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World Premiere: Jean Dunand presents Shabaka

November 14 2006 at 9:24 AM

alex  (Login argg)
Industry Chat

Jean Dunand, the brain child of watch collector / entrepreneur Thierry Oulevay and watchmaker extraordinaire Christophe Claret present for 2007 a new spectacular wrist watch.

The philosophy behind the Jean Dunand brand (which by the way is not the name of a prestigious but long forgotten watch maker but a tribute to one of Messrs Oulevay and Claret’s favorite artistis movements: the Art Deco) is to produce out of ordinary time pieces with features which have never been seen in a wrist watch. After the sublime Tourbillon Orbitale and after 4 years of research and development the brand presents Shabaka.

Please note that the photos hereunder (other than the press release photos) are of a dummy piece.

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A minute-repeater on cathedral gongs and an instantaneous perpetual calendar with a unique display of the dates, phases of the moon and leap-year cycle, as well as an ingenious power reserve indicator.

The originality of Shabaka is in the calendar indications on four cylinders instead of the conventional discs. These are rotated by four different 90-degree transmission systems, each fitted with a security device to ensure precise calendar changes. Furthermore, unlike in most calendar indications, the dates (two digits on separate cylinders), days and months jump instantaneously at midnight, when a sprung mechanism is released.

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Calibre CLA88

The indication of the leap-year cycle is also novel: a white plate under the dial illuminates in turn the letter B (for bissextile) and the three ordinary years cut out on the dial between 7 and 8 o’clock. The leapyear is mirrored by the moon phase indication for which black discs travel over the surface of the moon. The mechanical moon deviates from the real moon by only one day every 120 years.

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Rose gold

The power reserve indicator is also quite an original one: it is placed in the back of the watch and in fact is nothing less than the mainspring itself in an open barrel which shows the power reserve of the watch against a scale.

The minute-repeater strikes on two cathedral gongs that go twice around the movement to give a deeper and more resonant chime. Two chronograph-style buttons are used to set the entire calendar (the gold button at 4 o’clock) and the days only (at 2 o’clock). A pushpiece set coaxially in the crown advances the months and years, while the moon is set by a pushpiece in the caseband at 5 o’clock. To prevent any accidental use of the calendar pushers a little trigger is set in the case back enabling to lock the pushers.

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Minute repeater trigger

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Calendar functions pushers

Since the minute repeater slide takes up one whole side of the watch, complex series of levers reaches around the movement from the buttons to activate the respective calendar indications.

The caliber is of a particular construction, with the perpetual-calendar mechanism integrated in the 13-ligne repeating movement. The 7mm diameter cylinders are embedded 2.5 millimetres into the level of the minute-repeater to reduce further the thickness of the movement. An anthracite-black finish on the circular-grained baseplate and on the bridges decorated in concentric Geneva stripes, contrasts with burnished steel and rose gold components.

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Break up of calibre CLA88

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The calendar displays are integrated into the design of the dial: on four levels composed of a nickel-alloy frame delineating fields of blackened gold set with lapped pyramids of pink gold. The red ceramic hourmarkers at 10, 12 and 2 o’clock serve to indicate the day, date and month respectively, against corresponding red ceramic triangles in the centre of the dial.

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You may ask why the name Shabaka? The Art Deco-inspired design, with its Egyptian influences, is reflected in the name of the watch — Shabaka, the 25th-dynasty pharaoh and king of Egypt.

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White gold

To my knowledge this is the first time the Shabaka is presented in any media (print or net) and the photos are of a non working prototype so there may be some modifications in terms of design. The Shabaka should be produced in a maximum of 20 pieces a year in Christophe Claret’s work shops. It will be available in rose gold, white gold and platinum.

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Technical Details

Calibre CLA88

Manually wound minute-repeater with instantaneous perpetual calendar.

Minutes and hours hands.
Days, dates and months on cylinders.
Leap-year cycle.
State-of-wind, directly by the mainspring.
Repeating the hours, quarters and minutes on two gongs.

Buttons in the caseband to advance the entire calendar (4 o’clock)
and the days only (2 o’clock).
Pushpiece in the crown to set the months and years.
Pushpiece in the caseband (5 o’clock) to set the moon.
Repeating slide.

With adjusting screws on an overcoil spring.
Swan’s neck index.

Power reserve
45 hours.

Number of parts
721, including 54 jewels.

Movement dimensions
29.5mm (13 lignes).
Calendar plate, 36mm x 3.2mm (14 lignes).
Total height with dial and indications, 12.19mm.

Gold with a nickel and gold multilevel dial.
Dimensions, 46mm x 17.65mm.
Water-resistance, 3 ATM (

This message has been edited by argg on Nov 22, 2006 5:17 AM

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