It’s a great time to be in the market for a high-horology watch for women – assuming you have the extra cash, that is. Still, finding a ladies’ watch from the more interesting independent brands is a challenge. The Emmanuel Bouchet EB02 is a rare breed because it is a legit piece of real timepiece craft produced mainly for women and not men. If you or a woman in your life needs a real independently-made time-telling machine on the wrist, then a timepiece like this is certainly worth looking at.
The EB02 is the second major product from Emmanuel Bouchet, after the noteworthy Emmanuel Bouchet Complication One (aBlogtoWatch review here). aBlogtoWatch debuted the Emmanuel Bouchet EB02 watch here, and in that article you can learn a bit more about the EB02. According to the brand, a maximum of 18 pieces per model will be produced – meaning there isn’t a good chance you’ll find yourself in the same room as someone else who is wearing one (unless you are really trying).
Diamonds are an optional element on the EB02 watch. If you select the model with diamonds, rather than having them set on the case or used as hour markers, three attractive stones are set on small cones placed on the right side of the dial. They serve no particular functional element, but add to the art of the watch. Without the diamonds, the space where they would normally sit is empty. Buyers of watches costing this much tend to be less price sensitive so the preference for diamonds on the EB02 is really about personal taste.
Functionally, the EB02 is much more straightforward than the more complicated Complication One from Emmanuel Bouchet. One might argue that some of the charm of the brand is lost in a watch that might not look like anything else out there, but functions like other things. You can reference the above article on the Complication One to see how it worked. Having said that, non-standard ways to indicate the time are tricky to do right, and often leave wearers feeling that it takes more effort to read the time than the standard way.
For the EB02 Emmanuel Bouchet decided to indicate the time via a standard two-hand (hour and minute) sub-dial along with an off-centered subsidiary seconds dial. In the seconds dial is a disc that spins fully every 24 hours and functions as an AM/PM indicator. A small exposed set of gearing on the dial used to move the day/night indicator disc is a slight but welcome nod to the fact that Emmanuel Bouchet is a true watchmaker’s brand.
For the photography of this watch, I decided to take it on a woman’s wrist. The EB02 isn’t a petite watch, but the styling and theme is clearly for women. The EB02 is 39mm wide and just under 10mm thick. The reduced size of the Complication One’s case works well, and I still think that this is among the more beguiling and deceptively simple modern minimalist case designs out there. Emmanuel Bouchet offers the EB02 in high-polish 18k white or rose gold. Dial options include black onyx to a lovely white mother-of-pearl. You can see how the brand is getting playful by offering things like exotic snake skin straps.
Powering the watch (and very nicely displayed through the caseback) is the in-house made and designed Emmanuel Bouchet caliber EB89F automatic movement. It is the brand’s first automatic movement and uses an elegant micro-rotor. It offers 45 hours of power reserve, and I believe it operates at 3Hz. The movement design follows a current contemporary trend of mixing old an new aesthetic styles. Industrially-finished satin surfaces are artistically contrasted with hand-polished beveled edges. The movement is further given a backdrop of perlage polishing on the rear plate. Aesthetically the movement isn’t necessarily feminine, but actually a bit masculine. It also speaks well to the prestige and pedigree of what one is paying for in an Emmanuel Bouchet EB02 timepiece.
Any woman wearing a timepiece such as this makes one very specific message before anything else and that is, “I like watches.” You can get away with wearing a Rolex or Cartier and easily claim to have no particular interest in timepieces. While there is of course a jewelry component to the EB02, it is first and foremost an item of traditional horology. Thus, no woman wearing one would ever be mistaken for simply trying to show off status or wealth. Sure you need wealth to own an EB02, but it takes more than that to successfully pull it off. Price for the Emmanuel Bouchet EB02 watch in either 18k white or rose gold without diamonds is 49,800 CHF. Price with diamonds is 57,000 CHF, and each particular model is limited to just 18 pieces. emmanuelbouchet.com