I often hear people say that a watch and wedding ring are the only pieces of jewelry a man gets, and the watch world definitely seems to cater to men. There are, of course, plenty of women’s’ watches out there, but they are often relegated to being “fashion watches,” without much emphasis on the technical prowess, leaving the impressive movements and technology to the men’s watches in their catalog. Well, bucking that trend, Franck Dubarry has announced its Crazy Wheel ladies watch, a jewel-studded mechanical beast with an in-house 360-degree flying movement.
Franck Dubarry has already set a precedent of creating mechanically interesting watches with unique blends of materials and design in its Crazy Wheel men’s collection, and the brand is bringing many of the same principles over to the women’s collection. For the initial offering, Franck Dubarry has released four variants all built on the same core design. The Crazy Wheel features a 43mm case that’s 50mm lug-to-lug, made out of lightweight titanium. Surrounding the titanium bezel are 36 set diamonds. For the dials, Dubarry is offering mother of pearl, engravings, a circular brushed finish, or an engine turned finish, providing a variety of different colors and styles. As far as strap options, the watch comes on its “Elastogator” strap, which is rubber with a crocodile-style print. The watch is fitted with a sapphire crystal and is water resistant down to 100 meters.
The design of the watch is primarily built around highlighting the movement. For the Crazy Wheel, Dubarry is using the CW01 automatic movement, developed and made by Dubarry in house. The movement has 33 jewels, beats at 28,800bph, with a power reserve of 38 hours – but that’s not what makes it cool. This movement features a flying bridge, where a mechanical differential allows the hour hand to stay in a fixed horizontal position, while still telling the time. Thanks to its partially skeletonized dial, you get a front row seat to this mechanical show.
While the Franck Dubarry Crazy Wheel Ladies Collection still features many of the things that have become cliche for women’s watches with gemstones, mother of pearl, etc., Franck Dubarry is providing a really fascinating mechanical aspect to these watches. At 43mm, it might be a touch large for the target market, however, this watch would, no doubt, make a statement. A watch like this is so far outside my wheelhouse (and gender), but I love to see things like this. All too often, women’s collections are relegated to basic quartz movements and just serve as a carrier for gold and gemstones. Obviously, the Crazy Wheel is still studded with diamonds but that isn’t the most interesting aspect, and I’d bet that many would-be buyers will find themselves more interested in the mechanics of the watch than just the number of stones it has. Pricing and availability details have yet to be announced, but be prepared for a large price tag, given this collection’s spec sheet. Learn more at franckdubarry.com.