time-keeper


US independent brand Fleming debuts with Series 1 Launch Edition

March 2024


US independent brand Fleming debuts with Series 1 Launch Edition

A true American dream, the new brand’s inaugural high-end timepiece represents the culmination of more than three years of development and the involvement of an unparalleled cast of Swiss partners. The 38.5mm time-only fine watch is available in rose gold, platinum, and tantalum.

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riven by the cutting-edge Caliber FM-01, developed by renowned independent watchmaker Jean-François Mojon and his team at Chronode, and adorned with hand-decorated dials from the skilled artisans at Comblémine, owned by master watchmaker Kari Voutilainen, each model is a testament to precision and artistry.

The focus was on creating a distinctive, cohesive, and visually appealing design for the case and lugs without straying from basic geometry. Attention was given to the often-overlooked relationship between lugs and the midcase, ensuring a design that captivates from various angles. The midcase comprises three parts: brushed top and bottom surfaces, a polished case band, and a unique skeletonised opening in the lugs. The lugs, resembling “horned” lugs, reveal their skeletonisation and hidden facets on closer examination, adding subtle depth and unique interaction with light.

Hong Kong watch & clock fair 2009 – show report

Dial and hand design aimed for cohesion with the case, adaptability to different colors, versatility in various settings, and a blend of uniqueness with classic elements. The hands and markers echo the shape of the lugs, promoting a unified aesthetic. The platinum variant showcases hand-turned guilloché, while the rose gold variant features a hand-hammered inner dial and seconds subdial as well as a hand-guillochéd outer ring. Frosted platinum and deep blue aventurine dials rely on material properties for visual interest, embracing a more minimalistic texture.

Hong Kong watch & clock fair 2009 – show report

The movement emphasises traditional haute horlogerie hand-finishing techniques, striving for the highest standard while maintaining a contemporary feel. Semi-skeletonised bridges allow the wearer to observe the movement’s key components in action during the winding process, while contrasting surface textures - such as frosted bridges and hand-polished chamfers - contribute to a dynamic visual appeal. The ratchet wheels are black-polished and skeletonised with the brand’s logo, provides a view of the state of wind that synchronises with the movement’s power reserve indicator. Black-polished balance bridge and ratchet wheels create varying reflections, offering a dynamic look that changes constantly with ambient light.

Extensive testing led to selecting a strap thickness and taper that balanced comfort, stability, and aesthetics. The decision for a pin buckle, inspired by the lugs, was made to maintain visibility of the movement and enhance balance and comfort for these 38.5mm moderately sized watches. The buckle design mirrors the shape and skeletonisation of the lugs, completing the cohesive and thoughtful design approach.

Hong Kong watch & clock fair 2009 – show report

Fleming’s dedication to wearability shines through. Each detail, from lugs that embrace the wrist to crystal anti-reflective coatings, undergoes relentless scrutiny. Comfort is crucial in a Fleming watch design, as comfortable watches are worn more frequently, fostering deeper emotional connections with owners. While their timepieces may echo more traditional techniques, the goal with all Fleming releases is to imprint their aesthetic twist and make watches visually captivating in every aspect and angle. “We spent months making sure the lugs hugged the wrist just as we hoped, went back to the drawing board several times for no reason other than we felt there might be something better out there if we kept experimenting, and even sent back a round of already-finished cases to ensure we chose the ideal anti-reflective coating for the design,” says Thomas.

Hong Kong watch & clock fair 2009 – show report

Norwegian tennis sensation Casper Ruud wore a Fleming prototype at Roland-Garros this year. As an existing watch collector himself and Fleming stakeholder, he attests to the beauty and versatility of the Series 1 Launch Edition. He is also extremely enthusiastic about the lightweight Series 1 Ghost he is developing with Fleming, which maintains the off-court elegance of the Series 1 Launch Edition — with some aesthetic twists — while also managing to be no heavier or more obtrusive than a sweatband. – “I’m incredibly excited to join Fleming for the long-term and collaborate on designing watches that seamlessly complement my lifestyle, both on and off the court. It’s a fantastic opportunity that I’m truly looking forward to and I’m excited for everyone to see what we have in store together over the coming years.”

US independent brand Fleming debuts with Series 1 Launch Edition

Meanwhile, Fleming, an avid tennis fan with Norwegian heritage on his mother’s side, says he is delighted to welcome Casper to the team as a brand ambassador after a tentative email enquiry to establish interest was met with his entire family’s approval. “I’ve been wanting to make a lightweight watch from the beginning, and I thought a good way to test, validate and market it would be through an athlete ambassador. At the same time, I think it’s really cool and something that we’d want to wear ourselves.”

Hong Kong watch & clock fair 2009 – show report

Fleming will retail the Series 1 Launch Edition directly. This allows clients to connect with the brand’s principals - CEO Thomas Fleming and COO & Art Director James Kong - personally, and allows the brand to deliver optimal value, develop a close relationship with each client, and foster a vibrant community of Fleming enthusiasts.

All Series 1 Launch Edition watches will come with 1 year of complimentary insurance courtesy of Fleming that protects from theft and damage. Fleming partnered with WAX to obtain the coverage, which is automatically activated at the time of sale with no enrolment or approval procedures required, as would be the case with traditional insurance coverage. This will provide Series 1 Launch Edition owners additional peace of mind when wearing and enjoying their watches and is a result of Fleming’s goal of improving the ownership experience wherever possible.

Hong Kong watch & clock fair 2009 – show report

The conception of the Series 1 Launch Edition involved a meticulous selection of experts. Le Locle-based Jean-François Mojon, awarded Best Watchmaker at the 2010 GPHG, spearheaded the movement, with TMH SA in La Chaux-de-Fonds producing components. Comblémine in Saint-Sulpice crafted the hand-decorated dials while Bassecourt’s Efteor mastered the art of working with tantalum. Thomas collaborated with Neodesis in Le Locle on the design, enlisted Paris-based Boah Kim for branding, and partnered with Lyon-based Olivier Berthon for the watch box’s design and construction.

“A watch, by nature, is sustainable – something handed down through generations or traded among collectors. I wanted a watch box that could hold its own as a work of art. Ours has been milled from solid aluminum and finished and assembled by hand. It’s worthy of public display as a standalone piece of art,” says Thomas.

For those captivated by the Series 1, Fleming also invites registrations of interest for the Series 1 Ghost, a lighter, more shock-resistant model, and previews Series 2, designed in collaboration with the renowned Emmanuel Gueit.

US independent brand Fleming debuts with Series 1 Launch Edition

TECHNICAL SPECIFICATIONS

Dimensions
• Case diameter: 38.5mm
• Lug-to-lug: 46.5mm
• Height: 8mm without the domed sapphire crystal, 9mm with the crystal
• Lug width: 21mm
• Buckle width: 16mm

Movement
• Caliber FM-01
• Developed in collaboration with Jean-François Mojon
• Functions: hours, minutes, small seconds, and movement-side power reserve indicator
• Diameter: 31.1mm
• Height: 3.98mm
• Power reserve: 168 hours/7 days
• Frequency: 21,600 VPH/3Hz
• 29 jewels

Variants:

Rose gold
• Individually numbered edition of 7
• Dial featuring carbon grey hand guilloché and light champagne hand hammering
• 48’500 CHF

Platinum
• Individually numbered edition of 9
• Dial featuring southwestern brown and amber hand guilloché
• 51’500 CHF

Tantalum
• Individually numbered edition of 25
• Dial of frosted platinum and dark blue aventurine
• 45’500 CHF

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