A new independent watchmaker breaks into the scene with a new souscription tourbillon watch. Introducing the Vincent Deprez Tourbillon Classique Souscription Edition, a limited edition of 20 pieces in two dial colour variants.
Press Release information with commentary in italics.
New: Vincent Deprez Tourbillon Classique Souscription Edition
Price: CHF 89,500 (excluding shipping and any applicable taxes)
It is rare these days for a watchmaker to claim that he will be making the entire watch by himself, by hand. A recent example of this extreme is the Greubel Forsey Hand Made 1, which claims an incredible 95% hand made in-house in their facility in La-Chaux-du-Fonds using only traditional tools. Of course, Greubel Forsey is not new to the independent genre. They have been plying at the top of the trade for decades, and carved their name out at the very top of the game. Regular readers will know we hold them to very standards in regards to creative solutions to age old chronology issues, and superbly finishing. And they have always delivered. So it is with some interest that we come across a new independent who is making the claim of hand making the entire watch. Vincent Deprez says that he makes the movement, case, and even the grand feu enamel dial completely by hand using only traditional tools. Though he stops short of crafting the strap, buckle, jewels, mainspring, balance spring, balance wheel, hands, sapphire crystals, mainspring barrel, and 90° gearing in the winding mechanism. A list which is considerably longer than for the Hand Made 1, whose list of parts “not made by us” consists only of the sapphire crystal, the gaskets, the rubies, the spring-bars and the mainspring. However, a considerable chasm separates the asking price. The Hand Made 1 clocks in at a cool CHF 1,000,000 (yes, count the zeros), while the Vincent Deprez is considerably more modestly priced at CHF 89,500. In addition, the Vincent Deprez throws in a tourbillon escapement, as well as a grand feu enamel dial. Value for money? We suppose only you can decide that. But to us, may we add that we find the Vincent Deprez Tourbillon Classique Souscription Edition to be very, very impressive. Debut watch notwithstanding.
We have not yet had the pleasure to inspect the watch for ourselves, but from the photographs released by Vincent, the watch looks very interesting indeed. The proportions are very classical, with the dial side showing a sub-dial with the hours and minutes indication, and a huge tourbillon occupying the space at 8 o’clock. As mentioned, the hours and minutes sub-dial is in a black (or cream coloured) grand feu enamel, fired by Vincent himself. Very impressive! The design from the dial side is somewhat like a skeleton, as the entire keyless works mechanism is also visible. The base of the dial is a kind of frosted gold finish. The tourbillon itself is rather impressive, as it is rather large at 12.6mm in diameter and sits in prime real estate in a cutout of the dial, framed by a polished seconds chapter ring. The tourbillon is held by a magnificently well polished bridge. The design of the cage is very classical, with a traditional screw balance, and Breguet overcoil. The cage itself is minimalist in design, showing only two nicely chamfered and polished arms.
Flip over, and the rear sapphire display is equally as impressive. The bridge architecture is very beautiful, with sensuous lines, and sufficient inward and outward angles to satisfy us. We particularly like that the cocks holding the pinions of the third and fourth wheels are framed within a cut-out of the main bridge, making a very beautiful layout. The anglage applied is in a high polish to contrast nicely with the frosted finish of the plate surfaces. A gold plate holding the name V. DEPREZ is held in place by polished screws. And a separate gold disc holds the limited edition number. The barrels have a flying design and feature circular graining. Finishing seems to be top notch, meeting and exceeding haute horlogerie norms.
As a final touch, even the stainless steel case is hand made by Vincent himself.
We are looking forward to examining and photographing this watch soon. And will report back with a comprehensive review when we do. We also particularly like the fact that Vincent is offering this watch as a souscription series, as the process of commissioning a watch, and waiting for it to be built for you is a very special one.
The Tourbillon Classique Souscription Edition by Vincent Deprez is a classically proportioned, beautifully finished timepiece by Vincent Deprez. With a case diameter of 39 mm, the Tourbillon Classique features an open dial revealing a 60-second tourbillon.
Handmade using traditional tools, the Souscription Edition is a limited edition of 10 pieces in stainless steel with a dark blue or cream-colored oven-fired subdial displaying hours and minutes. There will only be 20 movements made in total.
Vincent Deprez is a French watchmaker living near Geneva. From childhood he always liked working with his hands and he first thought about being a watchmaker when he was just 12 years old. Two years later, his watchmaking dream turned into a passion after doing a school work experience week at Vacheron Constantin. This led him to a watchmaking apprenticeship with Vacheron Constantin at the horologically precocious age of 15 years.
After ten years at Vacheron Constantin working in restoration, regulation, assembly, and ultra-thin watches, Vincent moved to Patek Philippe where he worked in the restoration department. A yearning to make his own watch grew ever stronger, and in 2017 he left Patek Philippe to set up his own atelier and begin working on making his own tourbillon. With his passion for traditional watchmaking, Vincent decided at the outset that he would make handmade watches using traditional tools.
Vincent Deprez makes the Tourbillon Classique by hand using traditional tools. Vincent makes the movement components (including tourbillon cage), case, and even fires his own enamel dials. The only components not made by Vincent are the strap, buckle, jewels, mainspring, balance spring, balance wheel, hands, sapphire crystals, mainspring barrel, and 90° gearing in the winding mechanism.
Tourbillon Classique Souscription Edition
The dial side is dominated by a 60-second tourbillon suspended under a large, beautifully polished bridge. Vincent chose to display hours and minutes on a small dial to show off as much of the winding and setting mechanism as possible. The visible main plate features a traditional frosted finish, which was common on historic high-end watches.
The 60-second tourbillon movement is an original Vincent Deprez design and construction. The back features a traditional frosted finish and hand-polished anlage with sharp internal angles. Jewels and screws sit in hand-polished countersinks; the screw heads are also hand-polished. A neatly concealed spring barrel click runs around the curve, following the outline of the numbered edition disk.
The hand-polished, 39 mm diameter, 316L stainless steel case is handmade from a blank by Vincent Deprez. The backplate framing the sapphire crystal display back is set into the case to maximize the slim profile of the watch.
Specifications : Vincent Deprez Tourbillon Classique Souscription Edition
Indications: hours, minutes, seconds (indicated around the tourbillon cage)
Case: 316L stainless steel
Dimensions: 39 mm diameter x 11. 3 mm high
Movement: handmade, one-minute tourbillon, high-level finishing, tourbillon cage 12.6 mm, tourbillon bridge 22.8 mm, balance spring with Breguet overcoil, limited to 20 pieces
Frequency: 2.5 Hz/18,000 vph
Dial: dark blue or cream-colored oven-fired enamel, 18 mm diameter
Power reserve: 52 hours
Water resistance: 30 meters
Strap: ostrich leather
Dial: oven-fired, entirely handmade by Vincent Deprez using traditional tools and machines
Presentation case: walnut
Limitation: 10 pieces in stainless steel