Valbray - Oculus V.02 Grand Dateur - Road 66
Luc Virginius / Chronopassion
Valbray - Oculus V.02 Grand Dateur - Road 66

Oculus V.02 Grand Dateur - Road 66

Valbray

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Thanks to the innovative diaphragm system, the Valbray collection offers two watches in one.

See other pictures Luc Virginius / Chronopassion

Oculus V.02 Grand Dateur - Road 66

By introducing, in world premiere a timepiece equipped with a circular shutter system hidden under the bezel, Valbray sparked the interest of the watchmaking world. This year, with the 5 new models of the Oculus V.02 Grand date Collection, Valbray further enhances the interactivity of its watches through a circular unveiling function of the dial. The diaphragm system,further developed, is even smaller (with a diameter of 43mm) and allows intermediate openings in its course, thus permitting a step by step reading of time. The V.02 timepiece becomes therefore the first in which a different function is displayed at each circular opening phase, with the obturator acting as a cursor to the underlying dial. With its shutter closed, the watch is a sophisticated two-hand one (1). At the first step at 30o, a delicate “petite seconde” wheel appears (2). At the second step at 60o, an imposing “grand date” comes (3). At the third and final step at 90o, the “petite seconde” and the “grande date” merge gloriously with the hours’ indicators and the minutes’ path (4). The “turning” effect is accentuated by the engravings on the bezel that follow the shape and the position of the shutter’s blades. The sensual ovoid shape of the case is emphasized by the chamfers all along its pure side lines. A small touch of impertinence is present on the dial with the use of half hours at 3.5 and 8.5, while the refined design of the multilayered dial and the path of the hours testify to the meticulous style of the Valbray watches. The Oculus V.02 Grand date collection is a nod to the symbolism and balance of the circle, a shape apparent constantly on the watch: from the wheels of date and seconds to the “ring” of the bezel and the flange, circularity imbues the timepieces with its allure. 

Technical specifications

Fonctions :
  • Progressive display : hours, minutes / big date / little seconds
Case :
  • Case on polished and brushed stainless steel and 43 mm bezel black PVD traited Multi layered Dial
  • Water resistance 5 ATM
Movement :
  • Mechanical auto winding swiss movement
  • 44 hours of power reserve
Band :
  • Black lamb micro perforated strap with orange stitching
Edition :
  • Limited and numbered edition of 66 pieces.

Who's who

Two years ago, when Valbray came to show Laurent Picciotto their first watches, his initial reaction was very positive: “A lot of us have been waiting for something like this!” he said delightedly. “This”, for the proprietor of Chronopassion, was a shutter system on the watch face, forging a link between watchmaking and photography. With a completely new and ingenious system of tiny strips laid one on top of the other, Valbray has made it possible for the wearer to cover or expose all or part of the dial by turning the bezel. The appeal of this is quite simply that of having two watches in one – two faces for the same timepiece. Be that as it may, true to form, Laurent Picciotto was keen to go still further. “The shutter was a great idea, but more could be done with it,” he explains. “I liked the idea of a cover being used for something other than just covering. Perhaps, I thought, there could be several levels of telling the time on the same dial. I didn’t want the shutter to be merely an accessory. The entire watch needed to be organised around it.” Valbray duly noted the suggestion, but didn’t act on it straightaway. The brand had just been launched, on the back of a huge amount of R&D investment, and at that early stage, Valbray felt it had to convince the market that its approach was sound. But one day at the Basel fair, as Laurent Picciotto was treading the aisles seeking new talent, the Valbray team called him over and invited him backstage to show him the second generation of the product. Picciotto couldn’t help but smile – the watch featured a partially-opening shutter, revealing multiple levels of information! “Valbray had taken on board my modest contribution and – probably without even remembering where it came from – produced a new prototype very much along the lines of what I’d suggested when we first met,” says Laurent Picciotto. In the end, Valbray’s new design was to include three levels of shutters, each with a different type of covering, atop a tried and tested Dubois-Depraz base movement. Laurent Picciotto liked “the fresh approach and the fun side to the watch” – and welcomed the brand to the Chronopassion store. The adventure has only just begun, and has a promising future, just like its team: “calm, attentive and very determined,” in the words of Laurent Picciotto.

Journalist : Olivier Müller

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