Funky Colors For Emmanuel Bouchet’s Head-Turning Complication One
“This is what happens when you head toward the edge of imagination.”
This snippet of a sentence is one I vaguely caught someone in the Emmanuel Bouchet Baselworld 2016 booth saying as Ian and I stopped in to take a look at the latest iterations of the Swiss watchmaker’s ingenious Complication One.
As you can read in Complication One By Emmanuel Bouchet Featuring A Giant Swiss Lever Escapement, we are big fans of Bouchet’s work in general and the ingeniously complicated Complication One in particular.
What we were shown at Baselworld 2016, though, was truly imaginative: funky new, definitely out-of-the-ordinary colors for such a serious and technical timepiece.
Quick recap of Complication One’s technical elements
You can read up on what this watch does in detail in Ian’s excellent article mentioned above, so I’m only going to provide a brief recap of its technical prowess here.
Bouchet has developed an auxiliary large, slow escapement that beats once every 15 seconds rather than multiple times per second like a conventional escapement.
And for emphasis, he has placed its dual escape wheel – though it is hardly recognizable as two until you note the unusual lever running between them – smack dab in the middle of the dial for all to clearly see, making it – rather than the time display – the center of attention.
But Complication One’s movement also contains a conventional escapement on the back – with its own spring barrel to power the hour and minute displays: the minutes are displayed by two hands, one showing a retrograde tens of minute indication, the other “normal” single digit minutes.
The second escapement on the front is “only” there to regulate the seconds. It also has its own spring barrel.
At Baselworld 2016, Bouchet debuted his interesting Complication One in a few new color schemes, beginning with a beautiful vibrant blue one. And this starts with the blue case, which is fresh and exciting thanks to a blue PVD coating on top of the white gold case.
To achieve this level of crisp color, the white gold case underneath must of course be immaculately finished.
Another really exciting color scheme for this watch is green: by adding a green leather strap and a dial based on a light green chalcedony stone, the watch takes on a whole new look.
Likewise for an onyx dial paired with a red strap.
You may also notice on these new versions that the Reuleaux triangle, which is part of the dial-side escapement, is now in synthetic ruby on several of the new versions rather than the synthetic colorless corundum of the original version.
This helps the viewer to notice the contrast and follow the beauty of its motions much easier.
Though the Complication One is unique for its unusual technical elements and the quality of the individual components, it still has a classic feel to it. This is why the vibrant colors make for such a beautiful contrast.
I’m really liking that contrast. How about you?
Quick Facts Complication One Blue
Movement: manually wound Caliber EB-1963; 72 hours power reserve; frequency 2.5 Hz + 0.67 Hz; 485 components; secondary escapement dial-side; two independent gear trains with two spring barrels (55 hours power reserve)
Case: 44 x 11.2 mm, blue PVD-coated white gold
Dial: chalcedony or onyx base
Functions: hours, retrograde tens-of-minutes, minutes, seconds; day/night indicator; power reserve indicator on back
Limitation: 10 pieces