As an homage to Japan and to raise some charity money, Ladoire has produced this piece unique version of their Roller Guardian Time (RGT) watch. They call it the "Origin of the Sun," and it really is one big fanboy nod from Lionel Ladoire to Japanese Culture.
The Roller Guardian Time is a very unique timepiece in the world of high-end watch making. You really need to get to know Mr. Ladoire to appreciate it and understand the lifestyle around it. With a unique shape and design, it is a special member of the world of independent horology. I first wrote about the Ladoire RGT watch here a few years ago.
The premise of the large timepiece is to have a retrograde hour indicator, subsidiary minute and seconds dial, and a large second time zone hand. Think of it as a very strange regulator style watch. It takes some mental adjustment to read, but it is doable. The automatic movement is made by Calvet, and really looks nice in all the different ways Ladoire has presented it.
In this case the Origin of the Sun watch is in 18k white gold that has been PVD black coated. There is also some titanium elements on the case. The ultimate "screw you I am rich move" is to coat gold with black in order to hide it. The case is large, being 56mm wide, but is wider than it is tall so that most wrists can accommodate it. The thick strap which curves down sharply helps fill out the shape of the case and keeps it neatly on your wrist.
The central design point of this unique model is the red rising sun image taken from the Japanese Imperial flag. Ladoire recreated it as a movement bridge. The piece is actually hand-cut platinum, done in a red color. It fees very Japanese with the light silver tones of the rest of the movement and matching color on the strap stitching. On the side of the case is a engraved "Origin of the Sun" label.
The RGT is certainly a cool watch no matter if you like it or not. This piece unique "Origin of the Sun" version retails at 211,000 Swiss Francs, but won't be sold like that. It will be auctioned off in Geneva, with 30% of the winning bid going directly to the Japanese Red Cross who are still assisting Tsunami victims.
Technical specifications from Ladoire:
Movement manufactured by Ladoire : Calvet/o1
• Calibre with automatic winding-mechanism, manufactured «Calvet/01/RGT» 26 jewels, on plate : 9h 3h > 39.50mm / 12h 6h > 29.50mm, thickness 9.30mm.
• Bridges of circular geometry with special red satin-finish painting, angle hand-polished
• Shaped main plate with cut-out and special red satin-finish painting
• Shaped main plate with special white mat paint
• Micro rotor up-lifted with two parts 15/2, Position 6 o'clock
• Balance at 8.40
• Escapement 15.1
• Optimized gear train profile
• Frequency 18,000 a/h (2.5Hz)
• Power-reserve 48 hours
• Hours, minutes, seconds. Time setting with the crown, position 8 o'clock
• Indication H, M, S by discs set on ceramic ball-bearing (Lubrication/OFF)
• GMT with fast correction position 2 and 4 o'clock
• GMT indication by profiled hand
• Bezel and back-case in White Gold with black PVD coating, case in Titanium
• Dimensions 9h 3h > 56mm / 12h 6h > 45mm, thickness 16.3mm
• Bezel sapphire crystal incurved with anti-reflection treatment
• Back-case sapphire crystal convex with anti-reflection treatment
• Water resistance 50 meters / 165 feet
• Black full-grain hand-stiched calf leather, brass and silicone insert
• Articulated RGT buckle white gold and titanium black PVD
RGT Custom “Origin of the sun” 211,000 CHF excluding taxes - UNIQUE PIECE