When I first debuted the 4N watch it was much ballyhooed. This was about a year ago when piece like this were hot. Actually, it was more than a year ago. Even then the brand was over a year away from having a final product. Now they are almost at a final product but not quite yet. The actual name of the watch is the 4N MVT01/D01/42. That name is moronically absurd for anything but a reference number. So until a proper name is conceived I will just call it the “4N watch.”
This is a prototype and unfortunately it was just one part away from working properly! So I couldn’t take a video of the piece in action. Though I have confidence about the final movement because 4N is working with the super esteemed Renaud & Papi workshop to make the 4N watch work as intended. This partnership is the live saver of the brand and means that people will get to enjoy this beauty. Those people may not be you and I as this won’t be a budget friendly timepieces, but you can rest assured knowing that someone in the world with enough in the bank is happy with it.
You can consult the original article for more tech specs – but as you can see the design of the movement has changed. Most notably the placement of the escapement. It is now below the digital time indication. Also note that bridges that were originally intended to be carbon fiber are not specially polished black metal with a Cotes de Paris style finishing. The case and movement are absolutely killer with the time being easy to read on the discs that are framed by the orange rectangle. The 4N movement uses 4 discs to digitally tell the time in this manually wound mechanical movement that has a wonderful exposed quality to it.
On the wrist the watch is a comfy companion being wider than it is tall for an impressive, though not overbearing look. I am very happy with the case design and finishing. The skeletonized lugs are cool, and the watch is intended to have a unique strap system (though you can have a traditional strap system if you like. See those pushers on the strap near the lugs? 4N wants you to have a fitted strap that has no buckle but instead has two ends that connect to the case. This part is still in the planning phase, but should be a neat option.
I am not sure why the watch has two crowns. I am guessing that one is for winding the watch and the other is for setting the time, but I could be wrong. I will have to consult with the brand when the timepiece it finally done. The large crowns are nicely machined and nothing about the watch feels plain. Designer and watch maker Francois Quentin did a great job with the 4N and I can’t wait for it to be done. The hours and minutes are supposed to be jumping for a more quality display. There will need to be some manner of constant force escapement or torque capturing system to ensure everything moves properly and at the right time. This is especially important when trying to keep the watch within an acceptable range of accuracy.
Like I said, I am confident that Renaud & Papi can tackle the watch. They have done watches with complex disc systems before. One of those is the famous Harry Winston Opus 3 by Vianney Halter that was years overdue before Renaud & Papi finally finished the project. I will be sure to get you full details on the 4N watch when it is all said and done. Until then you can fawn over the almost finished product.