Independent Watchmaking – Remy Cools Tourbillon Souscription Review

The first time we met with Remy Cools and presented his work on MONOCHROME was in 2018. At the time, Cools had freshly graduated from his watchmaking school, the Lycée Edgar Faure in Morteau. This talented young craftsman had caught our attention with his montre d’école, the school watch that he completed in order to graduate as a watchmaker. Now 23 and after working with Greubel Forsey for a few months, the young watchmaker has set up his own workshop on the shores of the picturesque Lake Annecy, in France, some 50 kilometres away from Geneva. He is now offering a reworked and improved version of his montre d’école… A good reason to hit the road and pay him a visit!

Remy Cools Tourbillon Souscription

The Tourbillon Souscription is an evolution and an improved version of Remy Cools school watch. His montre d’école was superb and meticulously crafted during 800 hours… yet it was made with the limited resources of a student. For instance, at the time, it would have been difficult to have a domed sapphire crystal manufactured (worth several thousand euros for a unique piece). Now that he has set up as an independent watchmaker, things are different. His Tourbillon Souscription retains the aesthetics of his school watch but it has been fundamentally reworked.

Remy Cools Tourbillon Souscription

First of all, the watch is smaller and thinner. Fashioned out of steel, the case features more elegant proportions and now measures 40mm x 15mm (vs. 42mm x 17mm for the school watch). Visible under an impressive sapphire dome, the hand-wound movement has been completely reworked and is fully hand-made. Cools’ workshop is equipped with tools to be able to hand-craft all parts by himself. It features a symmetrical architecture with an oversized (15.5mm) one-minute tourbillon at 6 o’clock and off-centred hours and minutes indication at 12 o’clock. The two-part silver dial is finely micro-blasted, hand-engraved and circular-brushed at the periphery. 

Remy Cools Tourbillon Souscription

These elements stand out from the movement with minimalistic but beautiful micro-blasted decoration and distinctive stepped bridges (inspired by Breguet and Daniels). All visible and invisible parts of the movement are entirely hand-finished with top-notch decorations: hand-chamfering including inward angles, black polished, circular-brushed surfaces… The large variable inertia balance wheel runs at 18,000 vibrations per hour and is paired with a hairspring whose Breguet terminal curve is shaped by hand. The eccentric-moon hands are black-polished, flame-blued, and mounted on a steel polished chaton. Their manufacturing requires no less than 50 hours of meticulous hand-work and the result is truly impressive.

You may have noticed that the watch has no crown… Turning the watch over, two symmetrical flip-up keys sit flush with the caseback. One is used to wind the movement and the other to set the time. Last, the upper and lower part of the caseback feature sapphire crystals revealing the movement.

Remy Cools Tourbillon Souscription

The Remy Cools Tourbillon Souscription is worn on a hand-made alligator strap with a pin buckle. On the wrist, the watch looks superb and has great presence. The 40mm diameter makes it versatile and it will suit most wrists. And it wears thinner than the 15mm height would suggest, thanks to the ultra-domed sapphire and the thin casebands.

Remy Cools Tourbillon Souscription

The Tourbillon Souscription is a limited production of 9 watches only and as its name suggests, it is available through a subscription program. Price is set at EUR 85,000 (excl. taxes). For more information, please visit www.remycools.com.

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