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Introducing the Absinthe by Massena LAB and Raúl Pagès: A Green Dream

Absinthe Massena LAB and Raúl Pagès

I wouldn’t describe my personal taste in watches as minimalist, at least not in the hardline Bauhaus sense of minimalist, However, there’s something about a watch with understated elegance and quiet simplicity that I find intoxicating. Watches like the Longines Master Small Seconds or Grand Seiko Elegance that you’ll find in our compilation of best time only dress watches. Fitting in that niche perfectly is the new Absinthe by Massena LAB and Raúl Pagès.

Absinthe Massena LAB and Raúl Pagès

It’s the second collaboration between Massena LAB and the independent Swiss watchmaker Raúl Pagès, who recently won the inaugural Louis Vuitton Watch Prize for Independent Creatives. He oversees and supervises the production of the watch’s movement, although he has no direct involvement in their creation himself and the calibre M690 (an update to the M660 they previously worked on together) bears his signature in the form of the poinçon Pagès.

Absinthe Massena LAB and Raúl Pagès

The watch itself is a 38.5mm dress watch in steel with smooth, polished lugs and a matching smooth bezel. Incredibly classy and refined just like the dial, which features a vertical brushed finish in emerald green with an ombré gradient. Hence the name Absinthe by Massena LAB and Raúl Pagès as it’s green like the drink. It has lovely leaf shaped hour and minute hands that point to faceted hour markers and a peripheral minute track. At 9 o’clock is a snailed small seconds subdial balanced at 3 o’clock by the circular inscription “Observatory Precision”.

Absinthe Massena LAB and Raúl Pagès

That inscription is a reference to the fact that people who purchase one of the watches are invited to send their watch to the Horological Society of New York to undertake HSNY Chronometer Certification program. Following their extensive tests, which exceed international standards for chronometers, the Absinthe by Massena LAB and Raúl Pagès owner will receive a physical certificate displaying the individual results of their timepiece. That’s very cool in an exceptionally nerdy way, but hey, this is the watch industry so what did you expect.

Absinthe Massena LAB and Raúl Pagès

We should probably dive into the calibre M690 a little more deeply too since that’s at the core of what’s being tested. It’s a manual wind movement with a 4 Hz frequency and a power reserve of 60-hours. It’s elaborately finished with Côtes de Genève, perlage and hand chamfered edges to the plates and bridges. You can view it through the exhibition caseback. I like the way that the vertical Geneva stripes mirror the vertical finishing on the dial.

Absinthe Massena LAB and Raúl Pagès

As for price, the Absinthe by Massena LAB and Raúl Pagès is $8,675 (approx. £6,820) and the Chronometer Certification experience with HSNY is an additional $300, bringing the total price to $8,975 (approx. £7,060). Considering that a Raul Pagès creation can have a price in the region of CHF 85,000, it’s a great opportunity to procure his work at a more accessible level. A gorgeous green dress watch with a cool Chronometer experience connected to one of the most exciting, up-and-coming independent watchmakers in the world, what’s not to love?

Price and Specs:

Model: Absinthe by Massena LAB and Raúl Pagès
Case: 38.5mm diameter x 10mm thickness, stainless steel
Dial: Ombré green
Movement: Massena LAB calibre M690, manual winding, 17 jewels, HSNY Chronometer Certification optional
Frequency: 28,800 vph (4 Hz)
Power reserve: 60h
Functions: Hours, minutes, seconds
Strap: Blue Saffiano leather
Price: $8,675 (approx. £6,820) or $8,975 (approx. £7,060) with Chronometer Certification from HSNY, limited to 99 pieces

More details at Massena LAB.

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About the author

Michael Sonsino

As Digital Editor for Oracle Time, Michael needs an eye for detail, which makes it a good thing that his twin joys in life are miniatures and watches. He's a lifelong fan of fine timepieces, especially those of a more historic nature - if it has a twist of Art Deco, all the better. Recent purchase: Seiko Prospex 1959 Alpinist Modern Re-Interpretation. Grail watch: Vacheron Constantin Historiques American 1921.