Fabergé Visionnaire DTZ

Quelle Surprise

The Fabergé Visionnaire DTZ is equipped with a dual-time indication. However, where this watch stands out is with the secrets it chooses to share with its fortunate owner. This is a timepiece which upholds the famous maison’s reputation for delivering surprise and delight.

Image of Fabergé Visionnaire DTZ

Every child loves a surprise, an unexpected gift or a moment of discovery.

In the latter part of the 19th century, Fabergé created easter eggs for the Russian Imperial family. However, these eggs were not meant for children, but rather, they were meticulously crafted for the delectation of adults. At the heart of each artistic creation, often adorned with guilloché and enamel decoration, was a surprise. Nothing seemed beyond the creative imagination of Fabergé. Some Imperial Eggs contained a golden hen, images of family members, a screen or even a train set. Indeed, there were no limits to the imagination of this esteemed maison.

In terms of the house of Fabergé, the desire to surprise still burns brightly. The Fabergé Visionnaire DTZ is a dual-time watch where the ‘home time’ is positioned at the centre of the dial. The ‘home time’ is obscured from view and invisible to virtually everyone, its secret is reserved merely for the benefit of its wearer. It is only by looking at the watch directly and focussing on the centre of the dial that the prevailing hour can be discerned.

The watch holds another surprise, although it is even more subtle. On the reverse of the movement is a rotating clear disc, marked with the hours for the ‘home time’ display. As the hour is advanced with the pushpiece at 10 o’clock, a peacock’s feathers can be seen to move. The peacock is very subtly depicted and unfortunately, despite my best efforts, I was unable to photograph its body. However, rest assured, it is there in all of its discreet magnificence.

I was captivated by the Fabergé Visionnaire DTZ when I first made its acquaintance some months ago. So, when the brand kindly offered to loan me this watch for a few days evaluation I readily accepted.

The dial

Bold, open-worked hour and minute hands exhibit a contemporary appearance. They interact well with the modern hour markers which are delivered in baton-like form, save for 3, 6, 9 and 12 o’clock where Arabic numerals take precedence.

Image of Fabergé Visionnaire DTZ

Encircling the dial is a chapter ring, adorned with a combination of double digit numbers and fine lines. Indeed, fine lines are a reoccurring theme on the Fabergé Visionnaire DTZ, they can be seen emanating from the centre, spreading outwards to the periphery of the dial like a metaphor for the sun’s rays.

At the centre of the dial is a raised dome, adorned with concentric circles and perpendicular lines in a grid-like pattern. This aspect of the dial reminds me of the engine-turned motifs found on the Imperial Eggs and augments the perception of luxury. At the heart of the dome is a lens which magnifies white numerals against a black background. The lens distorts the image of the ‘home hour’, making it only visible to the wearer when looking at it directly.

The case

Prospective purchasers have the option of an 18-carat white gold case, paired with black-treated (DLC) titanium, or an 18-carat rose gold case partnered with titanium, sans treatment. My press loan was the rose gold version and it looked wonderful with its warm, summery hues sitting aside pale grey tones.

Image of Fabergé Visionnaire DTZ

The dimensions of the watch are deceptive, the case measures 43mm in diameter but, once affixed to the wrist, it appears much smaller. The lugs are complex, drawing the alligator strap close in a nuzzling embrace. The resultant outcome of the case design and lug complexity is a sublime level of wearer comfort. I wore the watch for many hours and was incredibly impressed at the congenial union the watch conferred.

Image of Fabergé Visionnaire DTZ

At 10 o’clock, a pushpiece advances the ‘home hour’ in one hour increments. Each press of the pushpiece is met with a pleasingly positive action. The crown is presented in rose gold and black rubber, featuring a fluted design. Every element of this watch is beautifully refined and distilled to an incredibly high standard.

Image of Fabergé Visionnaire DTZ

The alligator strap exhibits a sumptuous feel and is supplied on a 18-carat rose gold and titanium folding clasp.

The movement

The hand-wound movement is produced exclusively for Fabergé by Jean-Marc Wiederrecht of Agenhor. The balance has a frequency of 21,600 VpH (3Hz) and the movement contains 320 components, including 30 jewels. The power reserve is sufficient to provide 50 hours of autonomy.

Image of Fabergé Visionnaire DTZ

Beyond the statistics is a vista of no-compromise finishing. The mainplate is adorned with perlage and the bridges are decorated with Côtes de Genève motif. The anglage is exquisite, executed by hand to a very high standard. The screws have polished slots and chamfered rims. The screw sinks are also polished to a gleaming brilliance. The wheels are circular grained and the ratchet wheel features sun-ray brushing.

This is a delightful movement. It is not only attractive, but presented to a peerless standard, making it worthy of comparison with the finest exemplars of haute horlogerie.

Closing remarks

The Fabergé Visionnaire DTZ is a splendiferous timepiece. It is crafted to an exalted standard. It takes a relatively mainstream complication such as a ‘dual time’ watch and imbues it with an abundance of individuality, intrigue and charm.

The Fabergé of today clearly upholds the reputation of the maison to surprise and delight the fortunate owner of one of its regal creations.

Technical specification

  • Model: Fabergé Visionnaire DTZ
  • Case: 18-carat rose gold and titanium; diameter 43mm; water resistant to 3 bar (30 metres); sapphire crystal to front and case back.
  • Functions: Hours; minutes; dual time
  • Movement: Exclusive Fabergé movement; hand-wound movement; frequency 21,600 VpH (3Hz); 30 jewels; power reserve 50 hours; 320 components
  • Strap: Alligator leather strap supplied on 18-carat rose gold and titanium folding clasp.
  • Price: £24,083 (RRP as at 2.2.2017)

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Angus Davies

Angus is a self-confessed watch addict and is frequently asked to contribute to various printed magazines and websites around the globe. He also writes for individual watch companies on matters of horology and has appeared on television and radio as an industry expert.