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Dubey & Schaldenbrand SA Coeur Blanc

Prior to visiting Baselworld this year I had not met many of the watchmakers I write about. Basically that is because I reside in Australia and most of the brands are based in Switzerland. Generally this hasn’t created issues because of email and video outlets like Skype. However it is always good to see the whites of someone’s eyes and meet them face-to-face. Fortunately I was able to rectify this and discover essentially what makes these ateliers tick. A great example of this is dynamic and youthful Dubey & Schaldenbrand SA CEO Jonatan Gil.

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Over the last year I have built up a good relationship with Jonatan and was very interested in meeting him. One of my good friends Jack Retman (http://www.watchpartners.com.au) is the Australian and New Zealand distributor for Dubey & Schaldenbrand SA. He has always highly recommended the company and especially Jonatan. As Dubey was not exhibiting at Baselworld it also gave me a brilliant opportunity to visit their factory in La Chaux-de-Fonds. Impressively all their watches are produced in a historic building with picture postcard views. The finest craftsmen employ artisan techniques and the quality control is rigorous. It is also pertinent to mention these workshops produce watch parts for many well-known brands in the industry.

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Although Jonatan is only 28 years old he is exceptionally focused and highly professional. After a guided tour of the production facilities I was able to try quite a few watches on. All of these timepieces are beautiful but the one I wanted to review first is the exquisite Coeur Blanc. Dimensionally the watch has a diameter of 45mm (excluding the crown) and should appeal to serious collectors. For the very short time I tested the watch I found it very comfortable and reasonably lightweight on the wrist. Ultimately that is down to the elegant case design and choice of luxurious 18-karat gold in production. I think it is fair to say that a piece of this magnitude would only be reserved for very special occasions.

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About a year ago I was fortunate enough to try on the wonderful Diamond Set Tourbillon 24 Secondes Contemporain by Greubel Forsey. At the time there was only one model in existence and I was the first person to publish a hands on review. Opinions are still divided about diamond watches and it fair to say not everyone likes them. However nobody can dispute the level of craftsmanship involved to produce one of these marvels. The Coeur Blanc contains even more diamonds than the Greubel Forsey watch. Amazingly the case, bezel, buckle and lugs contain 709 sparkling diamond baguettes (22.55 carats). It also took over 500 hours at the company’s workshops to produce this shimmering masterpiece. Other features include delicate open worked blue steel hands and a large aperture (positioned at 6 o’clock) displaying the majestic rotating tourbillon.

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Beneath the opulent façade lies a highly sophisticated manual winding tourbillon movement. The Caliber 8001 comprises 18-jewels and oscillates at a frequency of 21,600 vibrations per hour. This intricate mechanism is visible through the sapphire crystal exhibition case back. Functionally the Coeur Blanc features hours and minutes. The timepiece also has a power reserve of 72-hours and is water resistant to a depth of 50 metres.

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Currently there is only one Coeur Blanc in existence and it has a blue alligator strap with matching diamond set 18-karat gold buckle. Priced for the connoisseur at: $425,000.

For more information about Dubey & Schaldenbrand SA visit the company’s website: http://www.dubeywatch.com

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