January 13, 2017
The Slovakian duo of Molnar Fabry is known for their inventive take on skeletonized movements and dials. Michal Molnar and Igor Fabry joined forces after careers in jewelry-making, combining their expertise and love for haute horology to create one-off, bespoke, largely handmade, and often richly engraved watches. The Molnar Fabry White Lotus Rattrapante chronograph watch is all of this, but is based upon a heavily modified vintage pocket watch movement.
In a handmade 45.8mm stainless steel case, the Molnar Fabry White Lotus Rattrapante displays a skeletonized silver dial with handmade blued steel hands below a sapphire crystal, and the brand’s logo is displayed at the 12 o’clock mark. The aesthetics of the piece are intricate and elegant but you’re really meant to focus on the movement which, in this case, is pretty distinctive.
There are brands that take pocket watch movements restored to varying degrees and place them in modern wristwatch cases – which are often a good fit with contemporary preferences for larger watches. Molnar Fabry, of course, would not be satisfied with a simple restoration. For this particular piece, Molnar Fabry has used an old C.L. Guinand rattrapante chronograph movement from circa 1930. We’ll remind you that a rattrapante chronograph, sometimes called a double chronograph or split-seconds chronograph, uses two seconds hands that start together and can then be stopped separately, allowing the timing of two events. Basic chronograph movements being complicated to begin with, we are talking about a rather involved mechanism with a lot of parts.
The hand-wound, Swiss-made movement contains 17 jewels and operates at 18,000bph (2.5Hz) with a main plate and bridges plated with pink gold, hand-embellished by Molnar Fabry using the “banknote technique.” Banknote engraving is, yes, the technique used in creating the artwork found on paper money, and it is said to be one of the most complicated and painstaking engraving processes. The result is a watch you will want to appreciate with a loupe.
Molnar Fabry’s specialty is in modifying, skeletonizing, and hand-engraving third-party movements in creative ways, and we have been routinely impressed with the quality of their work. See our Monlar Fabry manufacture visit report and more diverse examples of their handiwork here. The movements they use for other collections are typically either Unitas or ETA modified beyond recognition, and in the past they have even teamed up with none other than Christophe Claret.
You can find a wealth of C. L. Guinand pocket watches online in varying conditions, but most that have been cared for still run well, so the movement has at least stood the test of time thus far. This piece is for someone with an affinity for vintage watch movements and the history they carry, combined with an appreciation of skeletonized dials and fine engraving. Molar Fabry espouses that such pieces allow the wearer the best way to feel connected to the piece and the result here is quite nice.
The Molnar Fabry White Lotus Rattrapante is paired with a genuine alligator leather strap handmade by ABP Paris with a stainless steel deployant that is also hand-engraved. Price for the one-of-a-kind (pièce unique) Molnar Fabry White Lotus Rattrapante is 42,000€. molnarfabry.com