Every now and then, we as luxury enthusiasts witness a great revelation that deep in ourselves we know it is going to end up being iconic, or even one of the big names in the industry. It is not always at first sight but when you start listening to the story of some brands or products you come to realize the huge potential and passion behind certain projects that are just impossible to ignore. That is exactly what I experienced when I first met Labails, from the way the founder approached me, the quality of the visuals and the huge attention to detail they have to present their brand; to the feeling of being a passion driven project is what caught my attention at first; but little as I knew, that was only the beginning.
Founded in 2017 Labails is a swiss avant-garde haute horology company that is here to stay, run by the purpose of perfectly pairing the highest level of mechanical engineering and artistic beauty as the pinnacle of what the founder, Alexandre Labails had been chasing throughout his life. Labails is looking to contribute to the history of watchmaking by innovating and pushing the existing concepts to the limit.
Labails Geneve is now presenting their very first timepiece named after the idea of chasing a dream, a dream filled with such complexity that the journey itself was a jump of faith; from discovering a passion to risking everything in order to develop the highest expression of haute horology. I am honored to be part of this launch, I am convinced this brand is going to take over the eyes of every enthusiast and collector, this timepiece is going to become a grail for most of us; I am honored to bring you the details, the review and the story of The Labails Temerity.
A Story of Passion.
“In 2017, I decided to create my Haute horology brand because of two sides of my personality that I had never managed to bring together until then: my intellectual interest for mechanical engineering and my desire for artistic beauty. I am very proud to say that, five years later, we achieved what I dreamed of.
Today we introduce our very first product, but more importantly, we set the standards of our brand.
At LABAILS we deploy the highest level of mechanical engineering, we push the limits and we bring innovations. Every part of our timepieces, every material, every shape is designed with a purpose. In that sense our timepieces are resolutely technical, complex and engineering focused.
But we deeply believe that this technicity can be – and should be – extraordinary beautiful as well. That is the reason why one can see in our timepieces these two worlds co-existing in harmony: ostentatious, implacable mechanics, sublimated by a constant search for artistic beauty.
Through the work of our colleagues: designers, watchmakers, technical experts and artisans, we aspire to develop an extreme mechanical engineering and to transcend it to elevate our timepieces to the rank of a work of art.
I truly believe that our first timepiece “Temerity” bears witness to this vision and I hope that our work and efforts will get to touch you. After all, despite all efforts to improve the beat of our watches, there is no better rhythm than a heartbeat.”
- Alexandre Labails.
A passionate person creating his life project from scratch in one of the most desirable industries in the world is something that I personally admire and trying myself, I had the opportunity to speak with Alexandre about his project and I was delighted with every single detail.
From how he discovered horology and his passion, to how he created one of the most impressive timepieces ever crafted; the way Alexandre talks about his brand and his journey feels special. The story of how he developed and designed the Temerity is impressive and a whole journey. I can assure you you will discover a magnificent brand and person once you get your hands on the interview we did together.
At the mid time, let me introduce you to his brand and of course, the Temerity.
When mechanical engineering meets horological precision.
This timepiece convinced me that watchmaking is a pure art, but its heart is mechanical engineering. Let me tell you something, as impressive as it may sound to this date, the Temerity is bringing something new, something never seen before.
Let me start from the beginning, this is a manual winding tourbillon watch, as Labails wanted to represent the ultimate sports watch, they decided the best way to achieve it was to feature a high frequency chronograph, which let me tell you, it is impressive by itself. Labails’ idea of constructing the ultimate tourbillon chronograph was clear from the very beginning, wanting to time events with fine measurement with the precision of the high-frequency regulator while keeping an optimized power reserve, despite the effect the high-frequency regulator has on it. The classic response to that would have been to separate the two functions in two distinct kinematic chains, but it would have meant a loss of valuable energy (one energy source would have been permanently dedicated to an occasionally-used secondary function), and this is when the innovative mechanics of Labails get the spot.
Engineers working for Labails created a very unique solution, and in the process they came up with one of the most innovative architectures/mechanisms in watchmaking. Labails developed a new architecture focused on energy management in which you can choose between two “energy modes” depending on which function of the watch you are using at the moment, this is basically like having two kinematic chains in one. This innovative system allows the watch to increase the accuracy and maximizes the power reserve capacity by only pushing a switch, this system is called the EMOS.
EMOS, Innovation in Watchmaking
The base concept of this mechanism is based in the belief that we as users will not be always using the secondary functions of our watches, especially talking about a chronograph. So Labails with this development found the way to manage how the main energy source is used, by creating two modes:
- Eco Mode, when we select this mode, the energy source is fully dedicated to the primary function being telling the time; in this mode the high-frequency kinematic chain is inactive and the balance wheel is motionless, resulting in a low energy consumption
- Sports Mode, being in this mode, the energy source continues to supply the primary function but also the secondary one; now, the high-frequency balance wheel is operating in order to chronograph events, the energy consumption is high, so in order to prevent the primary function stopping, when the remaining power reserve reaches 24 hours out of the 5 days, the balance wheel is automatically inhibited. Labails calls this the power reserve safety system.
With this development the Temerity is able to be extremely precise whenever the chronograph is needed, but it will also take care of the energy so the power reserve is used to the fullest for the main functions of the watch.
The EMOS system is not only one of the most innovative features in haute horology, but I personally think it is the standard of the temerity, they are setting up what is yet to come for the watchmaking house and the innovation they are capable of, when I heard Alexandre explaining this amazing feature I was mesmerized of how proud and dedicated he was about it, and that is what makes me know, Labails Geneve will be recognized worldwide because of this, they brought to the table something that huge brands will sooner or later replicate.
The Temerity has a pretty decent 5 day power reserve which you can have control on not only with the energy modes, but with the adaptive indicators; this timepiece embeds two different power indicators. The first one is dedicated to track the consumption of the primary function on real time and will adaptate to the energy mode you are using; the second one, is exclusively dedicated to the sports mode when it is set, in case the high-frequency regulator is inactive, the indicator will display that exact information instead of a “zero”.
Designing with art
Despite the mechanical engineering being one of the most attractive components of the Temerity, what really makes this timepiece the perfect pairing between artistic beauty and mechanics has to be the design and the craftsmanship that encircles the mechanical heart.
In the words of Alexandre Labails, founder and chairman; “Temerity’s design is the result of my inability to choose between engineering and aesthetics. Therefore, I knew I had to do both and, of course, at the highest level possible.” . And what he achieved with the design is indeed at the highest level possible.
When I first saw the Temerity and had the opportunity to analyze the integration of an extremely innovative mechanical heart covered by clean, delicate and elegant lines I understood what Alexandre meant by saying this. I can’t think of a brand that has harmoniously achieved to combine this two worlds in the way Labails did, whenever I think of such a complex movement my mind is just not able to match it with a clean elegant design; on the other hand when I think of suitable and delicate designs is impossible for me to relate them to robust movements or mechanisms.
As you can appreciate, the Temerity is proud of showing us the complexity of the mechanics and movements they developed; they are not trying to hide it, actually they are displaying it in one of the most beautiful showcases ever designed. We will discover later the main reasons why Alexandre pursued this artistic design so much, but as we keep appreciating it we should know that Labails worked hand by hand with local Switzerland watch manufacturers in order to bring his pleasing design to life.
The Temerity’s case is fully constructed with sapphire, which was the logical step to take in order to presume its heart in the most elegant way. The clean craftsmanship on every little detail you can perceive through the sapphire case is the result of working along with suppliers that are watch experts, artisans and enthusiasts as much as Alexandre was, sharing the same passion and understanding the vision will always result in magic.
Exclusivity as a must
Labails is not losing focus on the user’s experience nor exclusivity, such an amazing piece of engineering art has to be as exclusive as it gets, specially being designed, handcrafted and assembled by the most experienced artisans in the horology industry. Only 10 pieces of The Temerity will be ever produced upon request, with a base price of CHF 2.2 million.
Being conscious of how the concept born, the design process, the passion, the vision and adding the exclusivity surrounding this timepiece, I can already tell, the Temerity is already in many of our Holy Grails list.
Passion and Values
After all the stir of talking and writing about Labails and the Temerity, I really perceive this project as a very special one, the passion behind it is unmeasurable and Alexandre’s vision is crystal clear. I had the opportunity to meet Labails Geneve when Alexandre himself reached out to me for a small collaboration, that being posting info of the watch, a press release, etc. But when I started researching and acknowledging the brand and the timepiece I realized I wanted to do much more with him and Labails, I knew instantly this was something special and I wanted to be part of it.
You already know I have a peculiar weakness for brands and products that reflect the story of the founder, and the passion they felt deep inside in order to create such amazing things for the luxury industry. I had the privilege of speaking with Alexandre about Labails, and we talked for a couple hours, I really think we both enjoyed the conversation and the shared passion we both were perceiving during the call. We focused on some questions that I thought AF Luxury & Lifestyle readers would have appreciate, so if you want to learn more about this incredible project, address the link below in which you will find my interview with Alexandre Labails.
I hope you find Labails Geneve and the Temerity as interesting as I did, I am confident we will be talking and listening about Labails a lot around our beloved industry. I can wait to see how high this brand will be positioned in the near future, stay aware of this project while they continue doing what they do best, “Creating timepieces among the most exceptional in the world” .
Make sure you visit Labails’ official website and the interview with Alexandre.
Discover more about Labails Geneve www.labails-watches.com
Written by Founder & Head Editor: Anton Fernández.