The latest release from Massena LAB, William Massena’s brand that has established itself as something of a master of the collaborative limited edition, has a new release this month that represents a fairly large step forward. Not only does it shine a light on an independent watchmaker who to this point has largely flown under the radar, but it’s the first Massena LAB release to feature their own proprietary movement. The Magraph, the new watch made in collaboration with Raúl Pagès, is also the first timepiece that the Swiss watchmaker has partnered on with another brand.
The Magraph, at a glance, has the look of an old fashioned sector dial. According to Massena LAB, the design was inspired by a unique piece commissioned in the early 1930s for a Berlin based luxury retailer. The Magraph has an aesthetic that is rooted in the Bauhaus design movement, with a dial free of unnecessary ornamentation. The geometric patterns that form minute and hour tracks and divide the dial into distinct sections have a rigorous symmetry to them that is pleasing to the eye and, in the process, forms a highly legible interface for reading the time. The dial is off-white, with a rhodium plated outer ring providing contrast. The hands are in a classic leaf style, and have been heat blued to provide an additional color contrast. The simple steel case is 38.5mm in diameter, with lines inspired by classic mid century watches.
While the dial and case have an obvious aesthetic appeal, the real draw for Massena LAB collectors is likely to be the movement, and having the chance to own a caliber designed by Pagès. After stints at both Parmigiani Fleurier and Patek Philippe (specializing in restoration) Pagès struck out on his own in 2012. He’s now widely seen as one of the world’s most up and coming watchmakers, having produced a small handful of watches under his own name that combine elaborate finishing techniques with the relatively uncommon use of a detent escapement.
For the Magraph, Pagès has created the M660, a manually wound movement with 48 hours of power reserve, beating at a rate of 4Hz. The finishing is quite beautiful, featuring hand-chamfered bridges and plates. If you look closely under the balance wheel, you’ll find the poinçon Pagès, the silhouette of a tortoise, and the visual signature of a Pagès movement.
The Magraph launches today, and carries a retail price of $8,675. Only 99 watches will be produced, and delivery is expected to begin in December at a rate of about 15-20 watches per month. More information can be found on the Massena LAB website here.