“The only simple things about the Cu29 are its functions. For the rest, there was no compromise.”

Hervé Schlüchter

Inspired by history.

Copper has been known across cultures for millennia for its benefits to the body and its potential to soothe certain ailments. Inspired by these beliefs, the Alchemists imagined how a timepiece could capture their essence, which led them to develop an ternal copper, Cuprum 479, a new innovative horological alloy. These reflections also led them to think about the alloy’s field of expression in their creations. In the case of the Inaugural Cu29, by placing it in direct contact with the skin thanks to the closed case back, delivering their interpretation of historical traditions.

Cu29, Mechanical Healing.

The case of the Cu29 is crafted exclusively in Cuprum 479. The crown is also made of Cuprum, as well as the pin buckle, bottom plate, dial’s base, hours, minutes and seconds hands as well as the majority of the bridges. The Cu29 represents the horological masterpiece from Hervé Schlüchter, following traditional horological art methods and teachings transmitted from Philippe Dufour, a Master of the craft. Savoir-faire that the Alchemists’ watchmakers strive to master perfectly, continuing a chain of transmission and sharing lasting since hundreds of years. Convinced that the emotion they invest in the creation of the timepiece will be transmitted to its wearer.

The Cu29 is an invitation to a journey transcending time: the quest for the essential.

The Cu29, showcase of a universal heritage of traditional horological arts and crafts, is a collection of the application of numerous ancestral savoir-faire, is also the precursor of the Alchemists’ future and of their humble will to preserve a horological heritage.

Manufacture Movement with inverted architecture.

Similar to traditional horology pieces, the Cu29 is constructed towards the notions of volume and symmetry, however the atypical arrangement of the Cu29’s case has led to the total transposition of the movement’s architecture. Created in-house, the manufacture calibre composed of 362 parts and 56 jewels, is completely inverted compared to the traditional design. This conception allows the display of the hours, minutes and seconds but also the visual spectacle orchestrated by some of the movement’s parts, such as the double barrels linked in parallel extend directly from the winding stem.
Picture of the Alchemists Cu29 movement's parts
Closeup view of the Alchemists Cu29's movement, double barrels, hours dial and variable inertia balance
Closeup view of the Alchemists Cu29's variable inertia balance

In the Cu29, the symmetry of the double barrel at 6 o’clock offers a totally unique visual spectacle during the winding process, which allows you to see each spring of the suspended moustache-shaped pawl wind with each click of the ratchet until the timepiece is fully wound.

The Alchemists also invested a lot of attention and effort into the movement’s acoustic. Its winding process. All the components were designed to offer a sensitive experience, comparable to the emotion felt when winding a traditional pocket watch.

The Cu29’s hybrid case, pure and elegant, is composed a truly complex “atmosphere” sapphire crystal.

Shape
It is atmospherical. The base of this atmosphere glass has a smaller diameter than that of its outside edge, meaning that the glass’ diameter gradually expands from the base until it takes on an atmospherical curve at its apex—exactly like the earth’s atmosphere, from whence it gets its name.
Construction
The Cu29’s atmosphere crystal is pierced by the crown tube, which is usually found in the case middle. Here, it is integrated directly into the atmosphere crystal.
Casing
This atmosphere glass has forced the Alchemists to perform the casing from above. The movement is thus screwed to the case middle, which is then covered by the atmosphere glass. Finally, the Cu29 has no bezel or flange, thus enabling the movement to occupy the entire case.
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Dials conceived as artworks

The Cu29 is a creation that will be personalizable with the integration of dials crafted from different gemstones. The choice of these natural gemstones was guided by their elegance and purity.

The creation of the Cu29 requires peculiar savoir-faire. Such is the case for dials crafted from natural gemstones, cut and rounded by hand. An extraordinary craftsman’s work requiring extreme precision when working with these gemstones, which are then pad-printed and installed on a Cuprum 479 base. The dials assembly naturally preserves the beauty and purity of the stone, sublimed by the hand of a craftsman, without any surface treatment.

Dials made in ‘Grand Feu’ enamel are also highly delicate to craft, not only do they require a very specialized skillset but also a metal base allowing its formation. Enamel dials usually can only be formed on copper or gold bases, however after several months of development, the Alchemists succeeded in the creation of ‘Grand Feu’ enamel on a Cuprum 479 base, a new pledge of the purity and quality of this new alloy.

Hand-finishing and hand-decorated loyal to traditional horological art.

The entire calibre and case are hand finished, with traditionally buffed and polished corners, drilled and hand-polished balance bridge and sweep second cock, escapement wheel on black-polished endstones, rounded and moveable Geneva hairspring stud holder, moulded, ringed and bevelled wheel and intermediate wheels, and black-polished and hand-blued screws. The hours, minutes and seconds hands are rounded by hand and then blued and lacquered. The power reserve and selector dial is made of circular-grained steel adorned with a lacquered engraving. The double barrels linked in parallel are bevelled and polished by hand. Each calibre leaving the Alchemists’ workshop is then individually numbered.

There is no decoration workshop nor watchmakers dedicated solely to timing at Alchemists: each watchmaker receives all the “blank” components constituting the timepiece on his workbench. He assembles the movement a first time to verify than everything functions perfectly as it should, allowing him to perform the mechanical preparation by hand, following traditional methods – the pivots are traditionally rolled on a lathe roller and the polishing of the pinions’ leaves is made with wooden wheels mounted on a specific machine, among other techniques. Then, the movement is entirely disassembled. Each individual component is then very meticulously hand-finished and hand-decorated before the movement is ready to be assembled again, and fine-tuned for the final control.

Cu29

The traditional methods on which Alchemists timepieces’ creation is based are not compatible with an industrial process. This approach to production as well as Alchemists’ watchmaking philosophy make their creations very limited. Each timepiece coming from the Alchemists’ workshop will therefore be very exclusive and bearing a will to perpetuate ancestral savoir-faire.

Choosing a timepiece created by the Alchemists is encouraging a return to the essential, a quest for perfection and ultimately betting on human genius. It is also knowing that the timepiece we wear is unique because it is impossible to repeat the same gesture twice. Wanting to wear beauty while wishing good things for yourself, and also accepting that certain truths will remain intimately hidden.

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