It was our, to date only female, contributor Sky Sit who drew attention to Claude Meylan for the first time at Fratello only a month ago. She named them the Masters of Skeletons. Today, after having visited Claude Meylan at Baselworld 2019, we would like to give that a follow-up.
After a brief first visit during SIHH this year, we were able to reserve some more time during Baselworld 2019 to learn about the novelties Claude Meylan introduced.
In the middle of the eighteenth century, Meylan was one of four families bringing fine watchmaking into the Jura region. Through the manufacture of pocket watches equipped with music discs, fine watchmaking becomes a family tradition. Generations succeed one another and the passion of fine watchmaking was passed on in most minute detail.
Meylan was one of four families bringing fine watchmaking into the Jura region
Reestablished in 1988, the brand that bears the name of one of horology’s most influential families comes with a new identity. Something to set it apart from the crowd, something to honor the legacy that the original Meylans had left behind. Fed by generations of passion for movements, Claude Meylan turned their attention to mastering what would define the brand, skeletonizing. The art of removing as much material as possible from a movement without sacrificing its performance and, purposefully, adding to its aesthetic appeal. Claude Meylan likes to present new shapes and harmonies on bridges, wheels, and trains to express a new vision of time while establishing a new art of sculpted pieces.
Today the Claude Meylan collection comprises of 5 model lines. Lac, Tortue, Lion, l’Abbaye, and Légendes. Baselworld 2019 saw new models in the Lac and Tortue model lines; we’ll stick to the new Lac Motorities models here in this article. Added to the 13 models already in the Ligne Lac were three models inspired by moments of historical races.
…spaces attract imagination of adults and children alike
By combining the world of vintage car racing and its know-how of skeletonizing, Claude Meylan offers some unique pieces specifically interesting to lovers of mechanical watches. The scene taking place next to the smallest hand-wound skeletonized movement available to date, a cut out almost diorama-like, sculpture illustrates a particular moment of historical races. Claude Meylan further innovates and superimposes these cut-out dials so that they create a three-dimensional effect and an intriguing depth. Between them, spaces attract the imagination of adults and children alike.
The specific construction of these elements allows a staging on both sides. From the front, we are in full action. In black, grey and off white effects, faithful to the vintage spirit, the sculptures feature several moving parts inspired by the Haute Joaillerie. While through the transparent case back we discover a new scene.
As said, in the Lac Motorities models Claude Meylan uses the smallest hand-wound skeletonized movements available to date. These movements are based on the ETA 2512. A 17 jewels movement measuring only 17,2 mm in diameter, and running at a frequency of 21.600 tics per hour with a power reserve of 38 hours.
…finely finished, fully skeletonized, and engraved
The ETA 2512 is a typical representative of mechanical movements produced in the quartz age, the early eighties. It is a modern constructed watch movement normally seen with a bare finish. But of course, not here at Claude Meylan where it’s finely finished, fully skeletonized, and engraved. The three-leg ring balance is beared in two Incabloc shock protection systems, the hairspring is attached with a modern-type connector to the moveable hairspring stud, and its effective length can be regulated directly at the hairspring only.
A characteristic thing of this movement is its indirectly driven minute hand (achieved by the third wheel), which allows increased space for a larger balance and a larger mainspring barrel. Both are responsible for longer runtime and increased precision. In contrast to many other ETA movements, the dial-side bearing of the third wheel is realized by a synthetic ruby, while the mainspring barrel lacks a ruby.
As mentioned, the ETA 2512 based movement is hand wound, offers hour and minute function only, and has an autonomy of 38 hours.
Although the Lac Motorities models certainly don’t look crammed together, the size of their 316L stainless steel casing is not over 42 mm in diameter. Front side the case sports scratch-resistant sapphire crystal, while the less prone to impact case back is made of mineral crystal.
The pressure rating of 3 atm ensures a carefree daily use. A leather strap with 316L stainless steel pin buckle makes a comfortable wearing, and end to this article.
You’ll find a form with compiled information of these watches below the picture gallery. Within short more information about the Lac Motorities models can be found at www.claudemeylan.ch as well, where the watch can be ordered by that time as well.
Gerard has been in the watch industry for over two decades now. He owned a watch shop in The Hague, The Netherlands, and besides that he has journalistic and photographic activities in the field of watches. Collecting watches since he... read more