De Grisogono New Retro Power Reserve: The Great Gatsby of wristwatches
I belong to that small circle of people who love non-round watches in all their possible variations. The Monaco, the Reverso and all those watches that hide a secret side or feature an innovative mechanic mechanism within the case have always caught my attention. When you have a square or rectangular case you can also play around with geometry and sizes much more than a designer can do with a round case. A so-called shape watch, moreover, has a well-visible personality that a classic watch could never have.
DeGrisogono – a passion for non-round cases and the triumph as an haute-horlogerie manufacture
If you have followed, like I did from its very beginning, the history of this brand founded by Fawaz Gruosi, you will know that the brand made its debut with non-round watches. The Instrumento Uno and the Instrumentino are two of the best examples of the brand's philosophy.
Although the brand has been focusing in the high-end man's watches sector, it is only recently that it truly established itself among purists with its New Retro collection. This is a more refined interpretation of the man's watch (and woman’s watch too, because the New Retro also feature a woman’s version) of what the manufacturer has achieved so far, and this new path clearly marks the substantial progress made by DeGrisogono in its interpreting the male world in an increasingly refined way.
DeGrisogono - the New Retro
The brand is recognized for the undeniable originality of its creations (its woman’s high-end jewelry creations made it famous all over the world) and its watches have never been mistaken for any other existing watch. The New Retro collection brings that originality to a different level of mechanical executive refinement combined with a more sophisticated taste that I would call “neo-vintage", - a rather unusual mix that I have interpreted as DeGrisogono's desire to create an even more refined collection that cannot be mistaken for any other.
From my point of view, this goal has been reached. Aesthetically speaking, the DeGrisogono New Retro reminds us of the grille of a car from the 1930s with the winding crown inserted at the front (12 o'clock) – an intentional reference (the fuel cap), but also a necessity, because the case is made up of a frame and two sapphire glasses curved at the sides and held together by a golden strip (white gold or rose gold). It would have been impossible, as well as aesthetically negative, to insert the winding crown within one of the two sides.
In the DeGrisogono New Retro Power Reserve, the complication of the power reserve is just an excuse to introduce a skeletonized dial and a caliber, the RM 18-02, which can be recharged through the crown - a tribute to the world of watch-making from the beginning of last century.
The skeletonized movement of the DeGrisogono New Retro Power Reserve
The caliber is the real novelty here - the geometry of the bridges made of anthracite, rhodium plated and sand-blasted, was reduced to a minimum, while the movement was developed horizontally. All the components are visible; on the right you can find the balance wheel and on the left lays the ratchet wheel of the barrel decorated with a soleil motif. In the middle are all the train wheels that are also perfectly visible. The skeleton, light and easy to interpret as it should always be, allows for a virtually transparent watch, where the design of the bridges accentuates the feeling of movement even when the mechanism is not moving.
The power reserve totals 48 hours and because this is a manually-wound caliber, this figure should be increased in the future, although the charging operation, with the crown positioned at the top, is an extremely easy operation to carry out on the DeGrisogono New Retro Power Reserve. The case measures 50,6mm by 44,1mm, 12,3mm in thickness – it is aesthetically well-proportioned and, at first sight, even thinner due to the skeleton.
The DeGrisogono New Retro Power Reserve comes in both white and rose gold, and I prefer the latter for its pleasant contrast between the sand-blasted bridges and the rose gold parts with the two hours and minutes hands built in dauphine style that really stand out on the dial.
Without taking anything away from the white gold version, the rose gold version is my favourite one for that vague Great Gatsby style that lacks in the single-tone version. Technically speaking, the DeGrisogono New Retro Power Reserve represents a big leap forward for DeGrisogono, which is progressing fast on its path to becoming more and more established as a watch-manufacturer thanks to the New Retro and the DeGrisogono New Retro Power Reserve.
(Photo credit: Horbiter®'s proprietary photo-shooting)
Gaetano C @Horbiter®