4N is a French watch brand that creates timepieces, which are resolutely masculine and unapologetically cutting-edge. While they have an exclusive Limited Edition timepiece (last one of 16) up on TouchOf Modern, for a members-only price, we got the chance of catching up with designer François Quentin for a quick round of questions.
YD – What According To You is the authentic definition of Haute Horlogerie. Can you name a FEW timepieces as example?
FQ – Difficult question! I could use the definition of the Fondation de la Haute Horlogerie who says in his manifesto:
“The’ Fine Watchmaking’ denomination embraces a centuries-old, living history, a rich and Specific Culture, professional ethic, the enduring expertise of the craftsman, and a burning passion.
In a word, Fine Watchmaking is a cultivation of knowledge and know-how. While Fine Watchmaking is heir to a long tradition, it nonetheless firmly looks to the future. Its values are research, innovation, development and training new generations.”
I would add to this definition, a point that seems to be missed: artistic dimension. Haute Horlogerie, beyond the simple functional dimension, addresses sense emotions and the intellect, and like art is pure gratuity and infinite freedom.
YD – What are your favorite complications in a watch?
FQ – The alarm, even if it is not very complicated in fact.
YD – What is the MOST difficult complications in a watch?
FQ – One that does not exist – I myself have worked for three years to work out my complication, and two more years to develop with Renaud & Papi.
YD – If You Were to invent a new complication or innovative aspects to a watch, What Will that be?
FQ – 24h digital display with a very large display.
YD – For Those Who do not know you … you are ……
FQ – Eclectic, curious, crazy of noir novels, mechanical, art, extreme sports, cooking, watches, science, and human relationships ….
YD – In the upcoming years, how do you see design language and technology changing the way we wear time?
FQ – I look forward to the Mac iwatch …
YD – Tell us a secret That no one knows yet … maybe a hidden passion?
FQ – I wish to be a doctor.
YD – What watch are you wearing Currently?
FQ – mine, and Suunto for scuba diving
YD – What is your favorite watch brand?
FQ – Ressence for beautiful contemporary pieces and especially for its great founder Benoit Mintiens the greatest watchmaker in Belgium. (well, on the other hand it is the only ….)
The 4N-MVT01/D01 Model is the last one of 16 ever created, sold exclusively on TouchOfModern. Be the final person in the world to ever own one. The MSRP is $235,000 but mention they have a special members-only pricing.
- François Quentin will fly from France to meet with you, per your request, to illuminate the intricacies of this timepiece.
It’s embodied in a mouvement of manufacture, defined by a mechanical complication with manual assembly and a 12-hour digital display. It is based on an intelligent configuration of intermittent rotating discs. Three subgroups of discs, , kept in cage structures, light up to reveal the time according to a jumping display as the minutes pass (4 discs for the hour, 5 for the minutes, and 1 for the ten minutes). The device uses a system of jump by constant force guaranteeing a minimum expenditure of energy whatever the degree of movement.
- Jumping minutes and hours
- Digital display by discs
- Double barrel with simultaneous transmission stop-work
- Screw balance: 9.12mm
- Breguet spiral
- Rhythm: 21 000 Alt/hour
- 514 components
- 78 rubies
- 237-hour power reserve (10 days)
- Finish: all parts are hand-decorated
Available At: TouchOfModern
Read more at http://www.yankodesign.com/2013/06/14/in-talks-with-francois-quentin-designer-of-the-4n-watch/#12OF1b292yORbktG.99