Our first challenge was feasibility. We had to determine the components, identify industrial suppliers, find a reliable assembler and establish the first designs.
After more than nine months of research and technical studies, we ended up selecting a handful of proven partners. Among them, a watchmaking family stood out. Now at its fourth generation, this family-owned company is located at the heart of the French watchmaking region, in Besançon. They have our utmost confidence.
Made in France
Many companies stamp their products "Made in France", but this label does not necessarily correspond to a real requirement of French production. Only the final assembly has to be carried out in France to obtain this label. More recently, the ProFrance association has created a new label, Origine France Garantie, under which at least 50% of the cost price (production cost) must be French.
Although a watchmaking industry still exists in France today, it is nevertheless to be put into perspective with extremely high production costs. Furthermore, the rise of perfectly well-equipped factories in China, in the heart of the Shenzhen region, has shaken up the watch industry. The creation of moulds and industrial cutting are completely mechanised and are carried out using the latest state-of-the-art tools, thus offering very competitive prices.
As the choice of movement is crucial, we reviewed the various models existing on the market. We even worked with our suppliers on a modification of the latter to embellish the lunar disc, and the first results are impressive.
We have also pre-selected four movements, two of which are automatic and two quartz. Made by the Ronda, Miyota, and Sellita manufacturers, these movements are designed around two moondisc layouts, leaving you to choose your composition.
The first consideration is aesthetic. A central moondisc (Sellita SW-288-1 or Ronda Normtech 708) highlights the watchmaking complication on the dial, while a lower moondisc (Sellita SW280-1 or Miyota 6P00) offers a more refined composition with a more discreet and subtle moon phase.
A further consideration to bear in mind when choosing the movement is the moon phase. Although an automatic movement is preferable for many enthusiasts, this requires that sufficient power reserve be maintained. In the absence of this reserve, the moon phase will have to be readjusted manually to ensure that it is displaying the correct time. Alternatively, a quartz movement will always be in phase with the moon cycle.
As part of our feasibility study, we opted for a vintage case inspired by the old Omega (or the Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Grande Ultra Thin). This helped us to check our suppliers’ production quality, but also to work on the watch’s composition and to develop the online design tool.
The question of the watch's diameter is of the utmost importance, both in the overall composition and in the display of the moondisc. The larger the diameter, the smaller the size of the moondisc on the dial. It is therefore a matter of weighing up the choice of a discreet moondisc within a large case, or a moondisc that stands out in a smaller case.
For components, we went far: Japan, Switzerland, Spain, Denmark... and naturally France. All in all, we explored hundreds of components in over six countries.
Our aim is to offer you a wide range of choice. It took us about a year to prepare the groundwork. A year devoted to:
selecting trustworthy suppliers
studying the technical feasibility of the different models
testing production and manufacturing with a handful of functional prototypes.
Beyond production, we have selected a historic French assembler for the final work. In this workshop, professional and passionate watchmakers hand-assemble the watches of the most famous brands, piece by piece. This carefully thought-out approach would allow us to have a quality control office for the finished products, to ensure that water-resistance tests are carried out correctly and to supervise the assembly’s precision. In addition to its savoir-faire, this French workshop is renowned for its excellent after-sales service, an invaluable element for many enthusiasts.