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Extraordinary Timepiece

Jean Dunand Pièces Uniques as the very name suggests excels at making unique pieces and Shabaka is an extraordinary timepiece with a rare complication of a minute repeater with cathedral gongs and a perpetual calendar with jumping indications on cylinders and an original moon phase display. The first version of this timepiece was unveiled back in 2006. It is now introduced in an all new case and with new and unique dials. This timepiece has been entirely conceived and produced in Christophe Claret’s manufacture in Le Locle.

Defining both the personality and the originality of this impressive timepiece are the calendar indications, defying the convention of discs by instead using cylinders. Four cylinders are set in motion by 90° transmission devices, each fitted with a security system ensuring precise calendar changes. A proprietary wheel train driven flywheel mechanism absorbs any shock from the instantaneous jump and so prevents any lag, damage and premature wear and tear. Also distancing Shabaka from convention are the day and month indications that jump instantaneously at midnight thanks to the release of a spring mechanism.

Leap-year cycles merit their own, equally novel indication: a white plate under the dial, visible through a cut-out opening between 7 and 8 o’clock, illuminates the letter B (for bissextile) and the three ordinary years. The leap-year is mirrored by the phases of the moon, with chrome metallization- black sapphire discs that depict the moon craters. These disks skim over the surface of the moon as if it were the shadow of the earth, eclipsing it to the left as it wanes and revealing it from the right as it waxes. This precision moon deviates from the real moon by just one day in 120 years.

For all the complexity of the calendar mechanism, the power reserve indicator on the back of the watch is deviously simple. A single moving part – the mainspring itself in an open barrel – shows the power reserve of the watch against a scale.

Jean Dunand Pièces Uniques was founded in 2003 by master watchmaker Christophe Claret, Switzerland’s leading inventor and constructor of complicated movements, and horological entrepreneur Thierry Oulevay. Their shared aim: to create advanced and unprecedented horological mechanisms as the basis for unique timepieces representing the summit of contemporary watchmaking. The two men share a fascination for the Swiss-born artist Jean Dunand (1877–1942), one of the great craftsmen of the art deco movement, and they paid him homage by naming their new brand in his honor.