Julien Coudray : The watchmaking interpretation of the marks …


Case : 18k white gold pd125, sapphire case-back Diameter : 39 mm Movement : mechanical Hand-wound movement in solid gold (in-house caliber with 55h power reserve), hand-engraved and decorated, enameled with drawing of 5-year old child, 18ct gold service indicator Functions : hours, minutes, seconds, central service indicator Dial : 13-part dial made from enameled solid 18ct Pd125 white gold, traditional grand feu  enameled black and white domed cartouches, blued hands Strap : hand-stitched black alligator strap lined with alligator, solid 18ct Pd125 white gold buckle with engraved pictogram Unique Piece : “Draw me a happy child” 1/1 for Only Watch made from 1 kg of 18k solid gold, without chemical treatment neither lacquer



Case : Pt950 solid platinum, sapphire case-back, solid 18K Pd125 white gold collar Diameter : 43 mm Movement : mechanical hand-wound movement in solid platinum (in-house caliber with 55h power reserve), hand-engraved and decorated, enameled 18K gold service indicator Functions : hours, minutes, 4-year service indicator at 12 o’clock, power reserve indicator at 8, day/night indicator on the back Dial : sculptured and enameled solid 18K Pd125 white gold expressing a face, traditional grand feu enameled black and white domed cartouches and transparent brown “plique-à-jour” enamel dial. Blued hands Strap : Hand-stitched black alligator strap lined with alligator, solid platinum buckle with engraved pictogram Unique Piece : “HUMANOID FACE” 1/1 made from 1.5 kilogram of solid platinum, without chemical treatment neither Lacquer

However small its production, a Manufacture (in the true Swiss watch industry sense of the term) that makes all its movements in gold and platinum is bound to attract notice. That of Julien Coudray 1518 in Le Locle (Swiss Jura) commands respect, while also surprising observers through the original approach of the creative talent behind it, Fabien Lamarche. Still located in the premises he occupied when he launched into the entrepreneurial adventure in 1997, he has simply increased the space actually used by 200, both literally and figuratively assimilating various skills in step with his expansion. From his 12 sq.m. tampography (pad printing) office that he initially made available to customer brands, in 2009 he took over the full 2,500 sq.m. available to set up the IMH group owning the high-end niche brand Julien Coudray 1518. As mentioned on the framed SGS certificate perched on a showroom cabinet, 46 different skills are mastered here. Of the 44 people employed on the two floors of the Manufacture, 40 are involved in production. IMH places this expertise at the disposal of watch brands which order components or complete movements, prototypes as well as watch exterior components.

At the request of several clients with sophisticated demands, Julien Coudray devotes its concentrated blend of expertise to creating some particularly accomplished models. This desire to share is expressed with extraordinary generosity, since Fabien Lamarche has designed for Only Watch a one-of-a-kind model on the theme “Draw me a happy child”. Created from one kilo of Pd125 18K gold, a gesture that represents a significant commitment

for a youthful brand such as Julien Coudray 1518, this exceptional creation is intended for the Only Watch auction taking place during the Monaco Yacht Show in support of the Monaco Association against Muscular Dystrophy.

Everything is developed and produced in-house, from the technical department through to finishing and from screws to the exclusive Julien Coudray wheels with special-shaped spokes. The set of tungsten carbide tools required for each model is developed on-site, including for example hundreds of milling cutters for each component. The Julien Coudray unit encapsulates the quintessence of this perfectionist quest. Enameling a 1 mm thick part is no pipedream here. Devoting three days to the bridge of a tourbillon carriage, or ten operations to a single dial hour-markers, are all part of a day’s job. Cutting millimeter-thick parts on historical machines improved by in-house developed and more modern technologies is all part of a contagious enthusiasm shared by each department. Sculpting an oscillating weight shaped like the crossed daggers of François 1 of France on a fleur de lys is a natural expression of the magical atmosphere pervading these premises. Fabien Lamarche is everywhere at once, serving as both the driving force and a link in the chain – such as by applying the laser weldings in gold wire in the same colour as the dial, or designing patented hands sweeping across the grand feu enamel dial, or an also patented folding clasp.  Thus for the Humanoid Face Collection, Fabien Lamarche drew the sketch for this “face” some years ago, imagining a way to sculpt a dial from solid gold and grand feu enamel. Now he sees it as an interpretation of the marks left by time on the faces of the world.

Not content with having already developed 10 calibers for Julien Coudray (of which four currently equip the brand’s first models), he has defined 26 in all and is preparing to present the first presentation box for hand-wound watches, featuring automatic touch-screen adjustment to all 24 time zones and ultra-precise atomic clock-benchmarked setting. In a nutshell, this creative talent has invented a whole new approach to made-to-measure horology.



By adopting the name “julien Coudray 1518”, the Manufacture deliberately alludes to the Renaissance, a time when ways of thinking, acting and creating were transformed. With the Classica 1548, the Julien Coudray 1518 brand pays tribute to the “horologer” who invented the portable watch. At the request of King François 1 of France, he succeeded in fitting watch movements into the pommels of two royal daggers. The contemporary watches, inspired by the Renaissance style, are distinguished by the use of noble materials for watch exteriors as well as movements, thus enabling the latter to benefit from both the prestige and the durability of gold and platinum. The Classica 1548, an evolved version of the Manufactura 1528, comes in a larger case and is endowed with a 100-hour power reserve. Just imagine that 95% of the watch is made from one kilogram of solid 18K Pd125 white gold : movement, case, dial, crown and buckle! It features a small seconds subdial with a stop-seconds precision-setting device appearing on a remarkable pure dial enhanced with grand feu enameling. The inscription Julien Coudray 1518 is replaced by the logo that is engraved and enameled on the 8 o’clock marker. The model also features the brand’s signature aperture displaying a service indicator reminding the owner every four years that it is time to have his watch serviced.


Œuvre Classica 1548

Case : white gold, yellow gold, red gold or platinum, sapphire case-back Diameter : 43 mm Movement  mechanical hand-wound movement in solid gold or platinum (in-house caliber with 100h power reserve), hand-engraved and decorated, twin barrel, enameled 18K gold service indicator Functions : hours, minutes, small seconds with stop-seconds function, service indicator Dial : 13-part dial made from enameled solid 18K Pd125 white gold, traditional grand feu enameled black and white domed cartouches, grey and blue two-tone hour and minute hands, blued second hand Strap : hand-stitched black alligator strap lined with alligator, solid 18ct Pd125 white gold buckle with engraved pictogram Limited edition : 48 numbered pieces per precious metal

Brice Lechevalier is editor-in-chief of GMT and Skippers, which he co-founded in 2000 and 2001 respectively. He has also been CEO of WorldTempus since it joined the GMT Publishing stable, of which he is director and joint shareholder. In 2012 he created the Geneva Watch Tour, and he has been an advisor to the Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève since 2011. Also closely involved in sailing, he has published the magazine of the Société Nautique de Genève since 2003, and was one of the founders of the SUI Sailing Awards in 2009 and the Concours d’Elégance for motor boats at the Cannes Yachting Festival in 2015.

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