65 YEAR OLD Michel Jordi has ploughed a determined and solitary path for all of his long career. Where several, in fact most of the formerly independent Swiss brands have been relentlessly hovered up by the conglomerates, Jordi remains exactly as he always has; and that is resolutely independent and free to call the shots.
It’s not an easy course to take. It gets harder with each passing year. For a start, the large corporations can chuck huge dollars at every watch they care to promote, whether it’s getting a celebrity to endorse it, or by flying in favoured journalists to write nice things about it in select magazines and websites. When you’re an independent, that kind of lavish promotion is beyond you. But does it mean that the concepts and the workmanship are any less worthy or creative? In the case of Michel Jordi, certainly not.
One of his latest major series, originally released in the autumn of 2011, has been the World Icons series. I featured the World Icon series on DreamChrono in January. The newest addition in the series was released at Baselworld 2014, and for Michel Jordi, it’s a return to his own home, Switzerland. The Swiss World Icon series essentially represents Michel Jordi’s entire career, putting together the sum of his experiences, his encounters and his inspirations. Some of the many models released to date feature the Great Wall of China, Japan with Mount
Fuji, the Kremlin in Moscow, the USA with the iconic Statue of Liberty in New York, London by its Tower Bridge and the “Gherkin” skyscraper, and Dubai with Jordi’s interpretation of the Burj Khalifa and Burj Al Arab landmarks.
Michel Jordi Icons of the World – Swiss Icon ‘GENÈVE’
Visually the 46mm watch conforms to the others in the World Icon series, but it is packed with symbolism to represent the city of Geneva. The casing, in titanium and 18k red gold is pebble shaped, designed to be reminiscent of Alpine stones polished by the elements for over one million years.
Within the dial at 11 o’ clock, there is a view over the Alps and the Mont Blanc; in the foreground the Jet d’eau sprays thousands of litres of water per second high into the breeze, the cobbled streets of the old town and St. Peter’s Cathedral, the centre of the Reformation movement with its 157 steps leading to the top of its tower; also shown is the Palais des Nations, and the birthplace of Fine Watchmaking from the Flower Clock to the watchmakers’ boutiques.
As with the other watches in the series, the dial is open-worked so as to allow the lucky owner to view the intricate working parts of the mechanism.
Elegantly circling this illustration is the watch face itself adorned with Roman numerals. The hour and minute hands, coated with SuperLuminova, feature the unusual rounded design common to all the watches in the series. The second hand is red so as to achieve prominence and to contrast strongly with the other elements. But there is much more to this watch than just visual imagery. At 1o’ clock the day/night indicator is linked to the 24 hours alarm mechanism.
To create this intricate mechanism for the series, Michel Jordi invited watchmaker Jean-François Mojon, famous for his work with high-end brands such as H.Y.T, MB&F, Cyrus, Breva, M.C.T, and Harry Winston. Mojon was voted best watchmaker in 2010 by GPHG.
The in-house calibre MJ 1948.10 hand wound movement beats at 28’800 vibrations per hour, and comprises some 340 components with a power reserve of 72 hours. The easy to set alarm mechanism can be st up to 24 hours in advance. Checking if the alarm is on or off simply requires a glance to the 6 o’ clock position.
The case measures 46mm of diameter, it seems big but the lugs are curved and short so it fits to smaller wrists as well as bigger ones. Made in titanium and 18K red gold, with a doomed sapphire crystal, the watch is water resistant to 100 metres.
The crown positioned at 2 o’clock sets the time, winds the watch and sets the alarm. There is also a pusher at 3 o’clock so as to switch the alarmon or off. Another charming detail is the fact that Jordi uses a time honoured technique of ‘paper cutting’ to create silhouettes of horned Alpine goats on some of the mechanism dials.
The watch, a piéce unique, will retail for CHF53,000.