A closer look at the calibre 1210
A battery in a normal quartz watch would have to be replaced once every three years at most, which is impractical for a luxury watch that should ideally be passed down through generations. To tackle this, François-paul Journe designed the Élégante’s electromechanical calibre 1210 to go dormant when not in use, thus conserving energy. An intelligent motion detector senses when the watch is in use. Once it stops moving, the movement will go into standby mode, with all the mechanical elements (such as the gear train, rotors and hands) stopping. A heart-shaped microprocessor, visible through the caseback, continues to keep time, and once the watch comes back into use, the movement will come back to life, with the hands taking the shortest path to the correct time. This energy conservation innovation means that the battery on the Élégante can last for eight to 10 years when constantly worn, and up to 18 years on standby mode. Journe also insisted that the calibre 1210 not be hidden behind a solid caseback like other quartz movements. He made sure that the movement is a beauty to behold, taking two years to figure out how to make the back plate of the movement out of red gold instead of yellow gold. The difficulty comes because the red gold alloy doesn’t conduct electricity nearly as well as yellow gold, thus affecting the function of the movement. All told, the calibre 1210 took eight years to develop.