Later this week I will be making an exciting announcement about the newish Slyde collection from HD3 Complication (well, it will be exciting for me at least!) For many, the Slyde has been their first real introduction to this cool little brand, but the fact is before HD3 shifted their focus to the development of their digital collection, they were better known for producing limited edition, highly complex mechanical timepieces.
That’s why today I’ve decided to take a look back at one of their earlier creations, the Black Pearl, first launched in 2010. After all, as they say, you cannot know where you are going if you do not know where you have been!
Prepare To Be Boarded!
As the name suggests, the theme and design of the Black Pearl was inspired by the fantasy world of swash-buckling pirates and buccaneers, albeit with a decidedly futuristic bent. What exactly does that mean, you ask? Well, think of it this way, if Captain Jack Sparrow were to sail into port on his hover ship in the year 2100, this would be the watch he would be wearing. That’s right they’ll still be incorporating traditional tourbillions into timepieces a century from now.
The brain-child of gifted designer Fabrice Gonet, himself a former student of the legendary Jorg Hysek, the Black Pearl captures perfectly the bold and aggressive, yet still charismatic, nature so often associated with the pirate protagonists of lore. Crafted from titanium or pink gold, both with PVD coatings, the color-scheme is predominantly black with contrasting numerals in blood-red luminova.
Everything about the design is three-dimensional and gives the Black Pearl a real sense of depth. This is especially apparent with the bi-axial tourbillon, which can be viewed from both the front and rear of the timepiece, as well as through a cleverly designed opening on the side of the case at 9 o’clock. This opening is covered by a cannon hatch, complete with the instantly recognizable insignia of a skull and crossed swords.
According to the brand the tourbillon’s unique display is inspired by the early days of naval exploration. The hours are shown on a wheel at 9 o’clock, the minutes on a disc at 12 o’clock, and an indicator in the form of a sextant at 11 o’clock keeps track of the 80-hour power reserve.
To round out the naval inspired theme a compass rose has been engraved on the sapphire case-back and the crown has been modeled on a ship’s tiller.
The Final Word
More often than not we focus our attention on only a brand’s newest releases – vintage enthusiasts excluded, of course – and with good reason. After all, these brands invest millions to get our attention when they release a new product. Every now and then though, I think it pays to take a moment to look back at some of their earlier creations, especially the smaller brands you may not be as familiar with, to really get a sense of where they’ve come from. HD3 is not just some overnight success that has popped up out of nowhere with a cool new gadget, this is an established brand with real-life experience in the world of haute horology and in my opinion, knowing that makes their newer creations all the more attractive.
For more information about HD3 Complication please visit their official website: www.hd3complication.com
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