The first quarter of this year witnessed some interesting reveals in the world of watches. The inevitable progress is met in all the branches without killing the rich horological heritage. An example of innovation, beauty and modernism in the purest horological spirit is the Fabergé Visionnaire Chronograph from the Fabergé Visionnaire Collection.
I had the chance to have a frugal look at the Fabergé Visionnaire Chronograph at BaselWorld 2017 and I have to say that I was impressed. I knew about the beast since the first teasers and when Agenhor announced their AgenGraphe it was only a question of time till this timepiece was revealed.
These timepieces are very beautiful and, at the same time, quite discrete – especially for an unadvised viewer.
Fabergé has an interesting history and I would like to invite you to see this short video of Marc André Deschoux for TheWatches.tv:
The Fabergé Visionnaire Chronograph timepieces come in two 43 mm cases: an 18k rose gold bezel with an extension towards bracelet and a titanium case body with 18k rose gold pushers and 18k rose gold and rubber crown or a black ceramic bezel and dark grey DLC titanium case with dark grey titanium pushers and titanium and rubber crown. The cases are covered with a domed sapphire crystal on top and an 18k rose gold and, respectively, black ceramic case back with a sapphire crystal, both crystals with a single-side antireflective treatment. The case back is fixed using eight polished screws. These watches have a water resistance of 50 meters or 5atm.
The contrast between the case materials and finishes are pleasant and, you could say, logical outer details for the dial and movement.
The gold bezel version of the Chronograph has a bright dial with a complex construction: the chronograph function uses the central part of the dial, in a single seconds, minutes, 24 hours opaline subdial with dark grey printed indication. The gilded aluminium chronograph skeletonised hands have red painted tips for a better readability and aspect – somehow expected for a chronograph.
This type of indication is very unusual, all known chronographs have a separate subdial for each of the chronograph functions complicating the reading.
The time indication is done using 3D gilded brass hands with brushed surfaces, bevelled, polished sides and TCI luminescent filled tips. The hands’ body and look is absolutely amazing and increase the beauty of the dial. The hour indication uses a sapphire crystal with grey metallic treatment, applied gold numerals for 3, 6, 9 and 12 o’clock and baton gold indexes for the rest.
The opaline outer side of the dial is used for the minutes: dark grey printed Roman numerals for every 5 minutes, baton TCI luminescent coating for every 15 minutes (15, 30 and 45 minutes) and a trapeze TCI luminescent for the 60 minutes. All the other indexes are printed.
On the dark version of the Visionnaire, the Chronograph Ceramic, with a black ceramic bezel that has the same brushed and polished finishes as the gold version, the dial contrast is kept, but somehow, the hands don’t have the same powerful impact. The readability is not affected and, for my taste, the dark version is more appealing due to the grey theme.
The dial materials are different for the Chronograph Ceramic: dark dial with silvered printed indexes and numerals, the same type of TCI luminescent coating. The hands are dark gilded with TCI luminescent coating for the time function and red paint tipped for the chronograph function.
Noteworthy is the depth difference for the Chrono dial which holds on the lower side the printed Fabergé name. This layered positioning allows hands to be aligned with the marks and is helpful for the time reading.
This chronograph dial’s construction and readability are one of the best out there. This was possible due to the innovative and complex movement developed by the Agenhor, the AgenGraphe AGH6361.
This spectacular movement is built using 477 components and a lot of work: the main plate is finished with circular graining (perlage), the bridges have the edges hand bevelled and polished with Côtes de Genève (the striped Geneva waves). Other elements also have Haute Horlogerie finishes: straight or circular brushing, mirror polishing, polished sinks and screws and so on.
This beautiful and original movement has 67 jewels and a heart beating with a relative slow 21,600vph or 3Hz offering a power reserve of 60 hours (two mainspring barrels), all packed in 34.40mm (15 lines movement) diameter and 7.17mm height dimensions.
More technical information about the AgenGraphe AGH6361 can be read on this extensive article from Quill&Pad written by the journalist Ian Skellern: The AgenGraphe By Agenhor: The Most Significant Chronograph Since . . . Since The Invention Of The Chronograph (With Videos).
The back view of the Fabergé Visionnaire Chronograph is imposing and deserves the same, if not, even more, attention as the front.
To admire more the AgenGraphe please have a look at the presentation video from Agenhor:
The watches come with Alligator leather straps with 18k rose gold and titanium or black DLC titanium Fabergé folding clasp.
The Fabergé Visionnaire Chronographs are available now for pre-order with a delivery date starting in November 2017 and have a price tag of 42,660CHF for the Gold version and 37,260CHF for the Ceramic variant.