I’ve not seen a watch by Alexandre Beauregard’s eponymous little agency that I haven’t instantly fallen in love with. At first sight. Unequivocally. You possibly can’t assist however be enchanted by these splendidly crafted objects that just about appear too good to be true.
So I used to be happy to seek out that Alexandre Beauregard is as open and pleasant as his creations are lovely. Studying about his story was a pleasure.
Hailing from Montreal, Canada, Beauregard works with a really small workforce that was referred to as to life when Alexandre Beauregard met Yves Saint-Pierre, an acclaimed lapidary artist in North America and an teacher on the École de Joaillerie de Montréal.
“He’s like a famous person, however he’s Clark Kent – nobody is aware of that he’s superman,” Beauregard joked in his lilting French-Canadian accent. “There’s jewellery that comes from locations I can not reveal, however he’s the one one which accepts to the touch them as a result of they’re so costly. Generally they break or chip – objects owned by royalty – and nobody will contact them as a result of they’re irreplaceable. He repairs them.”
Saint-Pierre has been working with stones for greater than 40 years. When he met Beauregard, they clicked. “I’m a really passionate lad, and I feel that he appreciated that about me, and so he simply took me in. And he’s Yoda for me, he’s my Jedi grasp.”
The third within the firm, finishing the inventive trio, is François Ruel, expert in each jewellery and 3D design drawing. “The three of us do all of the stonework. Yves’ store is in Saint Boniface, I’ve one in Montreal, and we every do a part of the work: we minimize, we slice, we choose, we carve, and we simply have a lot enjoyable.”
Stones and watches: the Beauregard Dahlia opens
The road between watches and jewellery is commonly fairly blurred. And so it’s within the thoughts of Alexandre Beauregard.
He began considering of watches on the age of 17, when he and a buddy started designing them in his buddy’s storage. “I used to be all the time obsessed with watches . . . and you understand in North America every part begins in a storage . . . Google, bands, every part. That’s the place youngsters go to experiment. In order that’s what we did,” he laughed.
However life took over and Beauregard received married, had two youngsters, and efficiently ran two companies in Montreal not associated to watches or jewellery. “After which I turned 35 and began drawing once more . . .” Beauregard began his agency in 2011.
“We put every part we had into this, it’s a burning ardour. My life can be a lot simpler with out this, however it’s one thing I can not do; I attempted to battle it and put it apart however actually I used to be not sleeping anymore. I used to be simply drawing on a regular basis.”
Getting severe, Beauregard headed to Switzerland, the place he was lucky to satisfy the correct individuals, together with Franck Orny and Johnny Girardin from Telos, a complication workshop beforehand accountable for creating the sophisticated actions of the Opus 14 for Harry Winston and the Metamorphosis for Montblanc. “They’re geniuses,” Beauregard exclaimed.
This boutique model’s younger profession started by bursting on the scene in 2018 with a whopper of a primary watch: Dahlia encompasses a central flying tourbillon motion – although in fact that unimaginable motion is just not what the attention lingers on. That honor belongs to the hand-carved and -set stone petals, which I’ll come again to.
How on the planet do you give you a central flying tourbillon in a debut watch for ladies, although?
Alexandre Beauregard defined, “I had dinner with Frank, and we love wine, each of us, and sooner or later we simply began saying, ‘Oh we may make a tourbillon, a central flying tourbillon.’ And we simply received going.” Fortuitously for them, Omega’s patent on the central flying tourbillon was nearly to run out as this dinner was going down, so that they had been free to make use of the technological idea to craft a bespoke motion.
Beauregard Dahlia: magnificence and the central flying tourbillon
Dahlia is filled with layers, volumes, colours, and textures. This is among the most spectacularly visible watches that I’ve ever seen in my life.
The central flying tourbillon is just not the principle act, however is nearly hidden by plenty of different ornamental parts. The truth is, Beauregard appears to have gone to nice pains to cover it, protecting it with a white gold cage formed like dahlia petals to echo the excellent stone and/or mother-of-pearl parts encircling it.
“It’s arduous for me to do concessions on something so we’ve got no pink rubies as jewel bearings within the motion,” Beauregard defined. “They’re all clear [corundum]. Crimson rubies are incredible on close-up images however in actual life, I don’t prefer it. They appear like brown dots, you understand? In footage when you have got the correct lights, they’re lovely! However in actual life . . .”
Beauregard spared no expense when he thought up the small print of this watch, regardless how small. An amazing instance is the quick-change strap, one in all which is manufactured from galuchat, an unique stingray type. “That’s a enjoyable factor as a result of [galuchat] is one thing that’s been round for some time however each time individuals see it they are saying, ‘oh wow that’s so cool.’ And the watch comes with three straps. So the shopper can select no matter she needs.”
Shortly after the watch’s debut, he added a quick-change mechanism to the buckle as nicely in order that it may be modified out or added to no matter strap is at present on the watch. I do know of no different firm that has considered that element but (and I do personal a watch with a quick-change system – and, sure, I’ve to purchase a brand new buckle for each strap in use, which sort of defeats the aim).
“It’s like a brand new watch each time,” he justifiably remarked.
Your complete watch is made in Switzerland besides the stones adorning the dial, that are “made” in Montreal. “When the stones are prepared, I convey them to Switzerland and every part else is completed there,” he stated.
“And I designed every part, after all, I’m very fingers on. And the stones – that’s a love story. I’m simply in love with advantageous stones.”
That the central tourbillon is “hidden” under no circumstances diminishes this watch’s unimaginable aesthetics, even when mechanics are your main focus. You could be consoled by the 144 diamonds emphasizing the scintillating arduous stone petals that draw much more mild to the dial. Regardless of its excessive technical worth, this watch oozes femininity.
In most variations, 48 hand-carved mother-of-pearl or hard-stone petals encompass the tourbillon to offer a backdrop to the not-so-easy-to-read fingers (the time right here is secondary to the artwork) framed by zero.27 carats’ value of snow-set diamonds. The pearl or stone petals had been hand-sculpted and -polished to a tolerance of .02 mm and invisible set.
As if that every one weren’t sufficient, the eye to element is strengthened by the crown with its distinctive, carved flower motif and pearl cabochon and the triple-folding clasp set with 124 diamonds (zero.39 ct), which just like the strap, is made in Geneva.
The magic of stones or how the beautiful petals are made
“These colours, have a look at this! What’s that purple stone?” This was the kind of query I requested repeatedly as Beauregard pulled out distinctive dial variations on the Dahlia and new Lili to point out me.
“Phosphosiderite,” he answered.
“Sorry, say that once more,” I countered.
“Phosphosiderite. It’s an unpleasant title however a beautiful stone.”
I needed to admit I’d by no means seen it earlier than. I used to be going to guess lavender jade. “No, jade can be a lot paler,” Beauregard patiently defined. “Due to the best way we work the stone, what we’ve got to do once we work with translucent stone, like, let’s say, topaz. You lose the colour, so we put mother-of-pearl underneath it, which brings again the lights. And we do the identical factor with garnet, opal, and amethyst.”
Every petal is roughly three millimeters’ value of stone, so it’s heavy and arduous to set, which means a lot needed to be rethought and redone. On no account is that this a “regular” use of those of those stones.
One of many one-of-a-kind Dahlias I noticed was made utilizing turquoise from the Globe Mine in Arizona, a mine that has been out of the stone for the reason that 1990s. However unsurprisingly, Beauregard has mates within the gem trade which are all the time looking out for him. “They know what I’m in search of, so that they seize one thing they arrive throughout when somebody passes away who had an enormous assortment, for instance. So these stones have been in containers for the previous 30 years after which they arrive out – and they give thought to me.”
That is like new-old inventory from mines which were closed for many years, however Beauregard is typically nonetheless capable of purchase from pleasant sources. He doesn’t want a lot materials as a result of all his watches are distinctive items.
Turquoise is a rare-to-nonexistent materials in use within the watch trade. So I requested Beauregard what makes this turquoise higher than others. “This turquoise doesn’t should be stabilized, it’s arduous sufficient at a hardness of 5.5 on the Mohs scale. Often turquoise is round four so you’ll want to stabilize it. And the colour . . . “
This can be a coloration of turquoise I’ve by no means seen; it’s totally charming. And there’s extra: one other piece made with Iranian turquoise from a mine that’s additionally been closed for many years.
“A very long time in the past, it was the most effective turquoise on the planet,” Beauregard continues to fascinate me together with his stone information earlier than revealing he purchased these items in Switzerland from somebody I do know, probably the greatest within the enterprise. “That one was 6-6.5 in hardness.”
The stones are carved into separate petals by Beauregard and Saint-Pierre earlier than being pressure set into the gold dial ring, which is already set with diamonds at this level.
“For each petal, the final tolerance is .02 millimeters, lower than a hair. It must be good.” However there may be all the time breakage in pressure setting, so with a purpose to have 48 completely set petals the workforce must make possibly 100-120 items.
Beauregard Lili for 2020
Although we had a sneak peak of the oblong Lili in 2019, it formally appeared in Beauregard’s assortment in 2020 and has been entered into the Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève, the place at press time a pink gold variation with onyx petals has made it into the ultimate spherical of the Girls class.
Whereas Lili options the breathtaking aesthetics and stonework of the Dahlia, it doesn’t include the dazzling mechanics – which makes it each extra wearable in a day by day sense and extra reasonably priced in any sense.
“It’s not concerning the value,” Beauregard advised me. “It’s actually about how straightforward it’s to put on.”
And whereas I perceive the necessity for a maker of girls’s watches to have a quartz mannequin within the assortment, I discover it a pity. Nonetheless, I additionally perceive that the quartz motion permits this watch to eliminate an ordinary crown, which might have disturbed the oblong case design. The crown has been changed by a pusher within the case again that permits the wearer to set or re-set the time.
Lili additionally comes outfitted with a quick-release strap and buckle mechanism, so each the strap and the clasp could be exchanged for various ones based on the whim and whimsy of the proprietor. This man thinks of every part.
This mixture of artwork and timekeeping is an thrilling mixture, and I hope to see far more of it.
For extra data please go to www.beauregard.ch.
Fast Info Beauregard Dahlia
Case: 38.eight x 15.05 mm, white gold set with 330 diamonds (1.17 ct)
Dial: 48 hand-carved mother-of-pearl petals, 144 diamonds (zero.27 ct)
Motion: computerized Telos motion with one-minute central flying tourbillon, three-day energy reserve, four Hz/28,800 vph frequency
Capabilities: hours, minutes
Limitation: every one a novel piece
Worth: approx. CHF 240,00zero, relying on stones used
Comment: interchangeable strap with white gold triple folding clasp (additionally interchangeable) is ready with 124 diamonds (zero.39 ct)
Fast Info Beauregard Lili
Case: 24.5 x 33.2 x eight.55 mm, pink gold set with 180 diamonds (.90 ct)
Dial: 33 hand-carved mother-of-pearl, onyx, or different stone petals
Motion: ETA E01.701 quartz motion
Capabilities: hours, minutes
Limitation: every one a novel piece
Worth: CHF 16,092
Comment: interchangeable strap and clasp