Watchmaker and designer François Quentin has an extensive range of skills. These extraordinary abilities have been utilised in the development and design of Louis Vuitton magnificent Tambour. He also co-founded Hautlence with the equally dynamic Guillaume Tetu in 2004. With a huge interest in mechanics and computer science he established the phenomenal brand 4N in 2009.
Over the last few years I have tracked the progress of 4N with enormous interest. Their debut model is the exceptional MVT01/D01. It is fair to say that this is one of the most original and exciting watches being promoted on the market. The present timepiece has evolved through several prototypes and is currently available to buy in very limited numbers. From numerous conversations with François Quentin it is clear that he is a perfectionist and is obsessively passionate about his sublime creation.
Visually the MVT01/D01 is an outstanding timepiece that exudes bold and distinctive lines. Effectively François’s vision was to design a highly complex mechanical timepiece with a digital display. The Façade is absolutely stunning and has a three dimensional architectural appearance. Essentially the dial is composed of a highly complicated system of rotating discs. These discs form three sub groups (4 discs for the hour, 5 for the minutes, and 1 for the ten minutes) that are held in structural cages to reveal the time. The inclusion of carbon fiber is a marvellous touch and gives the watch a very seductive masculine quality. I love the way the large orange numerals contrast against the sophisticated black background and industrial steel framework. Realistically the incredibly bold and distinctive design won’t appeal to everyone. I personally feel this creation is a masterpiece and would be the pride of any serious investors collection.
Apparently the reason why the watch has taken so many years to develop is due to the many demanding technical issues involved. Ultimately François had to invent a system that operated the discs without losing balance and inertia. The movement he has devised comprises 87 rubies and a staggering 520 hand finished components. This ingenious mechanism oscillates at a frequency of 21,000 vibrations per hour and delivers an impressive 237-hour power reserve. Functionally the MVT01/D01 displays jumping minutes and hours. There is also the facility to adjust the hour digits independently of the minutes.
The case of the innovative MVT01/D01 is available in an opulent choice of either 18K white gold or platinum and is limited to 16 pieces only at a retail price of 150 000 € (approximately $192,000)
By Steve Huyton