Sylvain Berneron's Mirage Watch: The Allure of Asymmetry

A Rare Gem in Watchmaking

In nature, perfect symmetry is a rarity, and the same applies to our faces. However, when it comes to watchmaking, designers strive to present time in the most legible symmetry possible. Recently, French designer Sylvain Berneron, at the age of 34, introduced the captivatingly asymmetrical Mirage watch, a creation like no other. With a price tag of €50,000 (excluding VAT), it is poised to surpass other timepieces in elegance and style.

Sylvain Berneron's Mirage Watch: The Allure of Asymmetry

A Unique Approach

Asymmetry is a rarity in watchmaking, except for a few notable examples such as Richard Mille's Alain Prost model, Cartier's famous and flawless Crash, Vacheron Constantin's 1972 Prestige, Patek Philippe, Greubel Forsey, and to some extent Dior's Chiffre Rouge. One cannot overlook the famous Soft Watches, inspired by Salvador Dali, which represent our vulnerability to the passing of time and are produced as entry-level quartz models, often sold in museums. With Mirage, Sylvain Berneron joins this niche with a truly exceptional creation unlike anything else. Before introducing this model, it is worth noting that the 34-year-old designer has worked for BMW, Porsche, Ducati, as well as IWC and Breitling, where he currently holds the position of product manager.

Sylvain Berneron's Mirage Watch: The Allure of Asymmetry

A Personal Project

In parallel with his work at Breitling, Sylvain Berneron has been working on this highly personal project, which was recently unveiled with the approval of Georges Kern, garnering considerable attention in the international watch press. Mirage is a genuine fitness watch, both in its case and its caliber. This combination is exceptionally rare and significantly increases the cost, making it a sought-after item in today's market. Mirage is a solid gold watch, featuring gold elements throughout, including the case, dial, hands, main plate, bridges, and even the buckle on the strap. Every detail is meticulously crafted by skilled artisans based in the Neuchâtel region of Switzerland, adhering to the rules of horological art.

Sylvain Berneron's Mirage Watch: The Allure of Asymmetry

There are two versions available: Sienna, with a dial made of the same material as the case, yellow gold, or Prussian Blue with a white gold dial. Berneron, who prefers to rely on models made from precious metals, has intentionally excluded steel from his lineup. The case measures 37.5mm x 33.5mm, with a thickness of 7mm, making it relatively "small" for contemporary tastes. Some argue that a case diameter of 37mm is an ideal size for urban timepieces, a sentiment with which we wholeheartedly agree. The shape of the case, resembling a grain of sand, is derived from the famous Fibonacci sequence, named after the renowned 13th-century Italian mathematician. As a reminder, the Fibonacci sequence is an integer series in which each number is the sum of the two preceding ones.

Sylvain Berneron's Mirage Watch: The Allure of Asymmetry

Furthermore, this sequence is closely related to the famous golden ratio, often found in watchmaking, particularly in Patek Philippe's renowned Ellipse. The sequence starts with the numbers 0 and 1, then continues with 1 (the sum of 0 and 1), 2 (the sum of 1 and 1), 3 (the sum of 1 and 2), 5 (the sum of 2 and 3), and so on, indefinitely. Scientists and designers are inspired by the Fibonacci sequence and the golden ratio because these constants extend far beyond the realm of mathematics.

Sylvain Berneron's Mirage Watch: The Allure of Asymmetry

They can be found in nature all around us— in the branches of trees, the arrangement of leaves on them, the formation of pine cones, and perhaps the most famous example, the spirals of a seashell. Therefore, taking inspiration from this mathematical sequence, Sylvain Berneron created the Mirage watch, waterproof up to 30 meters. The case boasts a combination of polished and satin-brushed finishes.

Sylvain Berneron's Mirage Watch: The Allure of Asymmetry

The sectorial dial resembles the cadran segments, with handmade numerals and hands, featuring a small seconds sub-dial positioned at 6.30. This incredibly attractive timepiece is equipped with a self-winding (60Hz) movement, partially made of gold, offering a remarkable power reserve of 3 hours, visible through the sapphire crystal exhibition case back. It is worth noting that only 24 Mirage watches will be produced each year, and their creation is expected to span a decade. Undoubtedly, this Mirage timepiece will be one of the most striking horological gems of the next ten years. 

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