We learn about the existence of watch brands in a variety of ways – advertising, newspapers and magazines (or perhaps websites such as this), wandering into watch retailers… the list is endless. For those who buy watches or are part of the ‘watch ecosystem’, it is often via friends and acquaintances.
So it was that earlier this year, when some of us met up with someone we’ve known for a number of years, who is now with the brand Claude Meylan. Our collective hands-on experience with this brand was basically zero, so when we got an invitation to learn a bit about it from Pia, we were keen to find out more.
The brand was established in 1988 by Claude Meylan, before being sold in 2002 to Henri Berney, who decided to focus on skeletonisation. A change of ownership to Philippe Belais in 2010 did not alter this emphasis on skeletonised watches, adding wide ranging customisation options as well.
We looked at a number of watches from both their men’s and women’s collections, but the one that grabbed our attention the most was the Fenêtres sur Temps (Ref. LAC 6046-B), from the LAC collection, with its unusual ‘hour dial’.
The LAC watches are named after their inspiration, the Lac de Joux. This particular watch’s look is inspired by winter, with the radiating sunbeam dial representing icicles, although you could also look at it as the sun’s rays across the frozen lake, maybe? The dial is what we found most interesting, because it is so different. It is hard to stand out in the openworked watch market, but this watch has a very eye catching point of difference.
This is no ordinary ‘open dial’. There are three openings, one of which is the hour hand, which is actually a disc with the hand shape cut out of it. Because it is so unexpected it takes a moment to get your head around it and work it out, but once you do it’s kind of cool, and it gives you a constantly changing view of the movement. There is also a rhodium-plated minutes hand.
The movement is the reliable manual wind Unitas 6497 with a power reserve of 42 hours. This isn’t a watch about the movement but about the design, although it is important to note that it has been heavily skeletonised, the dial is where it stands out.
The watch’s case is 42mm of stainless steel, and comes on a leather strap.
With an RRP of €2,941 excluding tax, the Fenêtres sur Temps (‘windows on time’) is for those looking for something slightly quirky and unusual, and can be purchased online at a link on their website.