15 years of great content De Grisogono, the playboy and the Power Breaker
Looking ten years into the past throws up some odd product names.
During Flavio Briatore’s chequered career in Formula 1 he managed the Benetton Formula 1 team (1990-1997) and returned to the same team in 2000 after it had been sold to Renault and been renamed Renault F1. Among his many achievements are the poaching of a young Michael Schumacher after just one race with Jordan Racing. But after his team was accused of race fixing at the Singapore Grand Prix in 2008 he was banned from the sport in perpetuity by the FIA.
During his time at Renault F1, Briatore collaborated with Fawaz Gruosi of de Grisogono to produce the imposing Power Breaker watch. A Google image search for the term “Power Breaker” returns a bunch of far from alluring images of circuit breaker boxes that bear no resemblance whatsoever with the watch in question (other than the fact that they are both vaguely rectangular). As Ariel Adams, editor-in-chief of aBlogtoWatch, remarked at the time “it has a name that sounds like a piece of construction equipment/”. The collection was launched by Fawaz Gruosi and Flavio Briatore on 18th May 2005 during the Cannes Film Festival (large picture at the top of the page).
The Formula 1 associations were limited to the design of the dial, which vaguely resembles a steering wheel and has the Arabic numerals 2,3 and 4 on the right hand side to mimic the gear selection indicator that was found in the same position on the Formula 1 steering wheels of the time. Over a decade ago there was little talk of high-tech materials, lightweight construction or openworking, at least at de Grisogono. In fact, the Power Breaker was even available in precious metal - a gold alloy unique to de Grisogono that was baptized with the improbable name “Browny Brown Gold”. As its names more than suggests, the proprietary alloy had a rich caramel colour and was produced using the Physical Vapour Deposition (PVD) technique to create a thin film of the required colour on the surface of the gold. Although proprietary gold alloys are still all the rage, there is no longer any trace of the Browny Brown Gold at de Grisogono.
An even bigger mystery than the penchant for odd names in this period is the total absence of any information whatsoever on the movement. Even our original article from the time, which is taken from the official press release, tells us nothing more than the fact that it is a self-winding mechanical movement. By whom, and with how much power reserve, is anyone’s guess.
Thankfully over the past 11 years innovation, watch names and specifications have changed for the better! And Flavio Briatore is still active on the watchmaking scene, this year unveiling a watch with a snappier name in collaboration with Jacob & Co.: The Billionaire!
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