We’re pretty sure that the Lecomte Régulateur doesn’t ring a bell to you. Don’t worry, we are here to tell you the story of its creation, as well as the one that made us able to see and handle it.
One watch and thousands of kilometers, that’s how we could qualify the Lecomte Régulateur.
Once upon a time…
From a computer to the hand through Morteau, there were only one step to walk. If you want to know more about Florent Lecomte’s story, he’ll tell you about it soon at our microphone…
But let’s get back to the point. How did the Lecomte Régulateur ended in our hands and how did we discovered Florent? All of it is due to one man: Christian.
It was the beginning of a new afternoon here when the sun rose over the the American east coast. Our dear friend Christian lives there. What do we have in common? An overflowing love for independent watchmaking. Each of our chats are mostly about our latest discoveries. So, in this early afternoon, fate wanted Christian to be the one to show us something.
He had discovered someone called Florent Lecomte on social medias and, curious about it, he went over the profil. And naturally, thanks to the beauty of the posts, they started to discuss.
At that time, Florent was already working on his Lecomte Regulator and was able to present it to Christian. It was love at first sight and the final prototype was his. That’s why there is the 00/12 inscription on the dial.
With stars in the eyes and the heart overwhelmed by that discovery, he talked to us about it and offered to put each other in touch. How to refuse? In the face of such enthusiasm and driven by this desire to discover, we were totally on board.
In no time, a WhatsApp group was created. Thanks technology!
Reading back the messages, it felt like we were three children too happy to meet and share their enthusiasm.
The prototype was almost finished and we were soon to be able to handle it. After putting it through tests to be sure everything was perfectly functional, Florent jumped into his car, direction Tourbillon Watch.
Just imagine, we were the firsts to see it in real. Even before its owner.
All of Florent’s creations have the mission to highlight one complication. For that second creation, he decided to put the spotlight on the balance, also called the regulating organ. The balance’s role being to regulate the watch’s rate, you now understands why this one is called like that. A simple but efficient name for the watch.
If it’s quite simple on the appearance, know that it wasn’t as such during its development. You can count no less than 300-400 hours for its creation.
This second edition, limited to 12 pieces, was a challenge. Eternal dissatisfied, it continually seeks to improve to be closer to perfection. For that second one, he had to confirm his know-how and expertise to his collectors and the professionals of the watchmaking industry. And to do so, he decided to create his own balance as well as his own balance spring.
With that watch’s design, everything was made to highlight the balance.
Why is that a technical challenge to create his own balance?
Take a cylinder of nickel silver, cut it up, hollow it out and it’s done, right? Well if you do that, you would have done only one part of the job. Being the regulating organ, the balance has to be perfectly balanced. Matter has a variable density and to reach equilibrium, matter must be removed.
Look at the balance now, see its smallness and you’ll understand why there were around 300 and 400 hours needed for the development.
Let’s take a look at the dial. You might not notice it first, but the dial is in three dimensions. The subsidiary seconds at 6 o’clock is lower to the hours and minutes hands. The balance spring being a bit higher to the subsidiary seconds
If Florent wanted to make his life easier, the dial would have been in only two parts and not machined from the mass like he did. Indeed, it complicates the beveling. The lower part has been milled, thus removing material.
The burr being round, you cannot make a re-entrant angle (right-angle visible at 4 o’clock). To do such an angle, he called the expertise of an engraver who cut that angle with an engraving tool.
We spare you the details about the milling, but know that they were done by hand with a file. It had to not touch the lower sanded surface, otherwise it would have left a mark. So, each file movement had to be meticulous and controlled.
We felt privileged when we handled this watch for the first time. Only 13 people in the world will be the lucky owners of these masterpieces. We can congratulate Florent who has completely succeeded in his challenge as collectors have been snapping up the pieces. He even had to refuse sales!
Thanks to you, we were able to discover Florent, and you can be sure that we will keep you inform of his future creations.
It was a real pleasure to share with you our adventure. Don’t hesitate to tell us in comments or messages what you liked or if you need more details.
How about you, what was your last watchmaking discovery?