Come On Baby! Do the Twist! The 4N Watch by Francois Quentin
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  1. #1
    Watchuseek Editor JMunchow's Avatar
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    Come On Baby! Do the Twist! The 4N Watch by Francois Quentin

    Ahh, the holiday season is upon us! Snow and tinsel, dreidels and Sufganiyot’s, Yule logs and meditation; whatever you do to celebrate this time of year, it brings you close to friends and loved ones. Many people spend the time reminiscing over the past year and looking forward to the next. One thing that I look forward to is the next season of carnivals and fairs! (I know, that’s random. But for the sake of the segway, just go with it)

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    I love amusement rides but the winter season (in many parts of the world) means staying indoors and waiting for the thaw, not riding roller coasters and eating cotton candy. So I sit there dreaming of thrill rides and greasy food while listening to my Great-aunt Edna talk about her bunions. (I don’t have a Great-Aunt Edna. Again, just go with it…) What ride does my mind usually drift to? Well that would be my all time favorite: The Scrambler!

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    Many of you might know this ride by another name, perhaps the Cha Cha, the Cyclone, the (Gee) Whizzer, the Grasscutter, the Jambalaya, the Merry Mixer, the Sizzler, or maybe even the Twister? Whatever you called it, I loved it. I loved it before I could ride roller coasters, I loved it before I ever went upside down in the Pirate Ship, and I loved it long before my first water slide! To me, it is the quintessential carnival ride that will forever be linked in my brain with summer fun.

    There is just something about that fear of hitting the other cars, the heavy to weightless to heavy feeling, and the fact that you are still within jumping distance of the ground (a big concern to a 7 year-old). So, years later, imagine my happiness when I stumble across a timepiece that evokes everything the Scrambler was and everything else I have become passionate about in life! “What watch could evoke the Scrambler,” you ask? (Oh yeah, act like you didn’t read the title yet. K, thanks) Only the most fun, large, and geek-worthy watch there is, the long awaited 4N watch by Francois Quentin (& Renaud & Papi)!

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    The single most exciting aspect of this timepiece is how it displays, and then changes, the time. Before going any further you have to take a good long gander at this!



    Holy schmoly right!?! And it works just like the Scrambler! Actually it works like 3 Scrambler’s in a row, to which my inner child says “Bring it on!” But in all seriousness, this is a technically awesome watch, and continues on my streak of loving movements with planetary gears involved. The minutes and hours are all on planetary carousels that change one digit every minute, so you are never more than 60 seconds away from a show. You saw that show, and it is incredible if you ask me! Well of course you would ask me; sorry I even brought it up.

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    The 0-9 digits of the minutes change every minute (obviously) with the carousel going around twice. Each of the five arms carries a disc with two digits that rotates 180° counterclockwise each minute while rotating clockwise around the carousel axis 72° during each minute change. The odd number of discs guarantees that when the disc comes up again it is on the other number (5 digits higher). I would imagine that this also keeps the required force constant because the force is being applied evenly over the planetary system instead of changing the discs at one specific location.

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    Moving on to the 0-5 digits of the minutes, this is a single disc that rotates 60° every 10 minutes when the first planetary system has completed its two revolutions and resets to zero. This disc is released before the first system so that a cascading effect can take place. If the first system and the second disc read 59, then the real show begins! The hour digits are a very similar planetary system like the 0-9 minutes, but it works on a different ratio and in the opposite direction. This system has four discs with 3 numbers on each (1-12) so that the discs will advance one position by the time they come back around similar to the minutes system. The discs rotate 120° clockwise while the planetary system rotates 90° counterclockwise, giving the same effect as the Scrambler sending children careening towards each other in fear-filled excitement!

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    That is the full show and the moment you are waiting for every hour. All the discs spin and twist making the movement waltz around to show you the time. It simply is a sight that will make even the most hardcore giggle at its fun complexity. And if they are anything like me, they may remember those hot summers in their home town trying to get Jennifer Miller to kiss them by proving their manhood riding the Gee Whizzer until they lost their cotton candy! (All characters appearing in this work are fictitious. Any resemblance to real persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.)

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    But after all of that fun, I found something even better… the movement itself! The bare movement with its bridges and pinions and posts stands like a miniature Gearhenge, ominous and timeless, as if it were built as a temple to the gods. Excuse my hyperbole, but after an hour of staring at the time endlessly changing (oh and it IS almost endless, the 4N has a 10 day, 237 hour power reserve, boom!), I find myself more enamored by the construction than by the motion. And that is saying something. I mean look at these pictures!

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    The annulus (outer ring) of the planetary systems, the bridge posts, the celebrated position of the balance wheel, and the multitude of wheels and pinions connecting them all makes the bare movement exude the majesty of Angkor Wat, tower like the Taj Mahal, encapsulate history like the Colosseum, and whisper a mystery like Stonehenge. Wow, that really sounds dramatic, doesn’t it? But I really agree that seeing the high-res images of the stripped movement changes the watch into something wholly different and more grandiose than it already was. Being the guy that loves mechanics, the 4N has a beautiful structure that is now the wallpaper on my desktop!

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    What’s even more, all of the components are finished to the highest degree with the best materials. The bridge arms of the planetary systems are a Nickel Silicon alloy finished with perpendicular Côtes de Genève! What is that? Well it is a full set of Côtes de Genève done in one direction and then redone at 90° to create a beautiful checked pattern harkening to carbon fiber but being all the more amazing! Take a closer look to really appreciate it.

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    The most appreciable aspect for me, though, is the sheer time and testing that went into this piece. Depending on who you ask, there was anywhere from 5 to 7 years of development and testing to figure out the movement and power requirements, the timekeeping accuracy, and materials that went into the 4N. The movement was redesigned, materials were swapped, planetary systems were prototyped over and over like this –



    … and this…



    The talented and renowned team at Renaud & Papi were then consulted to bring a good idea into the realm of greatness. Seeing as how they were consulted to take the HW Opus 3 designed by Vianney Halter over the top after power issues (similar to the issues faced by the 4N), I think it shows that the best minds were behind this success. I, like many others, followed the progress of the 4N for years all the way from initial renderings to prototypes to final, working models. While at Baselworld last year I stood for many, many minutes just staring at the 4N watching it change the minutes, loving the anticipation and laughing at how much it made me smile.

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    The simplicity and ease of which the time is read perfectly balances the complexity of the movement, and the dance of the mechanism which gives rise to the “digital” display. The 4N truly bridges the gap between the digital revolution and the mechanical heritage flowing through the watch industry. It makes a statement for both and allows love and lust on its own terms. For me, the lust goes deep into space and time (see what I did there)!

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    Give me a B! Give me an R! Give me a, oh forget about it. On to the Breakdown!


    • Wowza Factor – 9.9 It doesn’t take long to go wow at the 4N, at most 60 seconds if you are in a coma.
    • Late Night Lust Appeal – 177.6 gn » 1,741.661 m/s2 That’s a lotta force! This thing will glue your backside against your seat so hard you might not be able to move for at least an hour! (You have to see the whole show anyway, right?)
    • M.G.R. – 73.5 The design of the movement is pure geekery, and the function complete nerdiness. I think that merits an almost ceiling crushing rating!
    • Added-Functionitis – N/A (and who cares) The 4N has no added functions (per se) but I don’t think anyone cares, not with the display on this puppy! Either way, you don’t need to rush out and buy ‘Gotta-HAVE-That’ cream as the only swelling occurring from this piece will be at the edges of your smile.
    • Clams Per Pound – $300,000 A little bit more than it retails at, but only 16 have been made so far. It took years to develop and makes me smile every 60 seconds. Smiling is good for your physical and mental health. Sounds like a good investment.
    • Ouch Outline – 12.3 – Falling Face First Into a Briar Patch. Well that just sounds unpleasant. And by unpleasant I mean horribly painful and terrifying! But still, I’d dive in off a trampoline to get this watch on my wrist (or mounted on my wall!)
    • Mermaid Moment – Whoa. (60 seconds or less later) WHOA! Every 60 seconds you get to watch a dance of mechanical wonder on your wrist, and every 10 minutes it gets better. You weep every hour. By the end of the first day you have put a down payment on the reception hall.


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    I hope you check out the 4N Watch more on your own, it really is a great piece with some more great features that I didn't even touch on. For me it's 2 big thumbs up to everyone involved for making this watch a reality!

    As usual I do not own the images and they can be found freely on the interwebs.

    Have a great week and holiday season wherever you may be & DFTBA!

    Cheers & Happy Watching,

    Joshua


    Oh yeah, two more things...

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    And this one because it's just so awesome you need to see it twice!

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  2. #2
    Moderator High-end watches amine's Avatar
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    Re: Come On Baby! Do the Twist! The 4N Watch by Francois Quentin

    LOL, I'll pass!

    160,000€ and an industrial look that resembles a rectangular tuna can (it's 51mm by the way)...




    No thanks, i'd buy me a couple Patek, JLC, VC, AP with complications...even Rolex for instance before spending that kind of money on a 4N. For something similar (well, not entirely) i'd go for a Devon Tread1 and save a lot of dough but in reality these pieces have their own audience and i certainly don't belong there.
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    Re: Come On Baby! Do the Twist! The 4N Watch by Francois Quentin

    Reminds me too much of a pinball-machine or that something Rube Goldberg
    would have come up with.
    Last edited by Watchbreath; December 10th, 2013 at 18:29.

  4. #4
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    Re: Come On Baby! Do the Twist! The 4N Watch by Francois Quentin

    You sure that's not an Invicta? looks like Invicta to me.
    Any watches posted may be seen as gifts,borrowed or found property and not as personal property of Little Big Feather.

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    Re: Come On Baby! Do the Twist! The 4N Watch by Francois Quentin

    If not for the size it's an interesting design. I personally find it much more modern than the Devon thread and its "wannabe steampunk" design from the 80s... But that size just kills it... Bah.

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    Re: Come On Baby! Do the Twist! The 4N Watch by Francois Quentin

    Quote Originally Posted by Galactic Sushiman View Post
    If not for the size it's an interesting design. I personally find it much more modern than the Devon thread and its "wannabe steampunk" design from the 80s... But that size just kills it... Bah.


    hello all,
    I am François Quentin, the founder of the brand 4N


    the size is not a problem, the photos are misleading:

    width (9h-3h) 51.5 mm
    length (6am-12am) 37 mm without horns
    16 mm thick

    The piece is generous but easy to wear with his wrist swivel.

    Thank you to JMunchow for this enthusiastic post and a little crazy that brings almost everything I posted on this watch.

    The price is actually less than $ 300,000! but just under $ 220,000 to $ 250,000 depending on the material of the case. (Sorry the euro is strong at the moment!)

    But only 16 pieces in all. whatever the material or finish of the box (titanium, white gold, pink gold, platinum, and maybe ceramics, I'm working on), with a good choice you have a unique piece!

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    Re: Come On Baby! Do the Twist! The 4N Watch by Francois Quentin

    Quote Originally Posted by 4NWATCH View Post
    hello all,
    I am François Quentin, the founder of the brand 4N


    the size is not a problem, the photos are misleading:

    width (9h-3h) 51.5 mm
    length (6am-12am) 37 mm without horns
    16 mm thick

    The piece is generous but easy to wear with his wrist swivel.

    Thank you to JMunchow for this enthusiastic post and a little crazy that brings almost everything I posted on this watch.

    The price is actually less than $ 300,000! but just under $ 220,000 to $ 250,000 depending on the material of the case. (Sorry the euro is strong at the moment!)

    But only 16 pieces in all. whatever the material or finish of the box (titanium, white gold, pink gold, platinum, and maybe ceramics, I'm working on), with a good choice you have a unique piece!
    Bonjour Monsieur Quentin,
    Just a couple of thoughts, since I have to opportunity to talk to you directly:

    - First, it took exactly 8 pages of ranting on Vacheron Constantin customer service to have the VC 'community manager' show up in this sub-forum. It took you 3 post, not for you to send some 'community manager' (understand 'someone I will put between me and fans cause I don't really want to talk directly to them'), but for YOU to show up. Bravo.
    - You could have (and some will say should have) been much more aggressive defending something in which you probably put lots of sweat and blood during years, but you did not. Bravo.
    - You could have been long, apologetic, detailled, and basically act as an advertising agency, but you prefer to stay on fact, and remain brief. Bravo.

    Dear Mister Quentin, I have to admit I am not the biggest fan of your watches (yet), but f*** I like your style!

    edit: Jmuchow is not really a ' crazy fan' but more of a PR robot on WUS :) He is posting here and there text which are part his writing and part PR communiqués put together...
    Last edited by Galactic Sushiman; December 11th, 2013 at 18:41.

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    Re: Come On Baby! Do the Twist! The 4N Watch by Francois Quentin

    Quote Originally Posted by Galactic Sushiman View Post
    Bonjour Monsieur Quentin,
    Just a couple of thoughts, since I have to opportunity to talk to you directly:

    - First, it took exactly 8 pages of ranting on Vacheron Constantin customer service to have the VC 'community manager' show up in this sub-forum. It took you 3 post, not for you to send some 'community manager' (understand 'someone I will put between me and fans cause I don't really want to talk directly to them'), but for YOU to show up. Bravo.
    - You could have (and some will say should have) been much more aggressive defending something in which you probably put lots of sweat and blood during years, but you did not. Bravo.
    - You could have been long, apologetic, detailled, and basically act as an advertising agency, but you prefer to stay on fact, and remain brief. Bravo.

    Dear Mister Quentin, I have to admit I am not the biggest fan of your watches (yet), but f*** I like your style!

    edit: Jmuchow is not really a ' crazy fan' but more of a PR robot on WUS :) He is posting here and there text which are part his writing and part PR communiqués put together...
    Maybe the difference between 4N and Vacheron is that paradoxically I am alone , no community manager no PR , no communication manager , so I do not use marketing tricks .

    other than that, in fact I do something in which I believe.

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    Re: Come On Baby! Do the Twist! The 4N Watch by Francois Quentin

    At least you can tell the time on it, which is more than can be said for some of the watches shown on here.

    I wonder what the chronograph version looks like? ;)

    Perhaps M Quentin, you would like to tell us a bit more about the design and making of the watch. I think you would have a very appreciative audience.
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    Re: Come On Baby! Do the Twist! The 4N Watch by Francois Quentin

    Quote Originally Posted by saintsman View Post
    At least you can tell the time on it, which is more than can be said for some of the watches shown on here.

    I wonder what the chronograph version looks like? ;)

    Perhaps M Quentin, you would like to tell us a bit more about the design and making of the watch. I think you would have a very appreciative audience.
    a chronograph? to reset at zero , there will be a job!

    to talk about the story of this adventure, it will be with pleasure if you give me a few days .... (plus it's almost Chrismas and my birthday soon) !

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