Independent watchmaker Raul Pages debuted his first wristwatch in 2016, after several years spent restoring watches and clocks at Parmigiani and then the Patek Philippe Museum. Limited to just 10 watches, the Soberly Onyx wristwatch contained a reworked and highly decorated Cyma movement from the 1950s. The very last of the series, however, is strikingly different from the rest.
The Arabic Calligraphy pièce unique is a custom commission from a European client, an important collector of both vintage and modern watches who already has two other Soberly Onyx watches. The client wanted a cloisonné enamel dial bearing the phrase ٱلْـحَـمْـدُ للهِ, or alhamdulillah. Most commonly used by Muslims but also by Arabic speakers of other denominations, it translates as “thank God” or “praise be to God”.
Raul recruited Jean-Luc Peter, an enamel artisan who has also done work for Hermes, to create this dial. Elegant and striking in form, the phrase is executed in a mustard enamel and outlined in fine gold wire, as is traditional for cloisonné enamel. It sits agains a vivid green background that complements the rose gold hands and case beautifully.
The rest of the watch is identical to the standard Soberly Onyx, which has a polished onyx stone dial. That means the case is 40mm in diameter and a slim 9.3mm high.
Inside is a movement that started out as a Cyma 586K from the 1950s, but one that has been heavily modified by Raul. The bridges were reshaped and given more elegant, flowing lines – and three solid gold chatons installed for the jewels of the going train – while Raul installed his own free-sprung adjustable mass balance wheel.
All of the components are decorated by hand to a high standard, including chamfering of the spokes of all wheels and polished countersinks for the jewels and screws.
The Arabic Calligraphy wristwatch is the final watch in the Soberly Onyx series, and Raul will soon debut a new timepiece powered by a movement of his own design.
Key facts and price
Arabic Calligraphy pièce unique
Material: 18k rose gold
Water resistance: 30m
Movement: Cyma 586K base
Functions: Hours, minutes, seconds
Frequency: 18,000 beats per hour, or 2.5Hz
Power reserve: 42 hours
Availability: Direct from Raul Pages
Price: Approximately 50,000 Swiss francs with a cloisonné dial
For more, visit Pageswatches.com.
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