As one of the most respected and grailed watches, the Dufour Simplicity is very elusive. Though the Chief Editor owns one from the early years of the Simplicity, we were recently reminded that we did not even have a full Watchscape on it. Here is our remedy.
We did run a short, photo essay in the Chief’s former blog, which was ported over to Deployant when we began. You can find that link here. But in this article, we provide you with images of the same watch, photographed recently for a photography project with Leica Singapore. Photographs were made with the Leica CL with the TL60mm macro lens. The CL is a lightweight camera with an APS-C sized sensor, and the TL60 projects a full macro 1:1 image on the sensor.
As with our large format Watchscapes, some of the images will have links to wallpaper sized images. These images are provided for personal use only, and on clicking on the link, you acknowledge that you have read and understand this statement, and agree to be bound. Commercial use rates for any images on this site are available on application.
The Simplicity is perhaps Philippe Dufour’s biggest success story, propelling to superstar status from his beginnings as a complicated watchmaker. He cut his teeth on the first wristwatch to bear his name on the dial with the ultra complicated Grande Sonnerie. He then created yet another iconic and super complicated watch in the Duality. The Simplicity was his way to say that the best and most beautiful things in life are simple.
The Simplicity was available in both 34mm and 37mm case diameters. Both had a similar silhouette, with long elegant lugs. The watch is only available in either white gold, rose gold as pictured or platinum. It is not offered in yellow gold, as Philippe did not like the hue of yellow gold.
Although the dial looks like it is enamel, it is a metal dial with white lacquer applied and the markings made by transfer printing. Another version is also offered by Philippe, and this has a guilloche dial.
The dial is made by Metalem, and as an act of defiance where the industry does its best to hide the small specialist suppliers, Dufour decided to print the name of the dial maker at 6 on the dial.
Hands are Breguet styled, and hand blued on a spirit flame by Dufour in his atelier in Le Solliat.
Dufour took great care with the proportions of the various elements and we think he achieved a beautiful balance.
The Simplicity movement
Like many, or perhaps most of the most beautiful watches ever, the back view is where the money is. The design of the movement is particular to Dufour and follows the tradition of the Valee de Joux.
The legendary finishing is exceptional, possibly one of the best ever. The movement design calls for many inward and outward angles which Philippe himself executes by hand. The movement plates and bridges are however outsourced to a CNC supplier, but all finishing is applied by hand by the master himself. The plates and bridges are in maillechort, with a rhodium plating.
Note the “PD” logo in this example. Only four out of the 200 plus Simplicity watches ever made, bear this PD stamp. I requested a special mark for the four watches purchased in a batch with three other friends. Philippe proposed this, and we agreed.