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Watchmaking

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opposite: bEhind lA JonCtion’s claSSic aESthEticS liES thE vEry ESSEncE of watchmaKinG ExpErtiSE. below: yvan arpa payS homaGE to GEnEva with thE crEation of thE watch brand SpEro lucEm.

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Ci-Contre: dErrièrE Son ESthétiquE claSSiquE, lA JonCtion cachE un concEntré dE maÎtriSES horloGèrES. Ci-dessous: yvan arpa rEnd hommaGE à GEnèvE avEc la création dE la marquE horloGèrE SpEro lucEm.

S PERO L UCEM , THE SPIRIT OF G ENEVA GEttinG bacK to thE Spirit of thE GEnEva watchmaKErS. thiS iS thE philoSophy of thE nEw brand SpEro lucEm, crEatEd, dESiGnEd and launchEd by yvan arpa. ElEGancE and Grand complicationS.

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till and ever creating. Reinventing, shaking up, surprising, innovating. Yvan Arpa, the Geneva watch designer, knows how to do it better than anyone. Bold and daring, he was the first to bring completely different working methods to classic watchmaking. For ArtyA, his own brand, Yvan Arpa was especially noticed, by using even more innovative materials on his dials (butterflies, Euros, rusted steel, pigments, concrete, real bullets, etc.) or by allowing his watch cases to be struck by lightning in order to produce “the fascinating colours of my motorbike’s exhaust pipe”, he explains. For Baselworld 2013, he will present the first watch with a guitar-shaped case, paying homage to his rocker friends. Today, Yvan Arpa is committed to a more classical path with the creation of the watch brand Spero Lucem, designed as a tribute to Geneva. Yvan Arpa notes, “Some two to three hundred brands consider themselves to be from Geneva, but the city’s identity is not found in their creations. With Spero Lucem, I am inspired directly by what is fundamentally from Geneva.” The name of the brand itself, Spero Lucem, comes from the Geneva’s Post Tenebras Lux motto. In fact, the whole motto would more accurately be Post Tenebras Spero Lucem, or a Latin translation of part of a sentence from the Bible, taken from the book of Job in the Old Testament: Noctem verterunt in diem, et rursum post tenebras spero lucem, which means “They changed night to day, and after the darkness, I hope to see the light again.” Geneva’s emblem serves as a starting point for the Spero Lucem logo, like the imperial eagle’s tail, which is at the heart of the official insignia opposite the famous pastoral key, on the red, Swiss background. The eagle, with its legendary strength, summons victory and the flight

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below: Each element of the Spero Lucem watches is inspired by Geneva’s coat of arms. opposite: Caiyun Song, Yvan Arpa’s associate, designed the luxury jewellery line of Spero Lucem. Here, the cross appears in a brilliant green, which is all the rage.

towards the hoped-for light, by embodying a “positive attitude” of creative momentum. As for the key, whose open end points towards the sky, it talks of opening doors, at a time when the city was surrounded by fortifications. It portrays access to knowledge that has for too long been locked away, reserved for the elite. Finally, the top of this key encloses a cross that is rich in metaphors: encounters, the meeting of know-how, knowledge, crossroads of differences, freedom of passage and “Swissness”. All these are elements that are found in the watches. The dial, for example, is inspired by the eagle’s plumage, whereas the bridges are decorated with its crest. As for the Spero Lucem hallmark, it has more of the Plume d’Aigle Impérial feathers, stylised with the contours of a redesigned emblem with the letters SL and the famous pastoral key at its centre. “I created this brand to tell a story, that of watchmaking in Geneva, which was influenced by the Reformation, which banished luxury and everything to do with it. I am known for my mad ideas— by the way, I’ve got drawers full of them, added Yvan Arpa, mischievously—but I want to get back to the origins. This idea has been going round in my head for some two or three years now.” But as it is often the case, destiny had to step in, in the form of Sylvain Godinet from Beau Lawyers SA, who organised a meeting between Yvan Arpa and Caiyun Song, a great Chinese collector of watches, who has a remarkable understanding of luxury and watchmaking excellence.

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Ci-dessous: Chaque élément des montres Spero Lucem est inspiré de l’écusson de Genève. Ci-contre: Caiyun Song, l’associée d’Yvan Arpa, est à l’origine de la ligne de haute joaillerie de Spero Lucem. Ici, la croix est déclinée dans un vert éclatant, très tendance.

Spero Lucem accentuates austerity and an internal richness, also creating elegant, timeless models with grand complications. The first Spero Lucem collection comprises two models, La Clémence and La Jonction, presented in different versions. La Clémence, which owes its name to the most important of the 45 bells of Saint-Pierre Cathedral in the old town, and of the café of the same name – a true Geneva institution – standing in Bourg-de-Four square, is a world first. This exceptional time keeper has a minute repeater with a St Pierre gong – in honour of the dexterous Pierre Favre,

from MHC (Manufacture Hautes Complications), who adjusted the sound; a tourbillon with a cage performing one rotation per minute; and a complication never before achieved in the history of watchmaking: hands, which are set off when the mechanism chimes, lose their head and go “crazy”. While this world first may be amusing, it also makes a lot of sense. In fact, the role of the complicated mechanism of a minute repeater, which can indicate the time with a sound, aims to enable its user to focus on the sound. In fact, at the time when watchmakers invented this complication, there was no

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light apart from candles. In the middle of the night, people had to listen for the hour to chime: Nowadays, the “crazy hands” avoid the temptation to look at the dial to confirm what time is it. After the chime, the hands of La Clémence, which are moved by a mechanical memory, take up their correct positions once again. The watch, available in gold or titanium, comes in a box, which is reminiscent of the pipes of the large organs and inspired by that of Geneva’s Cathedral. “On the bell, there is an engraved inscription, Vox mea cunctorum est terror doemoniorum, which means ‘My voice, more than anything, is the terror of demons’. It is a magnificent message, which I found inspiring. I see it as a sort of lucky charm”, Yvan Arpa emphasizes. The second model, called La Jonction, in reference to the

meeting of the two rivers, the Arve and Rhone, is a concentration of watchmaking mastery. Here, the mechanism of jumping hours, produced by an instantaneous jumping disc, is combined with a minutes display effected by a retrograde hand. The dial’s surface is divided into two very distinctive parts. At six o’clock, the tourbillon can be seen as it rotates every minute, guaranteeing the movement’s perfect precision. The clear, bright dial offers optimal legibility with its refined numbers, in the window where jumping hours appear. To the right of the hours window, is the minutes arc, completing the allegory of time. The two models are presented in very limited series, eight units per

version for La Clémence and 88 for La Jonction. There is also a lady’s version with a mother-of-pearl and diamond dial.

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below: thE pEn dEtail of thE AVenue du MAil that drawS itS inSpiration from watchmaKinG Know-how and thE diamond croSS of thE luX Fuit linE. bElow: lA ClÉMenCe iS a world firSt.

With his characteristic passion, Yvan Arpa wanted to “introduce this historic watchmaking knowhow to other sectors”. The result is a writing instrument manufactured under the technical direction of Carlo Naldi, called the Avenue du Mail Fountain Pen, a letteropening knife, called the Boulevard des Tranchées and a superb luxury jewellery line, called Lux Fuit. The collection of the Avenue du Mail Fountain Pen applies functional watch mechanisms to writing. A transparent part of the pen’s barrel reveals the micromechanism, which lowers and raises the nib before and after writing. It is possible to admire the magic of the wheel mechanism at work. With the Boulevard des Tranchées knife, named after one of Geneva’s oldest main roads, Spero Lucem marks a world premiere: the blade is activated by a watch mechanism. This technical aspect is reinforced by the knife’s simple design, the finishing touches of the handle made of precious wood and carbon fibre, as well as the blade created from the most refined damask steel, by Johan Gustafsson, a real Viking descendent, who continues the art of his ancestors. Having won several awards in Paris, Milan and New York, this Swedish cutler is considered by

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Ci-dessous: lE Stylo AVenue du MAil qui S’inSpirE du Savoir-fairE horloGEr Et la croix En diamant dE la liGnE luX Fuit. ci-dESSouS: lA ClÉMenCe ESt unE prEmièrE mondialE.

purists to be one of the best makers of blades in the world. Contemporary and chic, the Lux Fuit line from Spero Lucem offers interpretations of Geneva’s coat-of-arms. The cross lines are refined, the colour of the stones classic or brighty and tangy… The whole spirit of Geneva! ■ ODILE HABEL

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SPERO LUCEM, L’ESPRIT DE GENÈVE R evenir à l’esprit même de l’horlogerie genevoise. C’est la philosophie de la nouvelle marque Spero Lucem, imaginée, dessinée et lancée par Yvan Arpa. Hommage à la Cité de Calvin, le nom même de la marque est issu de la devise de Genève, Post tenebras lux, qui, dans sa version complète serait plutôt Post tenebras spero lucem, soit une traduction latine d’un fragment de phrase biblique tirée du livre de Job dans l’Ancien Testament: Noctem verterunt in diem, et rursum post tenebras spero lucem, ce qui signifie «Ils ont changé la nuit en jour, après les ténèbres, j’espère revoir la lumière». L’emblème de Genève sert de point de départ au logo de Spero Lucem, comme la queue de l’aigle impérial qui siège au sein de l’écusson officiel et fait face à la fameuse clé pastorale, sur fond de rouge suisse. Quant à la clé, dont l’extrémité ouvrante est pointée vers le ciel, elle raconte l’ouverture des portes, à une époque où la cité était sertie de fortifications. Autant d’éléments qui se retrouvent dans les montres. Le cadran, par exemple, s’inspire du plumage de l’aigle, tandis que le pont du double volant d’inertie s’orne de sa couronne. Pour sa part, le poinçon Spero Lucem reprend, de manière stylisée, les plumes de l’aigle impérial genevois, avec en son cœur les contours d’un écusson redessiné, frappé des lettres SL et de la célèbre clé pastorale. La première collection de Spero Lucem comprend deux modèles, La Clémence et La Jonction, déclinés en différentes versions. La Clémence, qui doit son nom à la plus importante des 45 cloches de la Cathédrale Saint-Pierre, en vieille ville, et au café du même nom – une vraie institution genevoise – situé sur la place Bourg-de-Four, est une première mondiale. Ce garde-temps d’exception comprend une répétition minutes au timbre Saint-Pierre – en l’honneur des doigts

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thE bladE of thE bouleVArd des trAnCHÉes lEttEropEnEr iS activatEd by mEanS of a clocK mEchaniSm.

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la lamE du coutEau ouvrE-lEttrES bouleVArd des trAnCHÉes ESt activéE GrÂcE à un mécaniSmE horloGEr.

de fée de Pierre Favre, de MHC – Manufacture Hautes Complications, qui en a réglé la sonorité –, un tourbillon, dont la cage effectue son tour en une minute, et une complication jamais encore réalisée dans l’histoire de l’horlogerie: des aiguilles qui, lorsque le mécanisme sonore s’enclenche, perdent la tête et deviennent «folles». Le second modèle, baptisé La Jonction en référence à la rencontre de deux fleuves, l’Arve et le Rhône, est un concentré de maîtrises horlogères. Ici, le mécanisme à heures sautantes, produit par un disque à saut instantané, est rejoint par un système indicateur des minutes par aiguille rétrograde. La surface du cadran est divisée en deux parties bien distinctes. A 6 h, on distingue le tourbillon qui, par sa rotation d’une minute, garantit la parfaite précision du mouvement. Yvan Arpa a voulu «amener ce savoir-faire horloger historique dans d’autres secteurs». Le résultat: un instrument d’écriture – Avenue du Mail – manufacturé sous la direction technique de Carlo Naldi, un couteau ouvre-lettres – Boulevard des Tranchées – et une superbe ligne de haute joaillerie, Lux Fuit. La collection Avenue du Mail met les mécanismes horlogers fonctionnels au service de l’écriture. Une partie transparente du corps du stylo révèle la micromécanique permettant de faire sortir la pointe. On peut ainsi admirer la magie des rouages en mouvement. Avec le couteau Boulevard des Tranchées – l’une des plus anciennes artères de Genève –, Spero Lucem signe une première mondiale: la lame est activée grâce à un mécanisme horloger. Contemporaine et chic, la ligne de joaillerie Lux Fuit de Spero Lucem s’inspire des armoiries de Genève. Les lignes de la croix sont épurées, les couleurs des pierres classiques ou franchement acidulées. ■

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Spero Lucem in Hors Ligne