At first glance the 18k Gold blue dial Meerson Altitude Première Small Seconds replica watch appears to be a simple watch replica with few indications. However, Angus Davies reveals that when appraising the design of this watch replica more closely, a plethora of nuances become apparent, heightening the ownership experience.Nevertheless, pause and contemplate its makeup for a few moments longer and the intricacies of its creation become manifest.
The architecture of the Altitude Première Small Seconds exhibits a delightful lightness of touch. At first glance it appears seemingly simple with a relaxed demeanour that does not unduly command attention.
In the elevated world of haute horlogerie, some timepieces garner attention with numerous gems gracing their form. Alternatively, other Meerson watches replica crave recognition by combining an array of complications in one horological composition.
However, sometimes the creation of a timepiece which forsakes haute joaillerie or showboating complications presents other challenges. Indeed, from a design perspective, it requires much creativity to make a seemingly simple watch replica appear interesting.
The test model was presented with a ‘True Blue’ dial, an alluring shade which matched the rose gold case very well.
Part of the allure of the Altitude Première Small Seconds are the numerous soupçons of delightful detail. On first acquaintance with this watch, the hour and minutes appeared to be faceted dauphine hands. However, the hands are actually asymmetrical, with the fulcrum of the facets being positioned 2/3 and 1/3 along their width. By adopting this design aspect, the hands prove both stylish and highly legible. Moreover, the light casts beguiling areas of brightness and shade along their profile.
The hour markers consisted of super slender batons, save for 12 o’clock, where Arabic numerals appeared. The font of the numerals at noon are unique to the maison, designed by Alexander Meerson, the owner of the eponymously named watch replica company.
Located above 6 o’clock, a small running seconds is presented on a recessed and snailed subdial. Four markers grace the small seconds display, denoting each 15 second integer.
Measuring 41mm in diameter, the 18-carat rose gold case is an exemplar of subtle elegance. The case thickness is a mere 8.59mm, proving slender and graceful. The design language of this watch replica does not loudly proclaim its presence, but instead evinces a restrained, tasteful appearance.
Two unusual bar-like fixings unite the blue strap to the case, eschewing conventional horns. Indeed, once again, Meerson employs discreet elements which, in my opinion, enrich the ownership proposition. The bezel is stepped, whilst the case employs curving lines to its upper surface and sides. The crown features a seven-arm design and sports the brand’s logo on its vertical plane.
My previous encounters with both the Meerson Altitude Officier Small Seconds and the Meerson D15 MK-1 GMT Black ADLC proved eminently comfortable. The Altitude Première Small Seconds upholds this trait, conferring a gratifying coziness with the arm. There are two reasons for this agreeable union between watch replica and wearer. Firstly, the exhibition caseback is curved, snugly hugging the arm. Secondly, the varied choice of made to measure leather straps proffer pre-eminent flexibility and softness. Indeed, Meerson watches are reminiscent of a faithful pair of slippers offering wonderful comfort, while simultaneously delivering a degree of style only found with a freshly-pressed haute couture ensemble.
The danger of focussing on aesthetics is that the mechanical substance of a watch replica may be overlooked. Thankfully, Meerson has entrusted the creation of the self-winding movement within this watch, ref AM-4808-A, to Vaucher Manufacture Fleurier.
Vaucher Manufacture Fleurier is renown for its high quality movements. They are crafted to an incredible standard and imbued with magnificent finishing. The movement within the Meerson Fleurier Altitude Première Small Seconds proves to be no exception.
The bridges are adorned with Côtes de Genève rayonnantes, while the jewel sinks are polished and the wheels are circular grained. The decoration of the movement combines both ‘hand and machine’ finishing. I especially like the design of the partially open-worked oscillating mass. Affixed to the rotor is a section, proclaiming the maison’s nomen. While it appears to be part of the bridge work beneath, it is not, and consequently the name of the brand is permanently on show.
Finally, twin barrels collaborate to provide 50 hour power reserve.
The remarkable aspect of the Meerson Altitude Première Small Seconds is the understatement of the design. Wherever the eyes dwell, softly spoken intricate elements come to the fore. For example, the surface encircling the sapphire crystal is brushed, delivering a comely contrast with the adjacent polished surfaces. The inner flange surrounding the dial features a brushed finish, again contrasting with the bezel and highlighting the intricacy of the design.
- Model: Meerson Altitude Première Small Seconds
- Reference: 101-PBJC
- Case: 18-carat rose gold; diameter 41mm; height 8.59mm; water resistant to 3 bar (30 metres); sapphire crystal to front and case back.
- Functions: Hours; minutes; small seconds.
- Movement: AM-4808-A movement; self-winding movement; frequency 28,800 vph (4Hz); 28 jewels; power reserve 50 hours; 193 parts in total
- Strap: Choice of straps available. Test model featured made to measure True Blue galuchat strap presented on a 18-carat rose gold pin buckle
- Price: £19,200 (RRP as at 31.5.2016)
Meerson and his colleagues have been incredibly skilful designing a sumptuously appointed watch replica with a seemingly simple appearance. Clearly, much time has been expended on the minutiae and this shows with prolonged examination. Indeed, with an obvious lightness of touch, this blue dial Meerson copy watch creation reveals a high quotient of restrained style which proves very appealing.