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Emmanuel Bouchet has been mostly recognized for his association with Opus 12. However, Emmanuel has been working on complications since the late 90's. Prior to collaborating with Harry Winston, he co-founded a consulting company named Contegra, which helped drive innovation in watchmaking.
Emmanuel is keen on establishing his own brand, so what better way to establish his brand's DNA, than with his first watch named Complication One.

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Complication One showcases the escape wheel and the anchor right in the middle of the dial. This watch is an homage to the traditional watchmaking, therefore, by keeping the escape wheel and anchor in middle of the dial, it not only powers the frequency, but also tells the time. It beats at a slower frequency of 18,000 (considered as the traditional frequency). The handwound movement is composed of 283 parts and is powered by double barrels supplying it 70 hours of power reserve.

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When you first look at the watch, what's striking is the 3-dimensional effect which is caused by combination of shiny onyx dial, the transparent sub-dials, the day/night indicator disc under the seconds at 12, and the domed crystal. The case is 44mm with 11mm of thickness.

We asked Emmanuel a few questions:

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Use of Silicon in watchmaking

Emmanuel:
Use of silicon is good for improving the technology. Even though I respect traditional horology, it is good to work within your time where innovation can contribute and make the traditional horology even better. Silicon helps improve the performance and accuracy. Ultimately, you can stay traditional while using new technology whether it's in the movement or in the decoration.

In the unpredictable wave of global commerce and finances, watch companies tend to navigate by covering both the high-end complications as well as entry level timepieces. What is your navigation strategy?


Emmanuel: This is a very interesting question. There are many great watchmakers already producing two-hand watches, therefore I cannot add anything new. Rolex and Omega are already very good at making such watches, so I cannot compete with them. With my knowledge and skill I would like to make a watch for the niche market where I can express myself very well without any boundaries.

I wanted to come up with totally new watch and differentiate myself, at the same time offer it a fair price. Watchmakers will be successful in this niche market with the ultra-high complications when they innovate, yet with respect for the customer in mind.

As a watchmaker you have to think of both technical and aesthetics. If you had the opportunity to design or re-design something non-watch related, what would it be? It can be something which fascinates you or bothers you.

Emmanuel:
Lot of things come to my mind. In 2015, lot of people work as designers in car industry and aviation. I would probably work in such an industry as a designer. What bothers me that people are living in counsil housing which are boring and uninspiring? I would make the houses more interesting.

What one advice would you give to a novice watch collector just starting to explore horology?


Emmanuel: People should get watches which they fall in love with at first site. Today there is too much marketing to tempt people to buy their watch. Journalist should also help educate the customer.

Editor - Bhanu Chopra
Photos- Scott Sitkeiwitz
 
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