New watch brands

David Candaux: The call of the Valley


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October 2019

David Candaux: The call of the Valley

They’re called Genus, Petermann Bédat, Cyrus, Sylvain Pinaud, Krayon, Alchemists, Trilobe, David Candaux, Tournemire, Ming… These names, still unknown to the public at large, are those of established master watchmakers or young horology geeks. Their ambitions are diverse, as are the paths they have chosen, but all of them, each in their own way, are trying to add their stone to the edifice and inscribe their name on the Haute Horlogerie map. A brief reconnaissance tour.


hen, like David Candaux, you were born and raised in the Joux Valley, the historic home of complicated watchmaking, when you’re the son and grandson of master watchmakers, and you live and work in Le Solliat, the same tiny village as the famous Philippe Dufour (who lives just next door to you), there’s no escaping destiny. Having worked for many years with Jaeger-LeCoultre, another neighbour, restoring historic timepieces, David Candaux was unable to resist the call of the Valley and the temptation to launch his own brand, under his own name.

Presented in 2017 on the AHCI stand, his first creation, the “1740 The First 8” – begun in 2001 (!) – made a striking impression thanks to its mastery, originality and incredible standard of finishing. This year, David Candaux is presenting a new, more futuristic re-interpretation, one might say, called the DC 6 Solstice Titanium Half Hunter “1740”.

Dual influence

The very name of the watch reflects the influences behind it: “1740” is a nod to the year of the first documented presence of a master watchmaker in the Joux Valley. The term “Half-Hunter” harks back to the highprecision captain’s watches, of which the dials, visible through small apertures, and the movements were jealously protected by a metal cover.

This specific arrangement can be found in the watches by David Candaux: on the left, beneath a domed sapphire glass you see the 60-second flying tourbillon, inclined at an angle of 3 degrees and combined with a balance spring inclined at an angle of 30 degrees inside the grade-5 titanium cage. Hence the name “bi-plan flying tourbillon”. The hours and minutes are displayed on the right, indicated by two hands curved over a spherical micro-dial that follows the convex shape of the small sapphire dome protecting it. Right at the top, the power reserve can be read beneath a third, arc-shaped sapphire crystal.

The influence of the Joux Valley shines through in the very special guilloché finish on the watch face. This Risoux. It recalls the sky as seen through the tops of the pine trees in the famous forest bordering David’s workshop.

The watch’s calibre was designed from start to finish by David. Without going into all the details (which would take several pages), let us just note that the calibre is inclined at 3 degrees from the horizontal to be able to accommodate the secret, retractable crown and its winding system. And everything else is in the same vein: the escapement was entirely developed and produced in-house, inspired by the antique guilloché inking chronographs from the Joux Valley that, unlike modern escapements, were non-equidistant, significantly increasing their efficiency. The balance spring is in beryllium copper with four screws in 18-carat gold for variable inertia adjustment. The wheels are chamfered, bevelled and circular-grained on both sides, and the pinions are polished on a wooden grinding wheel and grooved behind the pivot, ensuring that the lubricating oil remains in place – an ancestral technique.

Coming after the first, very classic watches, the new DC6 Solstice Titanium Half Hunter, with its bright colours – orange, blue or red – brings surprising modernity to haute horlogerie, as well as excellent chronometric precision, despite being grounded in the noblest of traditions and one of the oldest watchmaking terroirs.

Discover more of The New Haute Horlogerie portfolio here below.