Bernard Favre — the art of watch winding
We already covered the importance of having a watch winder, to keep your automatic piece running while you are not wearing it, especially if it also features a complication like the perpetual calendar. The technical aspect of keeping you favourite piece wound is already solved by many brands making winders, but what if you want something more, something special? Can the practical functionality of winding be combined with an aesthetic gratification? Yes, with a Bernard Favre winder it is possible.
While I was booking my meetings with the different brands present at JCK in Las Vegas, Bernard Favre was one of the persons I was looking forward to meeting. He’s not a watchmaker, but any watch aficionado would be proud to own one of his creations.
Starting from the idea that when you have a beautiful watch, or a collection of outstanding automatic watches, matching them with an equally beautiful winder is a no-brainer, Bernard Favre created the Planet collection of winders, that with their gyroscopic movement imitate the natural movement of the wrist.
The person is just as fascinating as the winders that come out from his workshop. A native of Fleurier, son of a goldsmith, Favre from a very early age developed a fascination for mechanics. He would drop out from school to work in a garage and have a hands on experience of the inner workings of engines.
Living in the cradle of watchmaking, he would specialize in creating accessories for the watch industry. His display cases, travel cases and showcase supports were created using the finest Italian and French leather, combined with metal and wood parts.
This experience came in handy when he was asked to create a special showcase for a Swiss Haute Horlogerie brand where he had to recreate a timekeeping movement, and once finished, he realized that he actually created something very similar to a winder. This is how the Planet was born. He told me: “it is always by working that I discovered things, I never sat down to come up with a new product.”
The two axe gyroscope movement performed by the Planet is inspired by the marine chronometers that had a similar system to keep them always on the level, compensating the movement of the waves, only that in the case of the Planet, the watch is turned to move the rotor. The collection consists of three models, the Planet Silver that has a black satin aluminium base with polished chrome rings, the Planet Black with anodized black aluminium used for the base and the rings and finally, the Planet Gold with black satin base and gold-plated rings.
“I wanted to make it very easy for the owners to use the Planet”, on the bottom next to the on-off switch, we can choose between nine different programs, depending on the watch and the use of the winder. These pre-installed programs respond to 90% of the watches on the market, but in case the calibre requires a special winding, the Planet can be customized by plugging it to the computer through a USB cable and uploading the custom program.
The rechargeable battery will keep the Planet running for 120 days, and it can be recharged by plugging the winder to the computer or the wall.
The glass bell that accompanies each Planet winder is also inspired by horology, just as watchmakers cover their finished movements with a glass bell, Bernard Favre too protects his winders with an elegant glass bell.
With the MSRP of US$1,420, the Bernard Favre Planet is not exactly an entry level winder, but those that can afford it, will definitely have a lot of joy witnessing their timepieces taken into an elegant ballet of cosmic forces.