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Thursday, December 3, 2009

Pedum Tourbillon

Pedum is a Dutch brand by Peter Voeten and Elly Knepper. Both did the same study for goldsmith in Schoonhoven, The Netherlands.

Although his primarily task was designing and creating jewellery for a famous house of jewellers in Brussels, Peter started working on time pieces in the 1980s as well. After this company went bankrupt during rough times, Peter Voeten and Elly Knepper started a company in The Netherlands by the name of Pedum. Pedum has two pillars, one for horology and one for jewellery. Peter is focussing on the watches and creates exceptional pieces, in very limited numbers.

The craftsmanship in Pedum watches is mainly in the design, construction and finish of the used materials for the watch case, dial, case back and clasp. The clasp bears the logo of Pedum, feet. Pedum uses mechanical movements only, mainly ETA/Valjoux movements. The design of the Pedum watches is inspired by Jule Verne's 20.000 Leagues Under the Sea, as you can see by the looks of the watch casing.

The nautical look of the watch case with the large screws is clearly visible in the photograph above.

Last year, Pedum created a one-off time piece for an important customer in The Netherlands. The client requested Pedum to create an exclusive gold time piece with a tourbillon movement. Pedum uses a Progress-movement with a tourbillon. This movement can also be found in the Chronoswiss R├ęgulateur Tourbillon and Alain Silberstein's Tourbillon time piece.

In the pictures below, you will see some photographs of the process of creating the Pedum Tourbillon time piece:

The drilling of the holes for the lugs is all done by Peter Voeten. Below, you'll see an almost finished case part of the Pedum watch, ready to be attached to the lower part.

Above, the case is complete and ready to be polished. Below you'll see a picture of an almost finished crown. Entirely made in-house by Pedum.

Not only the case, crown and clasp are created by Pedum, also the dial is hand made. First, a disc is being extracted from a flat square piece of gold. The numerals, hour markers and subdials are cut-out as well and place on the dial. A lot of proto-typing and aligning with the client is key here.

Ofcourse, the movement has to fit the dial, especially the space to demonstrate the tourbillon cage.

Will it fit? Below you see the result of true craftsmanship of a goldsmith annex watch maker! The gold dial with all the hand made applied numerals and details in combination with the Progress Tourbillon movement is a feast for the eyes of a watch aficionado.

The watch and strap are being finished by the aforementioned clasp with the 'foot' logo.

Et voila, the Pedum Tourbillon time piece, one of a kind! We can only imagine how the (sun)light will play with all the gold elements of the case, dial and applied numerals.

During the interview with Peter Voeten that I had, he told me that the creation process of such a complicated watch can't be expressed in an amount of hours. It took a lot of time to search for the right movement, the right combination of parts, the proto-typing of the dial etc.

Although Peter Voeten is not a watch collector himself, he surely enjoys the haute horlogerie time pieces of brands like Jaeger-LeCoultre. Keeping track of novelties in the haute horlogerie inspires him to think about creating new timepieces as well, using his own particular design and constructions.

Xetum Tyndall And Stinson Watches

Xetum is a new watch brand based in San Francisco, California with watches that are assembled in Switzerland. Arriving with two initial models, Xetum timepieces are modern in style with a designer twist. Brand emphasis is on simplicity without lacking in emotional substance. Xetum describes the aesthetic as "accessible modern design." Xetum is also about traditional watch making. It was important to founder Jeff Kuo that his watches feature quality Swiss movements in a package that was recognizable to watch lovers but unique at the same time. Xetum is also mindful of the environment, and from the start has inserted a number of ecologically friend policies and practices into the company as well as the watches.

I sat with Xetum's founder before the brand was launched to discuss the brand vision and prototypes. The watches are generously sized and invigorating in character, while being inviting in style. Jeff Kuo ensured that no detail was overlooked while the designs enjoyed continuous refinement. With the watches now available I can fully appreciate the quality of the models.

The entry level model is the Xetum Stinson, which is in steel and 40mm wide and 11mm thick. The case is designed without lugs to have the strap secure directly to the case for a more seamless look. It has an AR coated sapphire crystal over the dial with a choice of three dial colors (white, black or gray). The case is finished with a brushed polish while vertical strips are done in a mirror polish. The screw-down hexagonal crown is shaped like the brand's green hexagon logo. On the rear of the watch you can find a mineral glass display back looking into the Swiss ETA 2824-2 automatic movement. The dial is easy to read with ample sized hands and Arabic numerals while the major hour markers and hands are coated in SuperLumiNova.

Both watches have naturally tanned leather straps that have an eco-friendly Italian cork lining. The clasp is a push-button butterfly deployment that is signed with the Xetum logo.
The higher-end Xetum model is the Tyndall - another reference to a Bay Area locale - and features a Swiss ETA 2895-2 movement with an elaboree level of decoration. The Tyndall is also in steel and 40mm wide and a sapphire crystal. A complete hour scale up to 24 hours is located on the dial, which also features a subsidiary seconds dial for a more classic look. I enjoy the symmetrical design of the dial as well. The Tyndall is available with a black or off-white dial, both with SuperLumiNova on the hands and major hour indicators. Price for the Tyndall watch is $1,395. Available direct from Xetum.

By Ariel Adams

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