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Do we still need to introduce you to Guillaume Laidet? The hyperactive French entrepreneur behind the revival of Vulcain and Nivada Grenchen unveils a new project called Argon Spaceone carried out in collaboration with Theo Auffret, an independent watchmaker shortlisted for the Grand Prix de l’Horlogerie de Genève and based in Paris. This new duo unveils a crazy first model named Argon Spaceone.
It’s a watch – or rather a collection – that immediately brings to mind Maximilian Büsser’s MAD1. At the crossroads between MB&F and Urwerk, the spaceone is, however, a watch that aims to be down to earth in terms of price. It’s a watch inspired by space exploration, a booming sector thanks to Elon Musk and his company SpaceX.
And that can be guessed at first glance because with such curves, it’s impossible not to think of a spaceship! The Argon Spaceone name he is a nod to the gas of the same name, also called noble gas, is the chemical element that bears the number 18 of the periodic table of the elements. Detected in space near the Crab Nebula, it is used on Earth for welding, incandescent lamps, but also for certain industrial processes such as the insulation of double-glazed windows.
Argon Spaceone Design
Let’s go back to the watch which displays a extraordinary design and a time display via three discs. Made from stainless steel, titanium or carbon, it displays imposing dimensions of 51.67mm wide by 42mm long.
If we turned it 90°, it wouldn’t be so maddening, but it’s a piece that was not designed to be discreet. We mentioned it in the title, it’s a jumping hour, which allows the hour disc to remain frozen and then to change battery when the new time passes.
To make this possible at a contained price, Théo Auffret has developed a module composed of 9 parts made in Switzerland. Everything is grafted onto a Soprod P024 caliber, an automatic movement that we hear more and more about. Some models are limited, others are not, with rates ranging from 1500 to 1900€. In any case, only watches pre-ordered on Kickstarter will be produced. The launch is today and the campaign will last 4 weeks. So if you are seduced, do not miss the boat!
The watch face
Now that we have quite dissected the case of this Argon Spaceone Watches, now let’s move on to the “dial”. So it’s not really a dial, but it’s what, in my opinion, makes all the charm of this watch with its innovative design.
We therefore find 3 graduated discs, with from left to right: the seconds disc, the hours disc and finally the minutes disc. The most interesting is the most spellbinding being of course the seconds disc which turns on itself.
Watches in the Carbon and Brushed Titanium version have black discs with white writing unlike the version 316L steel which it has white discs with black writing.
The jumping hour movement Argon Watches
Let’s open the hood of the beast a little and see what happens in this watch ARGON. This first Spaceone collection is a jumping hour watch, which means that the hours jump and change suddenly from one hour to the next. It is not so easy to find a jumping hour automatic watch movement. To tell the truth, it doesn’t really exist, but it’s most often a module that is added to a movement base.
For this watch straight from space, it is the watchmaker Theo Auffret who has developed a complete module based on a well-known automatic movement: land Soprod P024.
This jumping hour is composed of 9 pieces. It is via this system of several cogs and springs that the hour jump is controlled. All components are made in Switzerland then assembled in France in the Parisian workshops of Théo Auffret.
I particularly like the operation of the module as well as the time setting which is really very nice and fluid. It changes a lot from a needle watch. Be aware that on this ARGON module the time does not jump instantly in a fraction of a second.
The current time remains frozen for the first 55 minutes. Then at 55, the hour disc begins to turn slightly to jump suddenly between 59 and 60 minutes (00 on the disc). It’s a bit similar to a change of date in outline.
Concerning Caliber Soprod P024, it is a well-known Swiss mechanism. This movement of 4.6mm thick is an entry-level automatic caliber that offers 38 hours of power reserve at the watch. It has an accuracy ranging from -7 to +7 seconds per day.
Argon Spaceone Features
- stainless steel, titanium or carbon
- 51.67mm wide x 42mm long x 12.6mm thick
- curved sapphire crystal window
- crown at 9 o’clock
- transparent caseback
- water resistance 5 ATM (50 meters)
- digital display
- brass hour and minute discs and sapphire crystal seconds disc
- photoluminescent markings
- mechanical self-winding
- Soprod P024 caliber (no date) with in-house developed module
- jumping hour complication
- 38-hour power reserve
- 25 jewels
- 28,800 vibrations per hour
- black or orange FKM rubber
- 22/18mm fit
- pin buckle clasp
- assembly in France
- available for pre-order only
- 1500€ in polished or brushed steel, 1900€ in blue titanium, 1900€ in brushed titanium (limited to 100 pieces) and 1900€ in carbon (limited to 100 pieces)
- 2 year warranty