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Dubey & Schaldenbrand Grand Dôme DT 423 Black Diamonds

When I ask people what motivates them to buy a certain watch they normally say it is the appearance and story behind the brand. As a writer this element also adds interest and depth to the article. Dubey & Schaldenbrand perfectly illustrate this point and have a heritage going back nearly 70 years. Originally Georges Dubey and René Schaldenbrand established the business in 1946. Within a relatively short space of time the company gained a solid reputation for producing high quality mechanical calibers. Amongst their many achievements they developed and patented a modern day Split-Seconds Flyback Chronograph movement.


In 1995 avid watch collector Cinette Robert revived Dubey & Schaldenbrand. Due to her passion and determination the brand was awarded the “Merit for Development of Watchmaking Tradition” by the International Institute of Promotion and Prestige. Since 2009 the company has been owned and operated by the dynamic Jonatan Gil. Over the last few months I have had several conversations with him and have found his enthusiasm contagious. Recently the brand has introduced two exciting new models called the Grand Shar DB and the Grand Dôme.


Even though I think the Grand Shar DB is a beautiful watch I prefer the overall aesthetic of the Grand Dôme (especially the Grand Dôme DT 423 Black Diamonds). This marvelous timepiece was unveiled at Baselworld and received a very positive reception. Dimensionally the watch measures 52mm x 37mm, which is designed to make a powerful statement. These dimensions should predominantly appeal to a wide variety of masculine buyers. Even though I haven’t personally tried this watch on, it is a similar size and shape to the Franck Muller Long Island Crazy Hours Tourbillon (reviewed 23rd September 2013). For that reason I suspect it would feel fairly lightweight and comfortable on the wrist. Primarily this is down to the elegant tonneau shape case and use of 316L stainless steel in production.


Out of all of the new Grand Dôme models my favourite is the opulent Grand Dôme DT 423 Black Diamonds. What makes this timepiece so amazing is the luxurious gem set bezel. This gives the watch a really extravagant and superior façade. I absolutely love the multi layered Art Deco inspired dial, which gives the watch a really distinctive appearance. Hours, minutes and large seconds are displayed on two central overlapping counters. Other stylish features include a sporty chronograph facility and moon phase indication (located at 6 o’clock). Overall the design is cohesive and the finishing is superlative.


At the heart of the watch is a modified self-winding caliber ETA Valjoux 7751. This movement comprises 25-jewels and oscillates at a frequency of 28,800 vibrations per hour. The mechanism has been meticulously hand decorated) with Côtes de Genève pattern) by Dubey & Schaldenbrand and is visible through the sapphire crystal exhibition case back. Functionally the Grand Dôme DT 423 Black Diamonds features hours, minutes, seconds, day/date, chronograph and moon phase indication. The watch also has a power reserve of 48 hours and is water resistant to a depth of 50 metres.


The Grand Dôme DT 423 Black Diamonds has a black alligator strap with matching stainless steel triple folding clasp.


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