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Remember back when you were a kid in school watching the loudest clock on earth t-i-c-k across the vast chasm that was a one-minute delineation from one Bauhaus-inspired line to another? Or how about last week when you were filling up your gas tank while looking at the total cost meter go up and thought to yourself, “It sure is taking a long time to fill up the tank.” Time perception is one of those subjective experiences (combining multiple senses) that determine how “slow” or “fast” time seems to go by. For some people, it’s a matter of what speed they’re passing through time, versus time passing through them. Beaubleu Paris has materialized this difference in perception by releasing three variations of its new Vitruve watch that visualize time in different ways: Vitruve Date, Vitruve Origine, and Vitruve GMT.
Beaubleu Paris is the design child of Nicolas Ducoudert Pham, who started in car and luxury product design and has since immersed himself in the world of watchmaking. He believes that keeping a balance between pure watchmaking and design allows his brand to bring these two elements together to create strange, attractive beauties. The external aesthetic DNA comprised of straight-grained bezels with polished beveled edges, elongated lugs, and organically curved and polished cases, are prominent throughout all three model variants. The overall case design seems to draw from many well-known watch brands but none more so than Gerald Genta and the Patek Philippe Nautilus, which puts him in esteemed company.
The Vitruve Date is a contemporary three-handed design that is industrial and architectural. It gives the feeling that the watch was milled out of one solid piece of metal, yet the monochromatic color scheme and speckled texture make it look more like a piece of chiseled concrete. The date is discreetly placed at 6 o’clock and viewed through one of the 12 circular hour markers. The date complication of this piece is the perception of the present moment that simultaneously shows the past and the future by referencing the time shown by the circular hands.
Beaubleu Paris notes that its circular hands are inspired by the work of Galileo and are meant to give the sense of poetic kinetic movement. By eliminating the strict and formal pointing usually done by baton or dauphine hands, circular hands allow a degree of freedom in telling the “exact” time. The circular design is fully materialized in the Vitruve Origine. Beneath the pad-printed transparent smoked sapphire dial lays a secondary guilloché dial. Its simplistic yet bold sandwich dial design allows the indices to float above the water-ripple effect of the velvet-colored guilloché, signifying the perception of slowing down time.
The final perception of time is for those who like to move through time at their own pace and regularly live in two time zones. The Vitruve GMT is not your traditional GMT complication but more of a dual home time interpretation of the classic module. It mixes the utility of an internal dive bezel with the convenience of telling time in 12-hour increments, versus the classic 24 hours. Your home time is centrally located at the center of the dial and the second time zone is printed on the rehaut. The internal rehaut is operated by a second crown on the left side of the case body and can be turned bi-directionally.
All three variants of the Virtruve collection are powered by the wildly popular Miyota 9015 movement, which currently powers the watches of many independent brands. The front and back of the watch is bookended with sapphire crystals, and water resistance is rated at 30 meters. The automatic movement is housed within a 39mm 316L stainless steel case and is available with a 20mm leather strap or a 20mm semi-integrated steel band that is shaped to look like a steel blade.
Considering all the different ways we perceive time, Beaubleu allows us to wear our experiences on our wrists so that we can share our time with others. All three pieces are limited to 888 pieces and are available for pre-order until June 30th, 2022, with an expected delivery date sometime this September. Each watch’s price is dependent on the complication, color, and choice of strap or bracelet. The price starts at €740 for the Vitruve Date and Origine, and €880 for the Vitruve GMT. For more details and to pre-order your own perception of time, head on over to beaubleu-paris.com.
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