Perrelet watches introduces Perrelet Lab
It was a while that a new brand didn’t make it to the long list of brands available on Horbiter but, today, we would like to present you with the first of two articles devoted to Perrelet, a brand our Italian readers are probably not too familiar with, unlike our readers from the rest of Europe where the manufacturer is quite well-known. It is the story of Perrelet that is particularly renowned, the company was funded in 1777 and it is one of the oldest watch-making manufacturing companies that also features a historic first in its pedigree, namely the patent of the automatic winding system. The brand is mostly known for its Turbine collection that has been re-edited in different versions over the years and that undeniably represents its point of reference. In the last few years, moreover, the brand has managed to transform itself into a real manufacture.
The year 2016 has witnessed the birth of the Perrelet Lab collection, the third pillar of the brand’s product offer - among men’s watches - an aesthetically new collection that, for the first time, has been equipped with a cushion-shaped case. The base’s diameter measures 42mm by 42mm, the Perrelet Lab is a completely "business casual" timepiece that brings back some of the brand’s historical values and some of its more recent production features. The case is quite elaborate and particularly rich with details; the bezel is round, polished, and extremely thin, it rests on a base located underneath built in the shape of an octagonal prism where the longer sides form the case-middle, the decorations are machine-made so that they feature vertical slots in the shape of a rectangle. The “P.” logo located on the crown is quite remarkable.
The lugs start off from the base of the case to then widen where they meet the strap. The dial has two parts: a central part with vertical lines and an outer part that is smooth and connected to a sapphire-glass ring that is needed to view the peripheral rotor’s movement. This is the most extreme version of the concept of rotor exposed to the side of the dial, one of Perrelet’s characteristics since the launch of the brand’s first watch with this feature in 1995 and a characteristic that has been virtually present across all the brand’s collections ever since.
Among the pros of this solution is the possibility to leave the movement entirely on view, an additional element of immediate recognition of the manufacturer’s timepieces, a clear element of aesthetic distinction too like it was for years on the Turbine that has actually transformed it into a trademark. This particular option has “forced” the designers to suspend the applied indices that look as if they were fluctuating in the air despite being anchored to the central part of the dial.
The in-house built P-411 caliber features a Cotes-de-Genève decoration on bridges, it is entirely in-house built and what I mean with this term is that Perrelet also crafts the balance springs of its movements. The rotor has been moved from its traditional location and inserted within the outer perimeter of the dial, thus giving the movement the formal neat look of a manual caliber. The P-411 caliber sports the standard characteristics of a three-hands within this price range, like an oscillating frequency of 4Hz and the typical 42 hours of maximum power reserve.
This caliber definitely forms the basis for future evolutions, for the time being, however, it is a central three-hands with a date. The Perrelet Lab is available with a silver dial, anthrax, and black, the strap is made of leather and it features a folding clasp, the retail price totals 4,950 euro. It is a timepiece with very refined details with an original interpretation of the cushion-shaped case, a clear intention to craft an item that can be easily recognized as a Perrelet timepiece at first sight – including the “Peripheral” wording on the dial that might look like a relatively aesthetic detail but that actually isn’t -. The Perrelet Lab is a sober and sophisticated proposal, the manufacturer’s aim is to get hold of a different clientele than the Turbine’s by releasing a product that has been manufactured in-house from head to toe and strategically positioned under the 5,000-euro-psychological-threshold.
(Photo credit: Horbiter®'s proprietary photo-shooting)
Gaetano C @Horbiter®