Montres duManège, the DM-Exploration goes public
Montres duManège, the only Swiss brand of watches to display the name La Chaux-de-Fonds on its dials, is launching a timepiece that is almost architectural in style. The world of collectors is already abuzz, because the numbered series in steel is available by subscription...
Basel 2014. The lounge of the Hotel Ramada, on the plaza in front of Baselworld.
The brand Montres duManège, which is located on rue du Manège in La Chaux-de-Fonds, cultivates a DNA steeped in the primordial Swiss skill in micromechanics, but also in the architectural glory of a town that has been classified as a UNESCO Heritage Site since 2009. The venerable building was inspired by the design of all the other buildings surrounding it. It houses the headquarters and workshops of a brand named after one of the town's most famous registered landmarks, the Ancien Manège (Old Riding School), which stands opposite.
Born and bred in the Neuchâtel Mountains
The market launch of the DM-Exploration reinforces some of those unique and inspiring values derived from a specific urban setting and relationship with one of the historical cradles of top-drawer watchmaking. This is a city – let us recall here – where even the construction of the houses was done according to the lighting needs of the watchmakers who worked inside them. The case is made up of nine steel or ceramic components, is 44.5 millimeters in diameter, and water-resistant to 50 meters. The DM-Exploration highlights the keen sobriety of the case's curves by alternating satin-brushed surfaces with polished beveled edges. The workmanship is meticulous. It was done by the artisans and subcontractors of the region, which includes the famed Jura, of course. It is perfectly true to the famous dictum, "to do more than necessary."
The dial, with a black lacquered coating and the overlaid flange, has a unique style. It's the duManège style, which is also visible in the particular shape of the indices, the double finishing sanded- and satin-brushed, and the white rhodium-plated hands with tips blued using a varnish. The power reserve indicator is located at 11 o'clock, the calendar with hand-dates is at 7.30. It's an unusual arrangement and has a functional reason: the caliber was mounted into the case backward to allow the winding crown on the left of the watch, a trend that is popular with some of the major brands. It has a practical purpose, namely, to protect shirtsleeves made of delicate material.
As for the automatic mechanical caliber, it was also produced by one of the top movement builders of the region, the company Technotime in Brenets. It has a power reserve of 120 hours, which is indicated by a hand, has two barrels and a module for the date, also indicated by a hand. The oscillating weight and the finishings have been given some subtle and elegant customization touches, which show that a young, creative and inspired designer is at the origin of the DM-Exploration.
Subscription and customization
The dyed-in-the-wool aficionados call this a "watchmaker's watch," because it is liable to kindle admiration among the industry’s big players. But other people, perhaps less professional, will also feel a spontaneous desire to actually own one. Also because of the three versions being produced, the numbered one in steel is being sold by subscription. It's a way of acquiring directly a real distillate of horological excellence at "wholesale" price, i.e., at 50% of its retail price tag of CHF 9500.-
Montres duManège, Julien Fleury
Julien Fleury, born in La Chaux-de-Fonds, has always been connected to the space around the Ancien Manège (Old Riding School). His motto, naturally, is "Timekeepers produced exclusively in La-Chaux-de-Fonds and the region." After graduating from the local Art School, he became so enmeshed in his town that he became the only one to ever mention its name on his timepieces, notably and discreetly on the flange between 1 and 3 o'clock. The DM-Exploration follows all the traditional codes of watchmaking, while being frankly modern and technical.
DM-Exploration, born and bred in the Neuchâtel Mountains, the crown is on the left
Diameter 44.5 mm, lug width 22 mm
Satin-brushed surfaces, polished beveling
Nine steel components, high-tech black ceramic inserts
Water-resistant to 50 meters
- Black lacquer, overlaid flange
- Inscription "La Chaux-de-Fonds"
- White rhodium-plated hands, varnished blue tips (second and date hands)
- Anti-reflexive sapphire crystal
- Automatic (mechanical)
- Technotime with duManége customizing
- Two barrel springs
- Retrograde date shown by a hand
- Power reserve indicator
- 120 hours power reserve (five days)
- Natural rubber (caoutchouc) with steel folding clasp