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Spero Lucem La Clemence “Crazy Hands” Tourbillon Minute Repeater Watch Hands-On

Spero Lucem La Clemence "Crazy Hands" Tourbillon Minute Repeater Watch Hands-On Hands-On

We are really happy to show you a video of the La Clemence watch in action – else it would be difficult to understand what new brand Spero Lucem’s flagship watch is all about. When we learned about Spero Lucem back at Baselworld 2013 we were quite surprised that it was co-founded by aBlogtoWatch friend and watch artist Yvan Arpa. People who follow us know that we like to keep up with Yvan’s latest shenanigans at his own brand, Artya. 2013 for example, saw the debut of the Son of Sound watch collection. In the same year, Yvan announced Spero Lucem, a brand that is in many ways quite uncharacteristically Arpa.

In addition to Swiss manufacturing partners SC2 and Manufacture Hautes Complications, Spero Lucem was co-founded by a female watch collector. She is Caiyun Song, an articulate and clever businesswoman from China who no doubt helped restrain Arpa when it came to producing a unique, yet sorta conservative high-end timepiece – dreamed up in, and honoring the city of Geneva. Spero Lucem as a brand is something that could only exist in the luxury industry. A low production maker of wild items that no one needs, but many people instinctively want. So let’s take a look at this rather special watch.

Spero Lucem La Clemence "Crazy Hands" Tourbillon Minute Repeater Watch Hands-On Hands-On

In terms of functionality, the La Clemence includes a tourbillon, minute repeater, time, and something…. else. The last feature is a whimsical complication that Yvan himself refers to as “crazy hands.” Because the watch includes a minute repeater and tourbillon, you know it is a high-value item for sure. On top of that, Spero Lucem wanted to add a “smile inducer” it seems. While we have no complaints about the minute repeater and tourbillon (they  work marvellously), they have been done many times before. Where is the value proposition of having yet another $300,000 plus minute repeater tourbillon? So, in the case of the La Clemence watch, a new complication was designed. Here is how it works: when the minute repeater is operating, the hands on the eccentric dial that tell the time will move around the dial wildly. When the minute repeater is finished chiming, the hands return to their original position indicating the time. Simple, perhaps silly, but nevertheless satisfying.

At launch,  Spero Lucem debuts with four products. This includes two watches (the other is called La Jonction), a folding Damascus steel knife with moving watch gears in it, and a cross-shaped pendant for women covered in diamonds. It is an interesting little collection of luxury items for sure. From a visual perspective, especially the case, this might be the most conservatively designed watches Yvan Arpa has ever been a part of creating, but I think it is good for him. Though I never thought he’d work with someone ever again.

Spero Lucem La Clemence "Crazy Hands" Tourbillon Minute Repeater Watch Hands-On Hands-On

After Arpa’s less than friendly departure from Romain Jerome a few years ago, he had to sue them in order to reclaim monies apparently owed to him. Each side probably had a decent argument, but Arpa walked away with a very poor taste in his mouth. He later worked with several other brands such as (now defunct) Volna, and then Jacob & Company. Each relationship was a bit short-lived. It is difficult to assign blame, but Arpa certainly has a unique way of operating within the typically conformist culture that is the watch industry. His own Artya brand is a great example of how he does things. What is novel about his relationship with Spero Lucem is that the brand is entirely new from the start. Arpa isn’t walking into an existing company, but was there from the beginning.

What Arpa really seems to want to do is make interesting watches, meet with clients, and make people “feel” something when they see his creations. He probably isn’t the world’s best business person, but has fared far better than most. In a nutshell he is more artist than watchmaker, and ironically that is rare, at least in the Swiss parts of the watch world. Geneva is his home, so there is a lot of him in the concept of Spero Lucem for sure… next »



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  • omrivm


  • IvailoIvanov

    Why do I not like this flashy guts-out designs? I guess the main reason is that these are mainly fashion statements and not real time pieces. It is hard to tell the time without staring at them for several seconds.
    Are there people like me or it’s just me feeling too old-fashioned?

  • Ulysses31

    It’s a great looking watch, so much so that you’d think Arpa had nothing to do with the design at all.  I’d rather have a more useful complication for that kind of money like a power reserve.  Having said that, useful complications aren’t to be expected from a guy who looks like the bottle of gin he was holding was cropped out of the photo.  This guy needs a stylist; just because he IS crazy doesn’t mean he has to look like it.  I’m not liking Roman numerals as usual but on this style of watch it probably fits better than anything else.  Still, i’d prefer they were thinned out to the extent that they looked more like stick-markers.  The scale is not that easy to read with large gaps at every hour marker and looks like it was applied as a pad transfer, pretty cheap in appearance compared to the rest of the watch.



  • wstephens1

    480,000 Swiss francs ????   Ha ha ha ha ha
    I can  hardly wait for my next NBA contract then ‘llI buy it.
    Nice watch though


    I love this watch.  I’ll take the full 18k gold case, please 🙂

  • droo

    hi there
    I am not an enthousiast of watches showing complications like bodybuilders their muscles. This watch (I don’t like the first picture of it) shows to be really marvellous on the video. The harmony of the watch is much more than looking at the dial then at the back, but see the watch in motion as it is in hands reveal its beauty. The sound  of the repeater is beautiful too, quite a medium tone thus elegant. Again I prefer steel than gold, but this one is best suited with gold (because of the dial as well as the color of the caliber). The price is way beyond my reach, but in those times of crisis there are new rich people that will be able to afford it. Cheers to all, it is 10:11 AM on my Casio…;)

  • Kar Wai Law

    Friend: Hey, what’s that on your wrist? A new watch?
    Me: Yeah, cost me a bomb man!
    Friend: Wow! It looks awesome though. What brand is it?
    Me: It’s a new brand called Spero Lucem.
    Friend: A s-wha? It sounds like sperm! Haha!

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