For some time, Massena LAB, the design studio created by William Massena, watch collector and business veteran, was largely targeted on collaborations with moderately established impartial watchmaking corporations corresponding to Habring², MB&F or Ming. There have been some self-designed watches too, with the Uni-Racer, however right now’s challenge is pretty completely different in execution and intention – and because it seems to be on the historical past of watchmaking and at conventional methods, it’s one thing that we actually needed to discover extra intimately. Based mostly on the thought of the montre d’école (the varsity watch in English) and manufactured by famend watchmaker Luca Soprana, right here’s the brand new and pretty fascinating Massena LAB Previous Faculty.
Behind this challenge are two males. First is William, the mastermind behind the Massena LAB studio, liable for the intention and the design of this new watch. Second is Luca Soprana, a proficient impartial watchmaker that a few of you may know due to his work on Jacob & Co. watches, largely the impressively complicated Astronomia idea. And in the identical vein because the watch created together with Habring² and Josh Shapiro recently, Massena as soon as once more desires right here to deliver again conventional manufacturing and ornament methods.
The entire thought behind the Previous Faculty watch was to experiment with the idea of the montre d’école. Also called college watches, these timepieces have been “designed and crafted by an apprentice watchmaker. The completed montre d’école is then evaluated to find out whether or not or not the apprentice could name themselves a real watchmaker. All watchmakers in Switzerland have created their very own montre d’école.” A few of these college watches are so elaborate that it may possibly take as much as a full yr of labor to be accomplished and a few college students go as far as creating their own movements. And right now, Massena LAB requested Luca Soprana to revisit the idea of the montre d’école… after 20 years of labor as a master-watchmaker.
One of many vital points of a college look ahead to a pupil is to be a canvas to exhibit his abilities and abilities concerning conventional ending and ornament methods. And the Previous Faculty by Massena LAB x Luca Soprana isn’t any completely different on this regard, paying tribute to haute horlogerie as finished by the German college of watchmaking.
For as soon as, we’ll begin by wanting on the motion. Dubbed Calibre LS-01, and primarily based on ébauches from pocket watches, it exhibits a basic hand-wound structure – actually acquainted for vintage watch lovers, with a widely known association of the weather. Bridges and plates are made out of German silver (or Maillechort) with a typical three-quarter plate, finger bridges and stability cock. It includes a blued metal stability spring, a swan-neck regulator with a micro-metrical screw, and a bi-metallic stability wheel operating at a gradual frequency. Energy reserve is of about 40 hours when absolutely wound.
Greater than the specs, it’s the ending that impresses. Certainly, each half has been embellished by hand with conventional methods, such because the finely brushed floor of the bridge (so-called traits-tirés) contrasting with the polished gold chatons and screws, the black mirror-finished escapement bridge, the hand-applied anglages on the sides of the bridges, even together with sharp inner angles. Additionally, this motion includes a blade spring for the barrel and all engravings are finished by hand, including an outstanding human contact to this extremely fascinating calibre. Notice that the motion is licensed chronometer by the Horological Society of New York.
Decreasing the Previous Faculty watch by Massena LAB x Luca Soprana to its motion wouldn’t make justice to the habillage, which is much being second to none. Measuring 41.5mm with a thickness of 11mm, the brushed and polished metal case is voluntarily stripped all the way down to maintain the emphasize on the motion, and the dial. It’s worn on a midnight blue alligator strap by Jean Rousseau Paris with a chrome steel tang buckle.
The dial is the opposite piece of this watch that deserves consideration. In the identical vein because the motion, it’s solely finished by hand with conventional methods and materials. Designed by William, it’s impressed by vintage marine chronometers – with Berthoud in thoughts – and basic sector dials of classic chronometer watches – a recurring theme for Massena, who’s been doing it already with a number of Habring2 collaborations.
The bottom of the dial is a hand-frosted German silver plate, which is then plated with 2N yellow gold. The periphery options stepped segments which might be additionally finished in Maillechort, however this time rhodium-plated. A sub-dial at 9 o’clock, for the seconds, is signed, in midnight blue, with each Massena & Co. and Vaumarcus, for the fortress in Switzerland the place Soprana operates his atelier and the place the Massena LAB Previous Faculty is made. The fingers, with once more a standard form, are hand-filled blued metal. Even the crown is crafted by hand.
Availability & Worth
The Previous Faculty by Massena LAB x Luca Soprana is on the market as of right now as a restricted version of 11 items. It will likely be priced at USD 39,500 and obtainable solely from massenalab.com.