A timepiece at the interface between fine watchmaking and life sciences

Promoting synergies between industrial fields and cultivating interfaces between disciplines: Fondation Inartis cultivates an innovative vision that cuts across multiple industries.

As an EPHJ partner for the last five years in connection with the Watch Medtech Innovation Challenge, Fondation Inartis supports watch industry professionals in their efforts to develop medtech projects. The Show is a fine opportunity to explore the extraordinary expertise of the watchmaking industry, which is capable of creating and deploying the world’s smallest, most complex and reliable components. It’s hardly surprising that the medtech world is keen to call on them.

As deeply immersed as we are in this world, we wanted to go even further. In an effort to delve deeper into this sector we decided to create our own timepiece. The specifications include two challenges: creating a unique and timeless complication and connecting it with what is most precious and personal to us all: one’s own existence.

Paying tribute to the unique skills of the watchmaking industry

Watchmaking professionals possess unique expertise that can only be expressed in one industry, namely watchmaking. But like any sector, it goes through cycles, sometimes up, sometimes down. As we learned more about this industry, we noticed that watchmakers worked hard to achieve known objectives. For example, they wanted to be more accurate, or add an alarm, or modify their designs for specific target groups of buyers, and so on. Our goal was to add a radically new complication. We would call it the time reserve.

The complication

Time flows – hour after hour, week after week, year after year – without our being aware of it. It is simply the way things are, a reality we perceive. Traditional watches lock us into their immutable cycle that repeats each and every day. How can we become aware of the passing time and encourage ourselves to work towards and achieve our dreams and passions while we still have time to do so?

Fondation Inartis has addressed this question by creating the first timepiece with your own personal life reserve!

Such a complication would have been much easier to add to an electronic or connected watch. But we wanted it to be firmly rooted in the age-old watchmaking tradition, handed down and perfected from generation to generation by extraordinary watchmakers who fully respect their traditions. The aim was for Tempus Fugit to be first and foremost a unique creation, produced with the help of Dominique Renaud, who was at that time finishing up his project DR1.

Tempus Fugit is an ode to time and an incentive to the wearer to realise his or her ambitions and dreams. It is the result of an unusual encounter between the clinical, scientific and watchmaking worlds (Dominique Renaud, a renowned creator, and Julien Tixier, an independent creator of watch prototypes).

Aren’t we all caught short by the passage of time? And when we realise that truth, isn’t it too late to undertake those projects that are most personal to us? Tempus Fugit reminds us of this fact through its unique complication, a power reserve that shows the wearer’s own life reserve – in other words it displays the life expectancy of one specific person: the wearer. The life reserve mechanism is driven by personal data the wearer feeds into an external algorithm powered by the latest scientific advances on risk and life expectancy and incorporating such variables as the environment, physiology and genomics.

With its unique complication, this remarkable timepiece is the result of the unparalleled expertise of watchmaking craftsmen who successfully designed and built into it the most compact and delicate secular perpetual calendar ever made. This means the watch can take into account corrections every 4, 100 and 400 years and indicate years up to 9999. The watchmaking expertise can be seen in the finishes applied to each element and in the module, which, at a mere 8.3 mm in diameter and 1.85 mm thick, comprises ‘only’ 51 components.

This multi-millennium calculator, fully contained in a suspended mobile, provides the perpetual dimension and protects the chip holding the wearer’s DNA as well as his or her private secret that is only revealed when the calculated life expectancy switches off and the watch is reset for a new life. Thus life is perpetuated through this unique and eternal mechanism.
But this doesn’t create a feeling of despair or dismay, rather it serves as a call to action and a personal conviction that becoming aware of the passage of time is an encouragement to achieve self-realisation, to affirm the meaning of our lives and to take up our commitment to change the world.


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