The surprising new Mathey-Tissot. The "1886" limited edition, designed by Eric Giroud, is causing a buzz.
Baselworld 2018. This year, the historical watchmaking brand, Mathey-Tissot, tasked the designer, Eric Giroud, with creating an icon. It marks a glittering comeback into the world watchmaking spotlight, legitimised by some newly surfaced archives and some commendable performances on eBay to boot.
Targeting access through affordability thanks to an attractive pricing strategy, the new Mathey-Tissot "1886" sets itself up as an aesthetic landmark at this year's edition of the international watch-making fair. A story of pertinence and precision, the history of its design has been catapulted to the forefront of our attention. Indeed, while the 70s appear to be firmly back in fashion, and while many are appropriating and feeding the trend, only a few like Mathey-Tissot can truly lay claim to such absolute legitimacy, owing to the sheer wealth and consistency of its production throughout this period in the brand's history.
The new "1886", a celebration of design and purity of line
The famous designer, Eric Giroud, delved deep into the brand's golden age for his inspiration. He was able not only to extract the aesthetic codes peculiar to Mathey-Tissot, but also transcend them artistically. Something of a mix between an encounter and a discovery, the resultant "1886" is a watch that prefers to abandon the sporty look in favour of adopting the values of universal elegance championed in the 70s. Three hands, the graphic subtlety of the date aperture, stylish sobriety. Beyond these, we have the gently rounded forms and the superfine precision of the matt sandblasted finish, transforming it into an exquisitely tactile object. And, last but not least, the gently domed crystal and winding crown nestling into the circumference of a powerfully graphical dial, its strong lines softened by the distinctive case-middle with protective horns. The geometry and light-play express, in no uncertain terms, the exquisite softness of a piece that remains nonetheless very present on the wrist.
A sudden abundance of smoky shades for the "1886" dial
The "1886", with its soft rounded curves, contemporary visual appeal and organic touches, has suddenly and unabashedly opted for a lively colour scheme. The idea of using smoky shades would have been purely whimsical for designer Eric Giroud if Mathey-Tissot's past had not already given them historical legitimacy. The legendary colour graduations, Mathey-Tissot's focal palette, systematically call up and deviate from the customary Pantone colour chart in a bid to remain faithful to the bold aesthetics of the brand's prestigious past. The smoky green, brown, blue and grey, and, likewise, the deep, reassuring black have been a feature of the brand's DNA consistently throughout the 130 years of its uninterrupted industrial and manufacturing history. The unique new shades are all as many aesthetic sparks replete with powerful static charge and colour force to electrify the sombre darkness.