It’s not easy when you’re a newly created brand to bring something truly new to the watchmaking world. However, it is almost essential to be able to stand out in a plethora of options. In fact, not a single day goes by without discovering new models, launches or projects. Vincent Heyraud was able to respond to this challenge with his Pulsograph watch which is marketed through the brand he founded: Medeor. If he succeeded, it is quite simply because the Pulsograph responds to a need to which a member of the medical profession (Vincent is a doctor of pharmacy) is particularly aware. The objective of the Pulsograph is to reinvent the pulsometer watch in order to allow simple and rapid measurement of heart rate and respiratory rate.
The best ideas are those that are easiest to implement… and use. You know, the ones about which we say: “you just had to think about it…”. Well, that’s exactly the conclusion I made when I discovered the Pulsograph bezel. In fact, the “pulse” bezel with bidirectional rotation has two graduations: one pulsometric for 15 pulsations and one asthmometric for 4 breaths. Obviously, presented in this way, the bezel seems to have a disadvantage since if the second hand is at the start of the pulsometer zone, taking an asthmometric measurement will require significant manipulation of the bezel to position the start of the graduation facing the second hand. The challenge of taking rapid measurements would then not be achieved. But Vincent thought of combining this bezel with a through second hand. Thus, one end of the second hand will always be closest to the start of the graduation. With practice, the person who intervenes during a rescue can even take instantaneous double measurements, which in an emergency situation is a real asset. This notion of speed is also highlighted by the graduations which have been determined for 15 pulses and 4 breaths so that the measurement is as short as possible (for example, on the Lange & Söhne 1815 chronograph, the graduation is made for 30 pulsations).
The following illustrations, present on the Medeor website, explain very clearly how the measurement is carried out:
Even if the bezel and the through second hand constitute the particularity of the Pulsograph, it would be a shame to summarize the latter only in the functionality they provide. Because for the rest, the Pulsograph is a very well made versatile watch. I use the adjective “versatile” because it has characteristics that allow it to be used in all circumstances.
First of all, its diameter is 40mm. Given the thickness of the bezel, the opening of the dial remains limited and the perceived size is reasonable when the watch is worn. The length of the horns of the steel case gives it a certain fluidity. The good news is that the thickness is correct (12mm including the domed sapphire crystal) which is acceptable for a watch water resistant to 200 meters. The whole thing is rather fluid and elegant, which was not necessarily easy to obtain given the visual impact of the bezel.
The dial has a classic presentation with numbers 3-6-9. The dial of the prototype that I was able to see during a meeting with Vincent in Bordeaux was well finished with precisely executed luminescent numbers, indexes and hands. The missing element in the prototype compared to the final version was the quality of the curved glass which lacked internal anti-reflection. I was therefore not able to accurately judge the readability of the whole thing but given the design of the dial and the luminescence of its main elements, I have no doubt on this point. The two ends of the through second hand are also highlighted and luminescent to make measuring easier. The second hand is mainly red to catch the eye more easily. Note the absence of a date window. Personally, I think this is excellent news and I imagine that Vincent made this choice taking into account the size of the dial opening and in order to make the second hand visible in any position.
The case back is solid so that the movement which drives the Pulsograph is not visible. This movement is the G101 caliber from Lajoux-Perret (undated version of the G100) which has a power reserve of 68 hours and a frequency of 4hz. These performances are therefore in line with those of recently designed movements and I appreciate this power reserve close to 3 days. Generally speaking, it is a robust, precise caliber and its increasingly wide distribution ensures good durability.
Aesthetically, the Pulsograph remains a classic-looking watch like a sort of diving Explorer. However, it has several original details. The rendering of the bezel is interesting with a polished ceramic and brushed tungsten insert. The contrast between gray and blue is clearly marked to avoid any confusion and the bezel evokes, in a certain way, that of a GMT or rather world time watch given the presence of numerous information. The shape of the curved glass adds character and I also liked the design of the crown. Finally, the through second hand brings additional singularity to the dial. Without being revolutionary, the Pulsograph thus has its own identity which is a positive point.
I therefore appreciated this watch which came from a personal approach and which responds to a need expressed by a member of the medical profession. The whole thing is very well designed and the quality of the execution, from what I was able to judge through the discovery of the prototype, seemed to me quite satisfactory, particularly with the test of handling the bezel. The latter rotates in both directions with precision and the sensitivity of this rotation is well balanced, neither too firm nor too gentle. The other constituent elements are of the same level and the caliber’s own performances are an additional argument. Another point that caught my attention is that the workshop that assembles the watch is located in the Bordeaux suburbs. So, I am delighted once again to see a project take shape in the great southwest (Vincent is based in Toulouse) which demonstrates, once again, that many watchmaking concepts are developing in many French regions.
How to finally get this Pulsograph? Parts from the launch series of 150 copies can be ordered directly from the Medeor website for delivery scheduled for June 2024 with the following pricing system: for any order placed until November 20, the proposed price is 595 euros, i.e. a significant reduction compared to the reference rate of 1,130 euros. Then the price increases to 795 euros between November 20 and December 18. The price for the last phase of the launch period is 995 euros and ends on January 14. These prices correspond to a watch delivered with a steel bracelet as well as an elastic/velcro strap.
I sincerely think that the introductory price of 595 euros is extremely competitive for a watch with interesting features and a unique bezel and functionality. So, I advise those interested to position themselves quickly in order to benefit from the lowest price. In any case, I wish Vincent every success because beyond the watch itself, I was really seduced by his own approach which consisted of finding a solution to a specific problem.