4N Watch - The brand new brand

The Brand 4N was created in 2009 by François Quentin

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Published by 570 on March 9th, 2010 at 11:05 a.m..
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  • Summary

The brand 4N was born from the desire to create a simple digital display and propose a mechanical alternative to analogue timepieces with moving hands.

The name of the brand is derived from the English "4 numbers", which refers to the four digits on a digital counter which represents the tens of hours, hours, tens of minutes and minutes. Revealing and highlighting time mechanisms in their original state, summed up by the figure 4, the watch displays rhythmic sequences of the passing of time.

4N is clearly positioned on the modern luxury watch market. Resolutely masculine with a touch of high-tech, the model has a simplified display and boasts a highly-effective format thanks to its easy readability. 4N has a modern image with a mechanical touch, and gets back to the basics of watchmaking. The make has steered clear of complex effects and has refrained from adding aesthetic and technical touches which might take away from the visibility of the hour display. With 4N, the time appears and is displayed in one way only. While the whole assembly reveals a pattern of scattered figures, the time is clearly displayed on a horizontal plane in the centre of the dial, in strong, bold lettering (typographic body 5.5mm, which boldly stands out from the subtle lettering more widely used in watchmaking).

The formal vocabulary and character of the lettering used make 4N an exclusive innovation in the watchmaking world. The logo, designed by Eliote Shahmiri (Agence H5) reflects these values. It is formed by the negative space created by a series of vertical shapes. Part of the mechanism passes over the logo in a swift movement, revealing the name of the brand at brief intervals. These innovative features mean that the brand is positioned in the high-end segment of the watchmaking market. Its timepieces will be produced in limited edition with 16 (42) versions of each model.

The model The 4N-MVT01/D01/42 model is the first watch released by the brand. Limited to 16 pieces, this emblematic model symbolises the advantages which characterise 4N. While the display and movement are of a mechanical style, the design of the case and details counterbalance the masculine structure of the watch, with flowing lines and marks creating a generous silhouette. MVT01 is characterised by a manufacturer movement, with a manual winding mechanism and a 12-hour digital display.

It is based on a clever configuration of discs rotating in discontinuous mode. Three discs sub-assemblies, made of aluminium or titanium alloys and held in carbon cage structures, are activated to reveal the time on a display which changes as each minute passes (4 discs for the hour, 5 for the minutes and 1 for the tens of minutes). The mechanism uses a constant-force jump system which guarantees minimum energy consumption, regardless of the winding tension.

The patented model solves a number of technical challenges. The original size of the digits (5.5mm) reveals a demanding mechanical design based on a fully manual production process. The movement is the fruit of a complex setting of the disc mechanism, designed to solve problems of equilibrium, inertia and friction in order to obtain optimal movement and consume as little energy as possible. These operational specifications justify the specific materials chosen for their lightness and perfect mechanical performance – carbon, aluminium and titanium.

This model will be available in 18-carat white gold and platinum versions. The dial, covered by a sapphire glass front, frames the bright orange figures. Sapphire glass at the bottom of the case reveals the subtleties of the mechanical movement. The strap, which is available in a range of noble materials, is mounted on the case by an automatic fastening system and its length can be adjusted as necessary. In addition, the model has an easy time setting system which enables the hours to be set independently of the minutes. All of these specific qualities make this an exclusive contemporary timepiece which will add a beautiful finishing touch to the wearer's attire.

The designer: In 2009, François Quentin founded the watch brand 4N.

An independent designer since 1986, F. Quentin's experience in the watchmaking world has enabled him to design many contemporary models for French and Swiss watchmakers. His best-known endeavours include co-founding the watchmaker HAUTLENCE for the HL models in 2004 and co-designing La Tambour, the flagship model released by Louis Vuitton. At 47 years of age, François Quentin has built up a wide range of skills over the years. With an avid interest in mechanics and computers, the designer works in business sectors requiring skills that are as diverse as they are specific, from machine tooling to mechanical optics to web design. In an effort to perfect his watchmaking expertise, F. Quentin trained in and was awarded a diploma in watch repair in 2006. Today he is a full-fledged specialist in watch design.

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