In Talks With François Quentin – Designer Of The 4N Watch

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.

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.

Technical Specifications

  • 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

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