The Lavish Attic

Blackbird Watch Manual Vol.3


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In the third volume of Blackbird Watch Manual, with a French theme throughout all the features, we have a detailed exploration of one of François-Paul Journe’s signature timepieces, the Chronomètre à Résonance. Twenty years after it was first introduced, Journe introduces a new version that adds yet another layer of complexity to this unique watch. Vintage watch enthusiasts will also discover the long partnership between the Rolex and the Compagnie Maritime d’Expertises (COMEX), which has contributed to advancing the brand’s incomparable expertise in diving watches and led to the creation of many highly sought-after references.

Historically, France has played an important role in the development of horology; Grégory Gardinetti takes us on an exploration of some of the country’s more notable astronomical clocks, whilst we look at the impact of the Age of Enlightenment, during which many of the key technical developments that are still in use in modern watchmaking were made by the likes of Pierre Leroy, Ferdinand Berthoud, Jean-Antoine Lépine, and, of course, Abraham-Louis Breguet. Travelling back to the modern, we feature Richard Mille’s RM005 which brought the brand’s ideology to a wider audience. 

Beyond watchmaking, we bring you the second part of Bentley’s accomplishments at the 24 Hours of Le Mans, which the constructor dominated from 1927 to 1930. Keeping with motorsports, we have a feature from Auro Montanari, one of the world’s leading watch collectors and authors, on racing driver René Dreyfus, whilst Paul d’Orléans reminds us that there was a period where the French influence on motorcycle design in the 1920s and 1930s was well ahead of its time.

Staying within the world of design, we discuss the importance of Jeanne Toussaint, who was behind one of Cartier’s most important and enduring themes, the Panthère. Within the world of fashion, Azzedine Alaïa’s creations spread considerably further than the hexagon as celebrities far and wide were enamoured with his focus on discreet luxury. Ming Thein takes a look at how a designer gains inspiration from the world at large, and the way a particular culture can transpire as a result.

Lastly, our French theme would not be complete with a gastronomic tour of some of the three-star stalwarts of the Michelin Dining Guide, along with the newest entries to achieve the levels of greatness that are expected for that accolade, a significant feat for old and new given the country’s reputation for the culinary arts.

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