One of my favorite modern VC timepiece is the Saint Gervais a perpetual calendar tourbillon with a 250 hour power reserve display launched in 2005 as one of the anniversary pieces. The other anniversary models (Jubilé 1755, Tour de l'Ile, Metiers d'art and Esprit des Cabinotiers) were in some sorts a hommage to the past and the traditional arts of watchmaking, whereas the Saint Gervais is extremely modern in its presentation.
The name is a tribute to the Cabinotiers established in the historical Saint-Gervais district, the cradle of grand traditional Geneva watchmaking. Close to the brand’s historical headquarters located “En l’Ile” on the banks of the Rhône river, from the mid-18th onwards the Saint-Gervais district was home to the watchmakers and craftsmen working under the rooftops in order to find the silence they required and to enjoy the best possible light. Together, they constituted the prestigious Geneva “fabrique”.
FOUR BARRELS FOR A TOTAL OF 410 PARTS
The Saint Gervais is housed in a 44 mm platinum case, and features the different aesthetic elements of the anniversary pieces (exclusive case, hands, guillochage…). This timepiece has 410 parts driving the hour and minute displays, small seconds at 6 o’clock, along with a tourbillon. The in-house calibre 2250 also features a perpetual calendar. The movement is powered by four barrels, stacked in pairs and providing a total power reserve of over 250 hours: the reserve is visible on the dial by double 125-hour segment indications, each winding down in turn.
In fact the watch has a power reserve of over 270 hours but has a stop system at 250 (the brand’s age in 2005) to avoid any loss in amplitude and accuracy.
The Loungers know my dislike for big watches, but this is the exception which confirms the rule, the Saint Gervais is extremely elegant on the wrist and very comfortable to wear.
Movement : Calibre 2250 – 410 parts - 4 barrels providing a 250-hour power reserve
Indications & functions : hours and minutes
seconds at 6 o’clock
independent double power reserve
- leap years
Other technical characteristics:
Energy : mechanical, hand-winding
Regulating organs: Breguet overcoil balance-spring, balance with screws
Frequency: 2.5Hz (18,000 vph)
Power reserve: 250 hours
Jewelling: 33 jewels
Winding stem: 2 positions
Perpetual calendar adjustment: using 3 correctors housed along the case
Caging diameter: 28.50mm
Total diameter: 32.0mm
Total thickness: 8.60mm
Material: 950 platinum
Diameter and thickness: 44mm, 14.6 mm
Inter-horn width: 22mm at the strap attachment
Shape and construction: round 3 parts, screw-on bezel
Case-back: secured with screws, with inset crystal
Crystals: sapphire, glareproofed on the inner face, mounted on a joint
Finishing: polished case, fine knurling on the bezel and case-back “250th anniversary” type soldered lugs
Water resistance: water-resistant to 30 metres.
Material: 18-carat gold
Dial description: light silvered finishing, hand-guilloché “ 250th anniversary” motif, 18-carat gold appliques
Hours and minutes: in rhodium-finished 18-carat gold, fan-shaped, inspired by a 1926 vintage model
Seconds : in rhodium-finished 18-carat gold, baton-shaped, on tourbillon carriage
Subdials: in flame-blued steel, dagger-shaped