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Renaud Tixier’s Debut ‘Monday’ Watch Reinvents the Micro-Rotor

Renaud Tixier Monday

Dominique Renaud is one of the most influential watchmakers in the world you may have never heard of. That’s because he was one of the founders of Renaud & Papi, the world’s first independent movement developer and manufacturer creating calibres for IWC, Jaeger-LeCoultre, Audemars Piguet, A. Lange & Söhne and Richard Mille – and as such the Renaud name has rarely been on the dial of a watch outside of a handful of unique pieces. However, in 2023 he teamed up with a fellow watchmaker Julien Tixier who he had worked with previously to create the brand Renaud Tixier, who are now debuting their first watch, the Monday.

Dominique Renaud and Julien Tixier

Dominique Renaud and Julien Tixier

According to the brand’s mission statement they aim to revisit seven core horological principles. With Monday being the first of these, presumably the rest of the series will be the Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday. I really hope that’s the case because I can only imagine how feral collectors will go for a box of all seven at the end of this horological journey. The core principle at the centre of the Monday is energy – specifically how watches capture and harness kinetic energy through automatic movements.

Renaud Tixier Monday

As such, the Renaud Tixier Monday features a completely redesigned micro-rotor, known as the Dancer. The Dancer is designed to overcome two core issues with micro-rotors: the reliance on high amplitude and the amount of dead space in the centre of the rotor. In simple terms, a micro-rotor is inefficient at translating small wrist movements into power and also the main force of a rotor comes from the very edge of the device, not the centre.

Renaud Tixier Monday

The solution was to create a tiny engine at the centre of the rotor, consisting of a propeller controlled by a flexible spring with a shock absorbing leg and foot. What this means is that even light movements and shocks activate the engine – as subtle as typing at a keyboard or gesturing during conversation. Plus, it utilises that previously wasted space.

Renaud Tixier Monday

Looking at the Monday from the dial side, you can see the micro-rotor through the open heart aperture at 9 o’clock. Through the exhibition caseback, it’s then on the right-hand side opposite the crown with the arching bridges above. The propeller also makes it a very active component, hence the name Dancer.

Renaud Tixier Monday

In order to accommodate the brand-new type of micro-rotor, the entire movement had to be redesigned around it. The calibre is called the RTVI2023 and it’s a time only piece with central hours and minutes and small seconds at 4 o’clock. The power reserve is 60-hours, which should be kept high by the hyper efficient rotor. Well, to add a little caveat, it is theoretically a hyper efficient rotor. There are no standardised tests to measure the benefits of the Dancer mechanism (it didn’t exist before, so why would people be testing for it?) so it’s currently unknown to what extent it assists the watch.

Renaud Tixier Monday

Outside of the movement, the Renaud Tixier Monday is a beautifully refined dress watch. The preview watch that has been showcased has a 40.8mm diameter case in rose gold with grained flanks. It also has a sunray brushed dial in dark slate grey with facetted golden hands and hour markers. The 12 o’clock marker is the RT logo of the brand. On their website it’s also described as being available with a white gold case and a grained silver dial, although no pictures of this variation currently exist.

Renaud Tixier Monday

In terms of price, it’s CHF 79,000 (approx. £70,000). Which, honestly, is a little less than I expected. A brand-new horological device created by the watchmaker so reputed for pushing the boundaries that Andreas Strehler, Robert Greubel and Bart Grönefeld (three modern icons of watchmaking) all had their starts working for his brand. Although I suppose the reality is that it’s unique take on a gold time-only dress watch and with that context, the price is appropriate, similar to a time and date Royal Oak in gold. As a debut watch, it does a fantastic job of introducing the brand and getting us excited to see the other six watches that are coming.

Price and Specs:

Model: Renaud Tixier Monday
Case: 36.8mm diameter x 6.86mm thickness, 18k 5N+ rose gold or white gold
Dial: Sunburst slate grey or grained silver
Water resistance: 30m (3 bar)
Movement: Renaud Tixier calibre RTVI2023, automatic, 30 jewels
Frequency: 18,800 vph (2.5 Hz)
Power reserve: 60h
Functions: Hours, minutes, seconds
Price: CHF 79,000 (approx. £70,000)

More details at Renaud Tixier.

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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.