One of the advantages of the 21st-century technology is that it reduces the barriers to entry for almost every industry. The watch industry is not an exception. Where watchmaking used to be a skill that took years to perfect and was passed from generation to generation now proficiency on the computer and dedication to Google are sufficient. The results of this have not left the industry untouched and created a whole new category of watches: crowdfunded timepieces like those found on Kickstarter.
The Frenchman Cyril Brivet-Naudot however, decided to not take the easy way. Fearing the very real loss of craftsmanship he threw caution to the wind and make a modern watch completely by hand. To be fair some of the parts where ordered, and the piece was first modeled on a computer, but the term hand-made has seldom been more appropriate for a modern watch.
The watch itself is the first watch made by the 27-year old. As such it clearly is a statement watch demonstrating the proficiency of his skills and a taste of what is to come. The watch is by no means meant as a daily, the case is simple to chunky for that despite being only 39 mm in diameter. Driving it is his own unique take on the libre excentrique escapement which. The highlight, however, has to be the minute hand which is stationary, and instead, the dial rotates to show the minutes.
The only thing arguably even more impressive has to be the finishing. Less is more in this case, and instead of overwhelming circular-graining, Brivet-Naudot used a frosted finish for most of the watch. That allows you to really focus on the inner workings and intricacies of the movement. Oh, and did I forget to mention that this watch is key-wound? In conclusion, the Cyril Brivet-Naudot is only the first watch of what has the potential to be a future legend of watchmaking. If this piece is anything to go by we can be excited for the future of the industry, and sleep safe in the knowledge that the ancient skills of the industry we so love won’t be lost.