Saturday, July 29, 2017

Pascal Coyon - Chronomètre Extraodinaire

Every now and then, a new timepiece comes to the market and it takes the notice of collectors. And was it quick to go. And for good reason too.

The Pascal Coyon Chronomètre is a simple yet elegant timepiece - great value for money too. And it is long time coming. I ordered mine some time back in August of 2014 and was told by Mr. Coyon he was closed to closing the orders. Based in France, the timepiece was very much sought after and by the time he finished my piece, almost three years have lapsed. And I know of collectors who are still waiting for theirs.

But the wait was worth it... 100%. The timepiece is entirely hand finished by Mr. Coyon who is based on Bayonne (South West), France. He tells me that he finds it difficult to source for quality craftsman near to where he is based which is the main source of the delay. Only him... yup, only him. So I take refuge in the fact that this is one of the first batch to be (almost) entirely made by Mr. Coyon himself. Couldn't ask for more.

But what is exceptional about this piece is the on the movement side. I normally start with introducing the timepiece featuring the dial side but I have to say that the movement of the Pascal Coyon Chronomètre is the reason why anyone would want this piece. Take a look...

The movement is a UNITAS based movement but highly modified and hand finished. The movement comes in three versions - rose gold plated, yellow gold plated and rhodium plated. By the time I made the selection, the rhodium plated ones were the only ones left. Engraved on the movement are the words "France" and "P Coyon"...

And the fine adjustment is also a modified mechanism.

The movement number (1900B19) is also engraved on the base plate. You can also see the frosted finish on the movement. When I wind the movement, it comes to live immediately after one wind. Excellent reaction from the movement. My only gripe is that the movement does not "hack" i.e. the second hand does not stop when you pull out the crown.

Every movement is hand finished by Mr. Coyon and the finishing is nothing short of stunning! And for under EUR4,500, this is really great value. For this price, you can't get a main brand finished to this level.

Each of the movement is limited to 20 examples and the limited edition number is hand engraved on the movement. Mine is 19/20. The mirror finishing on the movement bridges are exceptional - especially for a piece at this price level. I cannot think of another piece that comes close to this level of finishing. Great effort by Mr. Coyon and I am sure that owners of the Chronomètre will agree with me - looking at the movement alone is satisfaction enough.

And now for the dial side. Simple and elegant...

The little details are great - for example the curved minute hand... Come to think of it, this is my first French made timepiece! Vive la France!

The white lacquer dial has three variants - one with a navy blue numbers, one with black numbers and the one with black numbers but with red 12 (hour) and 60 (seconds). As you can see, I chose the black and red combo. There are two crown choices - the classic or the onion crown. I chose the former.

As for the hands, they come in two model - the "pomme-breguet" and the "marine" style hands and I chose the latter. Case-wise, he has two cases - the 42mm stepped case and the simpler 41mm case. I chose the 41mm. And all this is asked of you again when the movement has passed the Besançon Observatory chronometer test. From that point, one has to wait around 6 weeks for the final product.

Lovely white lacquer dial with railway track minute indicator.

The Red 12 and the red 60 gives the timepiece a unique look.

Hands are well finished as one would expect.

Another look at the red 12.

Each timepiece comes in a wooden case with a Chronomètre Certificate from the Observatoire De Besançon. On it, shows the movement number as well as the Observatoire reference number.

For the power reserve, we are told the timepiece has 48 hours of power reserve but mine ran 52 hours. On the first day, the accuracy came within 2 seconds (faster) and by the time it went into the 40 hours range, the difference was about 6 second faster. Acceptable and definitely within Chronometer specs.

On the wrist, the 41mm case wears well for me. Mr. Coyon said he was working through summer to finish the rest of the orders and I hope he will have a new timepiece released after that. Stay tuned and merci Mr. Coyon!