Paul Picot Technograph ¶
Working at a store like Matt Baily’s gives me the opportunity to handle some very unique and fascinating timepieces. One such piece is the Paul Picot Technograph, a very interesting watch from a little-known independent brand that produces distinctive (and sometimes wacky) designs for connoisseurs.
Paul Picot’s signature design is the Technograph, which is produced in many colour and material variations (including reptile skin dials!). Our example is the most sober version, in steel on a steel bracelet with silver dial. While it doesn’t feature the flamboyant flare of some of the more colourful versions, this piece still offers a very distinct layout that is unique to the Technograph. And it won’t scream ostentation like a python skin dial version probably does. Featuring a modified Valjoux 7750 movement, the Technograph has an interesting subdial layout. The time is read on a central raised dial, while the running seconds and chronograph minutes are shown on a pair of flanking subdials that sit below the centre dial – you’ll notice that only half the dial is shown on these. To make them legible all of the time, the hands on these are double-ended and tipped with contrasting tips to show the difference between 0-30 and 30-60. The centre seconds hand is the chrono seconds hand, as you would expect, while the date has been relocated from the usual 3 o’clock position to an open window at 6 o’clock.
The watch features a 44mm steel case with an exhibition back to show off the spectacularly finished movement. The case is simple in design, a classic round shape with curved lugs that is in keeping with the industrial look of the dial, and wears well for a 44mm watch. This particular example features a stainless steel link bracelet, which is a rare option on most Technographs. The bracelet feels hefty and tight, with nicely polished surfaces and almost architectural detailing. Indeed, the whole watch has an architectural look to it – clean, angular and simple with fine finishing overall.
The signature dial is certainly the centrepiece of the design. Finished in metallic silver, the “background” of the dial has a pronounced waffle pattern that contrasts with the round subdials (especially the central time dial, which has a pronounced circular guilloche pattern) and makes the whole arrangement appear to float in midair. I love dials that have literal depth to them, particularly sandwich arrangements with multiple layers. It’s a nice departure from the standard flat dial with applied or printed markers, and adds to the overall look and feel of quality in the watch. And unlike many watches with odd dial arrangements, the Technograph is very easy to read.
The 7750 movement is very nicely finished. While many watches use the venerable Valjoux calibres, not very many feature a top grade version like this. These calibres fall into one of two categories – Top Soigné (literally “highest care”) and chronometer grade. In the case of Paul Picot, it’s a Top Soigné. But don’t be put off that it isn’t a chronometer – generally a Top Soigné performs to chronometer specs (and are adjusted to 5 positions at the factory) but lacks a third-party timing certificate from the COSC (which adds to the cost of the movement and thus the price of the watch). The finishing is beautiful, with perlage’d bridge plates, blued screws, and cotes de geneve detailing. It’s a very nice piece of kit to admire through the sapphire caseback.
The Paul Picot Technograph is a rare, fascinating and unique timepiece that is simple in design but very different in execution. With its overlapping dial arrangement and fine finishing, it’s a standout piece that isn’t over-the-top. It’s a classically modern watch – elegant while still being avant-garde. And with a metal bracelet like our example it can suit formal or casual wear with ease. If you are interested in our Technograph, available as part of our New Year’s Clearance for a very reasonable 5495$ (original retail approximately 10 000$), please give me a call at 514 845 8878 or visit our contact page.