute railroad, also in brilliant blue. The space between is thus a donut shaped sapphire glass cover which makes the movement visible. The glass bears the printed hour markers – Arabic numerals for the 3/6/9/12, and bars for the others. Through the glass, we can see the rubies in their chamfered openings, including one at 10 o’clock held by a black polished steel chaton secured by two screws. Also visible is the beautifully finished keyless works, and the back plate with its straight grained finish. The elegant lancet styled hands finish the look complete with the long, sleek seconds hand which makes a discrete jump every second.

The immediate impression on picking out the watch is its very light weight, a testament to the grade 5 titanium case. The case design and shape remains the same, and dimension of the 39mm case still feels just right. Worn on the wrist, the size is perfect, the weight is negligible, and it feels very comfortable.

As with the earlier prototype, the strap is totally horrid, being in calf and in a colour which is not attractive. But, of course, the client versions will be shipped with a hand sewn alligator strap in a suitable colour with a titanium buckle. This calf strap is used for the prototype so as to ease Customs declarations in shipping.

The movement is unchanged and remains the Caliber 171, and that is a very good thing. As this is possibly the most beautiful seconde morte movement in current production. The finishing is exquisite. Everything is beautifully finished, and exceptional quality. For details on how the movement works and discussion on the finishing techniques used, our first detailed review of the 1967 has all the information.

Everything about the original C.171 which made us fall in love with it, remains exactly the same…which is to say, we are still deeply in love with this one. Only minute differences which are due to hand finishing thus become the unique indicators of each movement made. Revisit our visit to the workshops in Rennes, where Gaël and Florian showed us their secrets to the manufacture for more details.

Concluding thoughts

Seeing this new Series 2 in the Petermann Bédat 1967 is a breath of fresh air. The brilliant blue of the dial is a conversation starter, and of course may not be the best choice for someone looking for the ultimate understatement. It screams, but perhaps quietly, as the construction and design oozes class, and is never crude. The entire watch, with its newfound light weight titanium case is a joy to strap on the wrist. And no doubt, it will easily find 25 eager wrists to make a home in. If you are so inclined, our advice is to immediately book yours. As things are going, especially these crazy days of long wait lists, interstellar prices, and frankly ridiculous secondary market conditions, these 25 precious pieces will be gone in no time. Get one while the retail price is still a rather reasonable CHF 70k.

Photo Notes

The Petermann Bédat 1967 Series 2 in Blue No17 was photographed in The Hour Glass offices in Singapore. Fujifilm GFX 50S II with Hasselblad HC 4/120 and HC 2.8/80 with H26 Extension tube on the H Adapter. Profoto strobes.


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