Bold and original, created for collectors and manufactured 100% in Switzerland, the SM8 collection from Suissemecanica is not only a beautiful timepiece but also an excellent tool watch.
Since the first encounter in the media, a few years ago, I was attracted by the shape of the case and the interesting dial but everything became more interesting when the details surfaced to complete the visual beauty with the technical beauty.
It is clearly to me that the design of the SM8 Collection was done with love and passion – a soul child: every line and every curve are following a desired geometric path with a harmonious result – “versatile and refined“.
The case is circular brushed stainless steel 43mm in diameter (48.5mm diameter with the crown protection system) with a 3-piece construction and 200 meters water resistance. The case can also be ordered in titanium and other precious metals. What I particularly like at this case are the lines “separating” the lugs and, at the same time, integrating the crown protection: an interesting patented design: SCPSy – Sliding Crowns Protector System. This is a very good example of attention to the details.
“The Sliding shock-proofing is a fundamental and exclusive innovation of the SUISSEMECANICA SM8 collection. It is a crown protector that slides in two directions (12 o’clock – 6 o’clock). This piece surprises by being both sturdy and soft, and very pleasant to manipulate. The patented SCPSy (Sliding Crowns Protector System) protects the crowns from shocks, ensuring their proper functioning. It also makes the watch more comfortable on the wrist. In the central position, the crown protector locks the functions at 2 and 4 o’clock, only allowing access to the central crown to rewind manually and to set the time and date. By sliding the crown protector downwards, the crown at 2 o’clock is released, allowing the setting of Dual Time function and activation of push-button of Chronograph model. Finally, by sliding the crown protector upwards, the crown at 4 o’clock is released, allowing the setting of Diving Timer function.” – Explanation from the Suissemecanica Website.
Another interesting technical detail is the double inner bezel (or the dial’s bezel) consisting of two functional bezels: – the Dual Time is a bidirectional 12 hours bezel removing the need of a separate hand for the GMT/dual time. It comes with Luminova numerals and “Dual time” logo.
The inner rotating dive indication is an unidirectional bezel with ratcheting system (required by the safety standards – don’t forget that this is a dive watch) and with Luminova C3 on the cylindrical relief inserts at 0, 15, 30 and 45, as well as on every 5 minutes in relief indices.
These two inner bezels are controlled by two separate crowns situated at 2 o’clock respectively 4 o’clock. The crowns are conical with ergonomic design and fit perfectly in the case’s aesthetics.
The SM8 Collection has antireflective domed sapphire crystals on the front, 3.82mm thick and on the back, 2.24 mm thick that assure the characteristic resistance of the SM8 collection and allow to view and appreciate the details of the black velvet dial and the finishes of the movement.
The dial is made from two superimposed black velvet finished pieces with the Luminova Arabic numerals markers for 3 and 9 o’clock or with 2 chronograph subdials for the Chrono version. The date window is visible at 6 o’clock and the company’s name/logo is placed under the 12 o’clock luminescent Arabic numeral.
The hour markers are luminescent and the entire dial looks gorgeous in the dark and low light (see the article’s first image). For the Chrono version, there is an inscription: “Chronographe monopoussoir” – the proud sign of the mono-pusher chronograph.
The hour and minute hands are skeletonized and luminescent with Luminova C3 coating, the big seconds hand for the Automatic version, the big Chronograph seconds hand, the small Chronograph minute hand and the small seconds hand (for the Automatic Chrono version) are all made from polished metal.
The movements used in these watches are the SM1-2222 for SM8 and SM1-2022M for the SM8 Chrono and are manufactured by Valerien Jacquet from the CONCEPTO WATCH FACTORY in La Chaux-de-Fonds. What does that mean? High-quality finishes (Haut de Gamme finishing) with the oscillating rotor in black ruthenium, trimmed (opened) and decorated with the engraved name and logo of the brand. The main plate and bridges are black-gold sandblasted and brushed with polished edges.
Caliber SM1-2222 of the SM 8 is a 13 ¼ lines automatic movement with 30 mm diameter, 7.90 mm height and 23 jewels. This caliber has a 4Hz beating heart (28800vph) and a power reserve of 50 hours.
Caliber SM1-2022M, an automatic mono-pusher chronograph, is a little bit bigger with a height of 8.40mm, has 27 jewels and has the same 28800 vph heart with 50 hours power reserve.
The first edition is manufactured in a series of 50 pieces for each version (SM8 Automatic & SM8 Automatic Chrono – 100 pieces totally) and the cases are individually engraved from 1/50 to 50/50, along with the marking of the caliber with a 4-digit number (visible in the picture above), that guarantees the uniqueness of each watch and makes the traceability very easy.
An entire team of experienced watchmakers is working to make these watches possible: Jean Yves Cruchon is in charge of the technical development of all case innovations, Valérien Jaquetis responsible with the development of the calibers and Jean-Marie Donzé does the assembly and fine-tuning of all watch components.
|Caliber SM1-2222 view of the SM8 Automatic|
|Caliber SM1-2022M view of the SM8 Automatic Chrono|
The SM8 Collection and the SM8 Chrono collection have 4 version each with different inner bezel combination: DIVING black / DUAL TIME steel, DIVING steel / DUAL TIME black, DIVING black / DUAL TIME black, DIVING steel / DUAL TIME steel.
What is even more interesting is that the collection is available also in Titanium and named – LABLACK, with black PVD coating which raises the endurance of the case’s surface making it more scratch resistant and, for some, more appealing (it’s just a matter of personal preferences). The dial versions are the same as in the brushed steel collection. Click on the pictures for a better view.
I was lucky to receive the pictures with the red gold 18k polished case version which comes with the bezel’s colour configuration “DIVING black / DUAL TIME black”. This version is, in my opinion, the ultimate cool diving watch and I love it. Click on the pictures for a big view.
The white gold case is also polished and comes with the “DIVING black / DUAL TIME steel” colour combination and has a fresh look. I wouldn’t wear such watches for actual diving (since I tend to kick the watch on rocks and so on), but I know for sure that in case of an “accident” the watch will not be ruined. The functions can be used as 12 hours GMT and counting minutes (that are very useful in everyday life).
Here you can look at a video presentation of the SM8 collection, a short clip with the SCPSy and SM8 Chrono in action also in Titanium black PVD version and a short hands-on:
A very useful gimmick is the quick release strap system “Ergot” which allows a fast change of the mat black Alligator or “carbone” finishing mat black Alligator “grandes écailles carrées” with a textile or rubber diving strap. The straps are hand sewn and have an engraved SUISSEMECANICA buckle.
The SM8 watch costs 14.500 CHF and the SM8 Chrono can be acquired for 16.600 CHF. The Titanium versions with black PVD coating SM8 LABLACK automatic cost 16.600 CHF and the SM8 LABLACK CHRONO automatic costs 18.700 CHF. The price for the red gold and white gold SM8 are on request. With all this case versions available maybe we will see in the future a ceramic case or a ceramic PVD coated case. We will see. It is sure that I am a fan and the SM collection is on my wish list. Please visit Suissemecanica website for more information about the SM8 collection and a list of retailers. Don’t forget to check the Facebook Suissemecanica page for photos and news.
I would like to thank Suissemecanica for the videos, pictures and information.
Enjoy at the end a selection of nice pictures of the SM8 collection. Click on the pictures for a bigger view.