On July 15th, 2019, the Heure Raffinée Eternal Collection launched on Kickstarter. The project is the culmination of three years of research and development into bringing the opulent and intricate styles of Baroque art into watchmaking. The result is a collection of timepieces that is brought to life by stunning details, from the partially open heart design at the front of the watch to the custom rotor design at the back.
Certain art styles lend themselves quite directly to watchmaking. Watches inspired by the principles of the Bauhaus School or Art Deco movement are ubiquitous. It is far less common to see an art form as ornate as Baroque realized effectively on the wrist. Originating in the 17th century, the Baroque movement swept Europe. In Paris, several Baroque-styled chapels sprang up, beautifying the streets and inspiring awe and wonder with their opulence and grandeur. The desire to pursue this less trodden track came to Heure Raffinée Founder and CEO Karsten Toh while observing the art and architecture of these Parisian chapels.
While the challenge to distill the sense of Baroque into a timepiece was not easy, Toh was dedicated to bringing to market a watch that flew in the face of the identikit minimalism routinely offered by many startups. And while the Heure Raffinée Eternal Collection lives up to the original remit, Toh was keen to make the watch as subtle as possible, so that it could just as easily be paired with casual wear as with formal dress. A restricted colorway, a modest 42mm diameter, and a slim, genuine leather band measuring just 18mm at the lugs were employed to improve versatility.
Just as with the Baroque art and architecture that inspired Karsten Toh, so too would the Heure Raffinée Eternal Collection be reliant on the use of excellent materials, caressed into their final form by the trained hands of experienced craftspeople. The 42mm × 11.8mm case, which is decorated with traditional scrollwork engraving, is available in either uncoated 316L stainless steel or 316L stainless steel with rose gold plating. A double domed sapphire crystal tops the case and provides an unrivaled view of the elegant dial beneath. The sapphire crystal is durable and scratch resistant and treated with an anti-reflective coating for improved clarity. The engraving was designed by Master Engraver, Mr. Weldon Lister. A third-generation artisan, Lister has dedicated more than 40 years of his life to the refinement of his craft. In addition to the instantly identifiable case decoration, the crown and butterfly clasp are both signed with the brand’s logo to tie the whole package together.
The premium Miyota movement reveals itself through a window in the dial. The automatic 90S5 Open Heart caliber can be seen beating away from both the front of the watch and the back where a deftly decorated rotor weight spins, charging the movement’s mainspring, which provides a 42-hour power reserve when fully wound. The Heure Raffinée Eternal Collection watches are water resistant to 50 meters and covered by a 12-month international warranty. Pricing will start at $729 Sinaporean Dollars for the first 20 pieces sold on the launch day ($729 SGD equates to $530 USD at the time of writing). By the end of the campaign prices will have risen to $899 SGD ($655 USD), which is 25% below the MSRP. To learn more and stay on top of brand developments, please visit heureraffinee.com.
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