Today’s classic watches always contain the same elements: case, movement, crown, dial, hands, housing and strap.
Roughly speaking, there are only these seven elements. These seven components have made up the classic wristwatch that we know today for more than 200 years. But Niveau élevé has now really upset the apple cart. The cards have been reshuffled and a new chapter is starting in the structure of the classic watch. The watch face, the division of time, is fused with the watch glass to form a “cypher glass”.
This means that we now only have six elements, the watch face is omitted and we can look through onto the movement. In this new variant, we would then have: case, movement, crown, hands, cypher glass and strap. Alternatively, the watch face is replaced by a “background for the hands”. In this case, we would have the following seven elements in the new watch: case, movement, crown, hands background, hands, cypher glass and strap.
In each case, the cypher glass brings movement into the watch’s structure. A new element – the cypher glass – is emerging in the world of the watch and is looking to establish itself. The driving force of this novelty is a symbolism that stands for a certain perspective on oneself and the world. It also brings a totally new visual appearance for the watch. The normally two-dimensional view of the watch is replaced by a three-dimensional view. With the conventional watch, all the visual elements merge into a single plane; with the Niveau élevé watches, the division of time ascends into the third dimension and floats in a clearly visible fashion over the rest.
A new phenomenon, or an invention, is generally based merely on the random concurrence of various elements which then suddenly result in a new product.
This also applies to the way in which glass was invented.
When the great pyramids were built 4500 years ago on the plains of Egypt, a whole fleet of lunar barges transported limestone up the Nile from the Southern mountains to the construction sites in the North. Nights in the desert are cold, and the boatmen encamping on sandbanks on the shore used to protect their campfires against the desert wind by surrounding them with blocks of limestone from their cargo. The next morning, some of them made a strange discovery. The cooling ashes contained strange precious stones that had not been there the night before. The clever Egyptians very soon got to the bottom of the secret: lime, quartz sand, potash and fire are the four elements from which the new precious stone derived. And so glass was born.
The cypher glass also emerged from the meeting of various elements:
1) A profound knowledge of diamonds, the art of polishing diamonds and the technical details associated with these, the most valuable of all precious stones. The technical and artisanal knowledge of the art of polishing diamonds is one of the roots of Niveau élevé.
2) A profound knowledge of glass. The Niveau élevé team has been working with glass for over 20 years. The research into glass was at the origin of some very special glass products and has never ceased to be the backbone of this product chain. The multi-layer glass tile and the knowledge of how to join glass to other materials or embed non-glass materials in a glass sandwich were the major successes and breakthroughs in the glass sector.
3) The philosophy. It was a love of philosophy and a fascination for the depth of ideas deriving from the ancient Indian and Chinese mystics that were the driving forces behind the new watch project. In fact, the aspiration was not primarily to produce a totally innovative watch which surpasses its competitors in the three-dimensionality of its expression. This is perhaps the result of the concept. However the basic motivation for the watch is the philosophical element. The change of planes from the basic time system and flow of time symbolises the intended progress in our own consciousness. The entire project also came about against a mystical background. The research into the construction technology for the Matrimandir (a symbol of the advancement of evolution) is ultimately the root of Niveau élevé.
It is not only diamonds that are incorporated into the cypher glass in the watches of Niveau élevé. Sapphires, rubies, emeralds, numbers in gold, platinum and other precious metals are also used. Diamond is the most highly symbolic material that we know. A whole range of superlatives are applied to it. For example, it is one of the best conductors of heat. Diamond conducts heat better than copper, which means that a diamond cannot be harmed by thermal shock. The powerful symbolism that diamond conducts energy like no other material is part of the concept of Niveau élevé. Even though there are no diamonds in the cypher glass in many models, at least one diamond is used in most of our watches, whether it is in the crown, the case, the strap or the dial.
The Niveau élevé is a technical, aesthetic and philosophical revolution in the classic wristwatch. We hope that we all feel joy at this innovation and that it will take us a long way into new areas of life. However this is dependent on ourselves, above all.