Nothing new under the sun in the watch design scene. Except for a particularly wearable pentagonal style created by the Geneva watchmaker Yvan Monnet. An affordable Swiss Made watch for wrists that resist mainstream conformity…
By Joël A. Grandjean, editor in chief & publisher of Swiss-Watch-Passport.ch & JSH Magazine
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There are still a couple of days to finalize the effective take-off of this new swiss brand of automatic timepieces, which is inspired both by the mountain lands of the Valais and the Saint-Gervais district, the cradle of the Geneva Cabinotiers.
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Tzoumy, Porsche 911 and Oyster, same matter
This design will certainly become essential, as it is unique in the current watchmaking universe. Is it going to need some time? Surely, as much as it took the “frog” shape of the Porche 911 to become since its first appearance in 1964, the unavoidable icon it is today. An unmodified aesthetic that is as timeless as it is attractive, as obvious in terms of good taste as a Rolex Oyster is, a figure that I have taken over 30 years to love and desire more than anything else.
Apart from the universally used round watch, in the world of octagonal watches that have become unmissable, or the tonneau shapes that are behind two of the most successful recent watchmaking ventures, the Franck Muller and Richard Mille brands, the Tzoumy Genève pentagonal design should be recognized as the greatest design revolution of the 21st century! Of course, Bulgari’s Octo family has also been able to shake up the market, in its own way, with its distinctive elegance and the incredible means used to promote it. But the aesthetic codes of our time are rather oriented to revive icons, revisiting first the 60’s, the 70’s and finally, more recently, the creative spirit of the eighties.
Yvan Monnet, the rebellious authenticity
Yvan Monnet is an enlightened craftsman. He is to the art of horological habillage what Laurent Ferrier or Rexhep Rexhepi of Akrivia are to the horological calibers. He has chosen independence and the risk of an original entrepreneurial challenge. After several decades of being fed by the immeasurable treasures of Vacheron Constantin and Patek Philippe’s glorious heritage, he is now almost unwillingly drawn into the evidence of a key idea, as obstinate as Captain Haddock’s plaster in Tintin, the Tournesol Affair: to achieve harmony and desirability in a contemporary watch case middle composed of five sides! A timepiece that, symbolically, translates the inseparability of the five fingers of the hand, the American government’s headquarters (the Pentagon), or more terroirally, the pentagonal tower of the City Hall of Leuk, in Valais. In the 13th century, it was the headquarters of the representatives of the former lord, the bishop of Sion.
In Yvan Monnet’s imaginary world, Swiss Valais is also a reminder of a city-dweller’s childhood, which found some beneficial resourcing in the village of La Tzoumaz. In fact, it was in this little town, formerly called Les Mayens-de-Riddes, that the would-be watchmaker used to spend some family vacations in a chalet that was deliberately sheltered from the ordinary comforts of home, rich in authenticity without any frills. These breaks remain in his memory as blessed moments full of the fundamentals. As vital as this design, which stands in stark contrast to all that is currently practiced in watchmaking. A form that inexorably asserts its identity and, before anyone else adopts it, allows the watch lovers of all generations, impatient for differentiation and the will to stand out, to be different. An elegance where each subtlety is shared and experienced.
Joël A. Grandjean: my pentagonal favorite: the Tzoumy Genève model in « melon mandarin » color, a particularly unusual hue in today’s watchmaking
The Landeron 24, a historic caliber
The mythical movements brand has just been reborn and Tzoumy Genève is one of the first independent brands to display it, in full letters on the dial, as others indicate the mention “automatic”: 28’800 A/h (4Hz), 36 hours of power reserve, five dial colors to choose from, opaline (white), cobalt blue, anthracite, denim blue and this astonishing melon (orange), anti-reflective treated sapphire crystal (bezel and back). Each finishing is delicate and will be appreciated by a particularly high wearing comfort.
Technical specifications of the five Tzoumy Genève variants
316L Steel case stainless steel, polished-brushed
Anti-reflective sapphire glasses on the bezel and the back
Star crown at 2pm Measurements: 3h-9h > 40mm
Between the lugs: 20mm
Backing: frosted sun, available in 5 colors, opalescent (white), blue cobalt, anthracite, Denim blue, melon (orange)
13 hour markers
Polished faceted and recessed hours and minutes hands
Second hand ‘arrow’ balanced
Caliber Landeron 24 with Tzoumy rotor
Max. run time deviation: 10 sec/day
Frequency 28’800 A/h (4Hz)
36h power reserve
With each watch, two wristbands
with clips with hooks
Hand-sewn calf leather, tanned in Italy
Deployant clasp on the worn wristband and deployant buckle installed on the second one
Watch the Tzoumy Geneva Kickstarter video announcement
The two brothers of Watcharch comment on their Youtube channel about their testing of Tzoumy Geneva / Yvan Monnet.