Since the beginning of time, man has tried to master time, to understand it in order to tame it better. At the first glimmer of time control, this measurement was done with a sundial and then an hourglass. These first measures did not satisfy the man who always innovated to create this fateful tempo, which is the slow, graceful and precise flow of a mechanical watch. Let’s see in detail the history of the mechanical watch.


The first mechanical clocks emerged in the 14th century. Its mechanism, if it did not allow to display the time, announced each hour by a bell sound.

The history of the mechanical watch is made of innovation and perfection of techniques, and it is a century later that the first clocks with dial were born thanks to a clever system of gears.


Long years followed, working both for a process of simplification and especially miniaturization.

It was in the 16th century that the first portable watches finally appeared. This invention is attributed to the German watchmaker Peter Henlein. His model of watch is usually worn around the neck.

Gradually, these watches will flatten, become smaller, more discreet to become the pocket watch or the gusset watch.

Montre mécanique histoire


If the pocket watch or gusset watch has been democratized, it is from the beginning of the twentieth century that the wristwatch knows its rise. Invented by the Frenchman Louis Cartier and the Swiss Hans Wilsdorf, these watches gave a new impetus to the world of watches.

Other innovations followed, such as automatic watches, which would later become the norm, since they strongly favored the autonomy of the watch, the power reserve.

The history of the mechanical watch, like the race against time, is never finished. Man is constantly inventing new mechanisms and new uses. Yesterday, mechanical watches were fighting against quartz watches, today against connected watches. Man has not finished writing the long and exciting history of the mechanical watch.

You can also discover the history of the Beaubleu House and its exceptional automatic watches!

If this desire to hold and measure time is the prerogative of Man, watches have long been confined to a rather male universe. Even today, there are watches for men and watches for women. Proof, if any were needed, that a woman’s needs are not the same as a man’s when it comes to timepieces.


A woman’s watch is perceived as a fashion accessory, a piece of jewelry, and watchmakers are generally following this trend. A woman’s watch tends to become a jewel that elegantly dresses a contemporary woman. This notion of aestheticism is also found in the design of the watch, often, these watches are more worked and are considered real works of art.

However, it is not uncommon to see a woman wearing a man’s watch on her wrist, here there is no feminist will, simply the will to assert her clothing style by adding both elegance and a sportier look.

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A watch is both an ornament and a social object, as it reflects who you are and what you do in life. Even today, owning a luxury watch demonstrates a desire to showcase success and the personal satisfaction of being able to afford a work of art on your wrist.
Women pursue this ideal of success and wearing a watch can be part of their emancipation goals.

The watch for a woman is an accessory that can fulfill two functions.
The first is to become master of her time, and therefore, by extension, of her life. The other is to expose one’s personality through the design of the watch worn, what one feels or what one wants to make one’s interlocutors feel. In short, watches have a bright future ahead of them.

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A watch is an advanced technology and its design is a unique concept. The design of a watch encompasses all of its visible elements such as the bracelet, the case, the watch face and the various elements that are displayed on it. The dial is the figurehead of your watch, it instantly reveals what type of watch you are dealing with.

The impact of the dial on the design of a watch

The dial is one of the first elements that an amateur will look at. Through the design of the watch face, one can guess the first inspirations of the designer.

Thus, we can find the skeleton watches which offer to the sight of all, the dials and especially the movements.

We can also mention the guilloche dials which correspond to the presence of very fine patterns with crossed lines.

These types of dials are often related to their future or assumed use. Like pilot’s watches or diving watches. Depending on its destination, the design emphasizes different characteristics such as the readability of different elements like totalizers or readability in poor light.

The composition of the dial

The composition of the dial is also to be taken into account, beyond metals like silver or brass, they can be composed of more exotic materials.

There are, for example, meteorite dials, enameled dials or mother of pearl dials.

Meteorite dials have become very rare, as this material is protected by Namibian law and can no longer be exploited.

The enameled dials are based on the skills of the past to create a dial with an inimitable and particularly recognizable shine.

The mother-of-pearl dials, on the other hand, use the noble material of certain shells. However, mother-of-pearl is a particularly fragile material, but it gives the dial a reflection and a shine that are highly sought after in the watchmaking world.

Whether through its design or its materials, a watch face is the cornerstone of your watch. It is what every watch lover will see first and it is through its design and its characteristics that we can gauge this watch.

The watch is a historical object, for a long time, the perception of the passage of time has been a key element of humanity. It was in the early 1500s that Peter Henlein succeeded in miniaturizing the clock mechanism with the first pocket watches, which gradually became the wristwatch.

The pocket watch

It is in the 19th century that the pocket watch really starts to be democratized. Previously, it was a luxury object promised to the most fortunate families. This democratization goes hand in hand with new technologies and new modes of production which allowed both to miniaturize, but also to produce in larger quantities. This availability, combined with affordable prices for the working classes, has allowed these generations to acquire pocket watches. Usually attached to a jacket and linked by a chain, it was hidden in the jacket when not in use.

The beginnings of the wristwatch

It was at the dawn of the 20th century that the first wristwatches made their appearance. The result of a co-creation between the Frenchman Louis Cartier and the Swiss Hans Wilsdorf, it constitutes an essential revolution in the world of watchmaking.

The wristwatch gradually became part of the habits of all people. It even became, little by little, an object of fashion with a shape and an aestheticism always more worked.

Although these first wristwatches did not yet have the autonomy that they have today, with an average of one day of power reserve, their mechanism is very similar.

It was in 1926 that the first automatic watches were born, which became one of the first responses to this lack of autonomy.

This was followed in 1969 by the creation of the first quartz watch.

The history of the watch has profoundly marked our technological progress, from the mastery of gears to the need to miniaturize them, it is one of the markers of technological progress of the last millennium.

Beaubleu is part of this technological and aesthetic progress by offering you watches with circular hands. Do not hesitate to consult the latest collection!

The mechanical watch, unlike the quartz watch, has less autonomy, which requires action from the user. At Beaubleu, all our watches are automatic, which requires less intervention from the owner.

Reminder : the functioning of a mechanical watch

A mechanical watch has a barrel that generates the energy necessary for the proper functioning of the watch. This energy is produced by the spring of the barrel which will try to regain its initial shape.

The force thus exerted by the spring will drive the various elements that make up the watch and move the hands.

This barrel can be recharged in two ways depending on the type of watch:

Article | mouvement Miyota 9015 VS ETA 2824

What is the power reserve of mechanical watches?

After having reviewed the functioning of a mechanical watch, we will be able to discover how the power reserve is an essential element of your watch.

The power reserve corresponds to the autonomy of your watch. It is defined by the number of cycles that your watch is capable of performing when it is wound to its maximum. Like a battery, when this reserve is empty, your watch is no longer able to function. Depending on the model, this autonomy can vary from a dozen hours to several days. For automatic watches, this reserve is generally equivalent to about forty hours.

The power reserve can be displayed on the dial of your watch. The purpose of this display is to allow you to anticipate the end of this autonomy so that the heart of your Beaubleu watch never stops beating.

Our Beaubleu watches with its latest Vitruve collection are made with the Miyota9015 movement, renowned for its reliability and robustness. They have, among other things, a power reserve of about forty hours. Do not hesitate to give in!

It was in 2017 that the house Beaubleu was founded by the designer Nicolas Ducoudert-Pham. With a desire to transcend the historical codes of watchmaking, he developed a strong brand with a distinctive element, its circular hands. The models offered by the brand are designed with noble materials that are the guarantee of the quality of the Beaubleu brand. Each collection is a limited edition.

The automatic watch ranges are distinguished by their circular hands, their manufacturing quality and the fineness of the materials used. Certified “Made in France”, our watches are made in Paris by our watchmakers. The Beaubleu House was created in 2017, by Nicolas Ducoudert-Pham. The key word, to break free from the codes of the watchmaking world by bringing a new vision and dimension.

How does an automatic watch work?

Initially, all watches required manual intervention to wind it via the crown. Today, technological advances have made it possible to introduce a more inconspicuous method, a watch that winds itself.

Its operation is quite simple, it captures the movements of your hand, via a high-precision mechanism, this movement allows the watch to be wound. It can therefore run much longer than a mechanical watch before needing to be wound. What may seem trivial to the average person is actually a major advantage, you don’t have to worry about your watch.

Moreover, such a jewel of technology requires only a periodic revision, about once every 3 to 5 years depending on the model and your use.

Production et assemble du mouvement automatique de montre de la collection Union Beaubleu Paris dans notre atelier horloger

How to recognize the different types of watches?

If the mode of operation differs from a manual mechanical watch, how can you tell them apart? Here, we will see that through the appearance, but also some tests, it is quite possible to make the difference.

As far as the visual aspect is concerned, generally, an automatic watch proudly displays its mechanism with an inscription “automatic” or “automatic” on the dial.

Then, among the few tests to perform, you have the possibility to check the nature of the mechanism:

If there is no crown or if when turning it, it does not make any noise, then it is a quartz watch and therefore battery operated.

A simple movement on the watch will recharge the mechanism for a few seconds, so you will see the second hand move forward. If it works, it is an automatic watch.

As a coveted object of desire, all Beaubleu watches are limited editions, the objective being to challenge the designer’s creativity and offer a premium product to watch lovers. The latest Vitruve collection, released in 2022, is a great success. Don’t hesitate to order it quickly!

Article Miyota 9015 Mouvement Beaubleu

Because there was no other alternative, for a long time, watches were only mechanical. The first quartz watch was marketed in 1969. Despite the technological advances offered by these watches, they do not seem to enjoy the same recognition from watch lovers.

What are the differences between a mechanical watch and a quartz watch?

These two types of watches do not work in the same way, if only by the energy they use.

The mechanical watch uses kinetic energy, either through wrist movements or through the action of a spring.

The quartz watch uses electrical energy supplied by a battery.

The energy and the mechanisms which result from it are at the heart of the main differences between these two watches.

The kinetic energy that drives the mechanisms allows the hand to move smoothly while a quartz mechanism will tend to “jump” from one second to the next.

At the same time, quartz mechanisms are more accurate than mechanical ones since they drift less than one second per month against several seconds per day for a mechanical model.

A simple technology story?

To be passionate about high-end watchmaking is to be passionate about this mechanism, these complex wheels, this “old technology” of high precision.

Quartz watches without these complex mechanisms do not have this beauty, this refinement. They are generally seen as watches for the general public, unlike mechanical watches which are dedicated to enthusiasts.

The passion for mechanical watches only increases in a world where everything is simplified. This type of mechanism combining high technology and traditional know-how is an ode to many virtues such as patience, precision and difficulty.

This is the choice that Beaubleu has made by selecting the MIYOTA 9015 movement, renowned for its quality, its robustness and the precision of its architecture. 

Find all our limited edition automatic watches in our Parisian boutique or directly online.

We love automatic watches because they are valuable in terms of craftsmanship, price, and sentiment. A luxury French watch is a timeless gift, a long-term investment. It will always shine on your wrist and make you stand out. If you are looking for this model of watch, visit Beaubleu to select your favorites.

Why choose an automatic watch?

At Beaubleu, we have a wide range of high quality watches to offer you. Discover our automatic watches made with quality materials. Our models are available with interchangeable straps. These are beautiful watches with round hands that will look just right on your wrist.
Green, blue, black, brown dial… You are spoilt for choice. At Beaubleu, we invite you to proudly display excellence in watchmaking.

Why choose a French watch?

Choose our watch models that are distinguished by an automatic movement and their round hands. Our watches are robust, slim and reliable. Characterized by a power reserve of 42 hours, they are models that can be recharged by the mere movement of your wrist. We have many years of experience in the field of watchmaking. As a result, our watches are guaranteed for years.

Here are some other reasons why you might want to choose one of our watches:

Also called “skeleton watches”, the watch mechanism of this type has the particularity to be seen through the dial. They will let you constantly see the wheels that make the hands turn. Very fashionable at the moment, these watches are a mark of elegance and character.

The mechanism shows apparent: why?

These watches have been around for a very long time. The first one was created in 1760 by André-Charles Caron, a master watchmaker, who wanted his customers to be able to admire the wonderful movement of the mechanism of his watches.

In doing so, he realized that he could create thinner, lighter watches, thus getting rid of components superfluous to the functioning of the watch.

These watches then disappeared for nearly 175 years before Audemars Piguet reinvented them in 1934.

This time, they were wristwatches, which offered much less room to remove components. Nevertheless, he succeeded and his company’s watches are both functional and beautiful, with the incredible movement they display.

Skeleton watches are now a hallmark of precision and technical talent. They are extremely popular with customers for the fascinating beauty of their mechanical movement as well as for their unparalleled elegance.

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The watches of the House of Beaubleu

Our company is distinguished by its watches with original and poetic design. Our trademark? Characteristic round hands, not found in other brands.

On the borderline between aestheticism and watchmaking genius, our watches with visible mechanism will adorn your wrists with a mixture of boldness and poetry. The mechanism of the watches will fascinate all those who are attentive enough to take a look at it.

Beaubleu offers you the best in quality, with a touch of difference, which will fit your personality.

Feel free to visit our online store to discover our different limited edition models.