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de Grisogono - de Grisogono’s double vision

de Grisogono de Grisogono’s double vision

The new New Retro collection by de Grisogono takes a different approach to the range’s stylistic and technical codes.

Over the last 25 years, it’s become abundantly clear that, with de Grisogono, it’s all about the staging. This applies to the company’s glitzy soirées and its exuberant jewellery as well as to its watches. The two new New Retro watches are no exception. The menu is simple: one men’s watch with power reserve, and a quartz model for ladies. So what is there that’s “New”? You’ll have to look a bit more closely.

Watches and pole dancing

Despite its sumptuous livery, the New Retro Double Jeu for women actually hides its game well. At first glance, the watch seems to have a round dial, two hour markers and a quartz movement. But, like all the New Retro collection, it also has that amazing case. Clean, simple lines outline a broad rectangle, balanced out by rounded corners and gentle curves. It’s a minimalist watch whose complexity lies in its construction, which is based on two curved sapphire crystals joined hermetically and sealed by a ribbon of gold.

de Grisogono’s double vision

New Retro Double Jeu © de Grisogono

Given that its movement is quartz, the presence of a rotor comes as something of a surprise. A kinetic movement, maybe? But no, it’s just for fun! The idea is to create some movement around the 9 and 3 placed on each side of the dial. As the openworked rotor (which can be seen at the bottom of the dial) rotates on its horizontal axis, the numbers pivot vertically. The diamond-set front face disappears and the back spins into view, set with different colours. The two playful numbers animate the dial of the New Retro Double Jeu with their pole dancing, as the wearer moves her wrist.

de Grisogono’s double vision

New Retro Double Jeu © de Grisogono

It’s a technical and fun construction that gives a new role to the rotor. In 99% of cases, the rotor is used to wind the movement. It has been seen before in a decorative role (Dior’s Calibre Inversé), but this is the first time its energy has been used to power mobile hour markers. Once again, de Grisogono’s playful creativity overturns customary usage to produce a unique creation. 

Naked!

After the pole dance, why not some nudity? de Grisogono’s Double Jeu has never been so seductive. Although the Power Reserve model does not showcase a new complication, it nevertheless lays the foundation for an idiom that de Grisogono has used sparingly until now: the skeleton watch. The brand’s skeletonised creations are few and far between. The New Retro Power Reserve sets the scene for a highly refined stylistic exercise, using the rectangular shape of the case to enhance the impression of space. The movement’s vertical bridges are flexed, as if to push back the limitations of the case, stretching the movement out across the maximum possible breadth.

de Grisogono’s double vision

New Retro Power Reserve © de Grisogono

The arrangement of its components is equally atypical. The barrel, gear train and balance are all lined up along a horizontal axis, from 9 to 3 o’clock, a linear luxury that would be impossible had the movement shape not been designed specifically for the New Retro. The power reserve is at 12, also an unusual location.

de Grisogono’s double vision

New Retro Power Reserve © de Grisogono

The watch employs the usual syntax of watchmaking, but completely rearranged by de Grisogono to speak its own watchmaking language. Although the New Retro was designed in 2008, the first models did not appear until 2015, after seven years in development. Given the level of stylistic and technical maturity of the Power Reserve, this gestation period was clearly not wasted.

The brand

Keen to develop technical timepieces with a refined and distinctive aesthetic appearance, in less than twenty years de Grisogono has successfully carved out a niche in the world of watchmaking. Its audacious design ethos is expressed in firmly contemporary, off-beat timepieces.

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