News July 2010

LeDIX

A visionary objet d’art uniting two worlds

The Watch Quote™ - July 25th, 2010



LeDIX created by Celsius X VI II represents a fascinating world-first accomplishment embodying a symbiotic relationship between micromechanics and microelectronics. This unprecedented nomadic object is a genuine work of art blending performance, elegance, emotion and exclusivity.

LeDIX is a clamshell cellphone that immediately alerts observers to the fact that it houses a fine watchmaking movement – a first in itself. Natural curiosity will then incite them to discover the depth and breadth of the concept and its pioneering innovations heralding a whole new generation of dream objects. The exploration will then reveal the stunning Remontage Papillon (Butterfly Winding mechanism) patented by Celsius X VI II and representing the core of its creative approach.

The overall design is anything but ordinary. LeDIX is a cellphone clothed in an exceptionally noble metal shell of streamlined grade 5 titanium bringing a wealth of fine watchmaking finishes. The polished, satin-brushed, beadblasted and guilloché-work Clous de Paris hobnail pattern are interpreted in a tone-on-tone colour scheme expressing a resolutely contemporary spirit. LeDIX is available in two different versions: LeDIX Origine, in natural titanium with elegant inserts in solid ebony wood - specially treated to withstand variations in temperature and humidity; LeDIX Sport, in black PVD-coated titanium with carbon fibre inserts. In an ultimate touch of refinement, both devices feature dedicated screws with indents at ten, six and two hours recalling the Celsius X VI II logo.




The tourbillon movement

The shape, size and significantly off-centred tourbillon make this movement an outstanding first in the watch industry. It perfectly follows the contours of the convex sapphire window on the surface of LeDIX. This original shape is reminiscent of certain historical pendulum clocks. The generous space enables an extremely elongated construction with a crown at 12 o’clock, creating a highly attractive aesthetic effect.

There are a full 36 millimetres between the hour and minute axis and that of the flying tourbillon which thus appears in solitary splendour. It may be admired from both front and back, and its gentle ticking sound can be heard when the phone is held to the ear. Given its position which exposes it to frequent jolts, this tourbillon is equipped with a double safety device: a spring-fitted shock absorber for its bridge and a screen-flap closing cushioned by a set of spring-mounted ball bearings. Deeper inside the movement, the transmission mechanism also enjoys unprecedented visibility. While the base calibre is a model by the Confrérie Horlogère Hublot beating at 21,600 vph, the architectural transformation accomplished with the active participation of Celsius X VI II is so substantial that it can truly be described as an exclusive development. The new movement, which is significantly slimmer thanks to its lengthwise extension, is housed within an inner case of the same shape in GL-treated aluminium – a surface treatment consisting of ceramics enhanced by titanium particles. Dedicated water-resistance gaskets were developed to fit this distinctive movement construction.

LeDIX is all the more admirable due to its sophisticated architecture, featuring personalised bridges that add a light, transparent touch, along with fine watchmaking finishes, elegantly playing on graded shades of grey and black entirely in harmony with the structure itself. The subtle contrast between the circular-grained mainplate, the satin-brushed black gold-treated surfaces and the rhodium-plated bridges, is discreetly enlivened by the flaming red of the movement jewels. The same sense of contemporary understatement characterises the black gold-finished satin-brushed dial enhanced by appliques of varying heights and in particular by the three-dimensional 9, 0 and 3 numerals. The tips of the partially openworked hands are coated with Superluminova.




Remontage Papillon

It would be hard not to notice the exceptional amplitude of the 200° power-reserve display eloquently expressing the performances of the Celsius X VI II patented self-winding movement, with the Remontage Papillon (Butterfly Winding mechanism) spelt out around the dial rim. To the right of this legend, one can catch a glimpse of the terminal gear distinguished by cone-shaped wheel teeth that called for the creation of specific milling- cutters. The majority of the system is housed within the black structure surrounding the watch case and incorporated within the hinge of the cellphone flap. Clutching and declutching is controlled by a pawl and the unidirectional winding takes place each time the flap is opened. This system is so effective that the power reserve of the mechanical movement is extended by three hours with every opening. Given the number of calls made or received daily by a cellphone user, and the corresponding number of openings and closings of the clamshell, the autonomy is thus permanently ensured. To avoid any accidental overwinding, the barrel spring is fitted with a slipping spring. Moreover, micromechanics enthusiasts will appreciate the gentle clicking sound when the winding is taking place.

The Remontage Papillon by Celsius X VI II is a major innovation which, in addition to renewing the art of automatic winding, establishes a mysterious link between traditional micromechanics and contemporary microelectronics. A first glance, LeDIX does not immediately reveal that the watch mechanism merges into the hinge of the cellphone. Once the secret is unveiled, the full measure of genius contained within this object comes to light: a “fusion” concept paving the way for a revolutionary generation of nomadic objects.


Mechanical fascination

In LeDIX, micromechanics are not reserved exclusively for the watch module itself. It also ingeniously works its way into the back of the phone body. A button controls battery ejection according to a dual kinematic concept: a rotating movement to open the flap, followed by a translatory movement to push the battery forward. The SIM card compartment opens in parallel. Meanwhile, the main connector between the cellphone and the docking stations or the hands-free set is protected by a ball-bearing mounted flap that opens by turning a knob. These elements are far more than mere details: they emphasise the visionary character of the Celsius X VI II brand, which is determined to drive the emotionally charged sphere of micromechanics into uncharted territory.




An Intimist phone

The “communicating object” was developed in cooperation with Sagem Wireless, a specialist of customised connected lifestyle devices renowned for the high quality of its products. LeDIX meets extensively tested standards (2.75 G GSM-GPRS-EDGE) providing ample confirmation that it is built to last. The chosen platform has been optimised and tested for worldwide use in order to achieve impeccable reliability. Particular attention was devoted to the conception of the interface. Celsius X VI II wanted it to be simple, profoundly user-friendly, designed for optimal comprehension and ergonomics. Given that a human being’s global perception cannot encompass more than seven elements at a time, the main menu, which appears on a high-contrast AM-OLED screen, features just seven essential components. The select and back functions are accompanied by the four most widely used applications – phone, messaging, camera (autofocus with flash unit) and contact list – as well as providing access to a submenu of additional functions including e-mails and internet. Embodying functional and timeless value, LeDIX is the epitome of pure design, an intimist object that can be easily “tamed”.

To ensure optimal comfort, LeDIX features a GSM antenna placed as far as possible from the ear, at 150 mm. To enhance security, the cellphone has a hidden SD memory card accessible solely by authorised retailers. When changing phone, all private data is deleted from the original device. Celsius X VI II has also foreseen the periods of maintenance, mainly necessary for watch movements, during which it will provide a courtesy phone – a value-added service which reflects the prestigious brand universe.

Celsius X V II set itself a formidable challenge in seeking to achieve the perfect fusion between microelectronics and micromechanics. The main problem stemmed from the many metal parts of the exterior and the mechanical movement. Their very nature was liable to engender interferences liable to be detrimental to the smooth operation of the antenna. The solution consists in earthing all the parts involved – a process rendered all the more complex by the sheer numbers involved, since the LeDIX actually comprises no less than 600 mechanical components. Celsius X VI II has also shown a concern for the impact of electronics on the running of the watch and particularly the possible disturbance of the balance-spring by the electromagnetic field. A multitude of studies and tests were conducted to avert this potential danger, thus providing the user with optimal assurance in this respect.




Sheer prestige

Such an exceptional product naturally deserves exceptional accessories. They were all designed by Celsius X VI II, starting with the docking station clad in wood, leather and polished or satin-brushed metal. It features the kind of mechanical refinement cherished by the brand, in the shape of a spring-mounted connection system activated by the pressure of the phone and deactivated by a button.

The hands-free kit in polished or satin-brushed metal and leather is equally ingenious, with its tiepin concept housing the headphone and phone connection wires. A sliding ring ensures they don’t get tangled up when not in use. This eminently elegant solution is regarded as easy on the ear, although users may opt for a Bluetooth module if preferred. LeDIX comes with three separate hand-sewn leather pouches. Depending on circumstances or how one is dressed, it can be held in a pocket model, a belt version or the highly original and superbly functional holster.

LeDIX is delivered with all these accessories in a splendid presentation box in noble materials in which mechanics play a final role by opening a secret drawer. Thus surrounded by an aura of undeniable prestige, LeDIX is a powerful new object of desire.

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The genesis of Celsius X VI II

The founding concept behind Celsius X VI II was born in 2005 in the mind of Thomas Pruvot, a mechanical engineer specialised in industrial design, during a flight from Paris to Hong Kong. Frustrated at losing the time display when he had to switch off his cellphone, he had the idea of adopting a mechanical solution inspired by watchmaking. Thomas soon produced some sketches and showed them to a childhood friend.

Romaric André, who had just graduated from business school, proved an ideal partner thanks to his entrepreneurial mindset and a capacity to take the inherent risks. Both launched into the adventure with a confidence tinged with naïvety. Their early stages were more akin to an artistic approach than to a business start-up. They spent most of the time devising the mechanised cellphone of their dream, fine-tuning it in step with meetings they arranged with specialists from the various fields involved. Building on their youthful energy, their primary aim was to appeal to people rather than to prove the potential profitability of their scheme. At that time, Thomas was still in paid employment and so it was up to Romaric to handle the various administrative procedures. While some people were sceptical and funding the endeavour was no easy task, other encounters proved fruitful. Personal conviction enabled the pair to stand firm in the face of obstacles and to find means of bouncing back.

Alejandro Ricart, a friend Romaric had met while studying at a university in the United States, was contacted during 2007, at one of the critical moments of the project in gestation. He joined the team, thus contributing the professional skills acquired in a Barcelona consulting company, as well as the fruit of an aristocratic family background. He was one of those who approved and even reinforced the decision to aim for a firmly prestigious, uncompromisingly top-quality product strategy.

The team managed to attract the attention of an independent risk capital company which suggested that it should first and foremost broaden its field of competence. Edouard Meylan thus began the fourth member to join the adventure at the start of 2008. In addition to his family roots in the Swiss fine watch industry, he also brought with him a wealth of marketing and sales experience acquired in Asia with a distributor in this sector.

The group thus formed features a particularly valuable range of complementary talents, further backed by the enthusiastic support of eminent figures that later became the Executive Board Advisors, including Hugues-Olivier Borès, a strategy and marketing consultant well known in watchmaking circles, as well as telecommunications expert Jean-Marie André. Finally, Richard Mille, won over by the youthful team’s determination to pursue absolute perfection, agreed to sit on the future company’s Board of Directors. This impressive set of human factors, along with the interest generated by the innovative nature of the project, finally convinced Sofinnova Partners to invest in Celsius X VI II. The support of this European leader in the financing of young tech companies is a well- deserved token of recognition of the multiple resources engaged in the venture. The good news of their backing was confirmed in mid-2008 and ever since, Thomas, Romaric, Alejandro, Edouard and their partners have been unswervingly and entirely committed to gradually giving shape to their dream of a micromechanical cellphone.

The Celsius X VI II Universe

Celsius X VI II, the non-conformist player on the mobile phone scene, is firmly staking its place within the world of contemporary prestige, characterised by functionality, excellence, exclusivity and pleasure.

The brand addresses an audience of connoisseurs who are sensitive to the intrinsic value of a creation and who enjoy discovering and sharing the subtle features of an objet d’art. Its extremely refined creations, featuring a design dictated by function and produced in limited and customised series, also incorporate a visionary dimension. Witness the ingenuity of the mechanisms they house, representing innovations conveying a new art of living and allying mobile telephony with the intimist world of horological micromechanical engineering, time-honoured expertise and artistic expression. A world imbued with functional elegance right the way through to its product environment, its “ecosystem”:

  • hands-free set and the docking station, equipped with mechanical components
  • hand-stitched leather accessories bearing the Celsius X VI II signature
  • optimised and exclusive user interface

The set is delivered in a mysterious presentation box crafted from noble materials. The customer service also includes the courtesy loan of a substitute nomadic object while the original is undergoing maintenance. This universe in the making is clearly distinguished by a personalised, tailor-made approach that leaves no room for compromises.


The Celsius X VI II Vision

Celsius X VI II is fundamentally an innovative brand that combines mobile telephony with prestige watchmaking in creating nomadic objets d’art.

In an age when the fascination exercised by micromechanics is generating an unprecedented surge of creativity and ingenuity, Celsius X VI II does far more than just fit in with the current movement.

The first creation, a cellphone merged with a tourbillon watch and an exclusive Remontage Papillon (butterfly winding mechanism), heralds a new generation of objects with high emotional value. Celsius X VI II reinvents micromechanical applications by going beyond the established watchmaking framework in place for the past five centuries in order to create an astonishing new symbiotic relationship with microelectronics. The synergies thus achieved by Celsius X VI II mark the start of a full-fledged revolution. It encapsulates the founders’ dream of drawing on historical roots in order to humanise the future of communication. A dream that embraces a concept that is still impossible today but may one day come true: an entirely mechanical cellphone!

Technical specifications for LeDIX

General features
  • Clamshell mobile phone with Sagem, 2.75G Platform/ integrated watch movemen
  • Around 600 mechanical parts, including 330 in the watch movement alone
  • Weight ~245g
  • Structure entirely milled from a block of grade 5 titanium
  • Some parts of the structure require more than 8 hours of individual milling, within an overall process involving more than 40 hours for the structure alone
  • High-end watchmaking finishes: polishing, satin-brushing, Clous de Paris hobnail pattern, shotblasting
  • Dedicated Celsius X VI II screws with indents at ten, six and two hours recalling the Celsius X VI II logo
  • LeDIX is available in two limited editions:
    • LeDIX Origine, limited edition of 18 in grade 5 titanium with ebony inserts
    • LeDIX Sport, limited edition of 28 in black PVD-treated titanium with carbon fibre inserts
  • Inserts in solid ebony wood (LeDIX Origine edition), exclusively treated to resist to temperature differences and humidity, while maintaining a natural look and feel; or carbon fibre inserts (Le DIX Sport edition) with 3D effects


Mechanical movement
  • Patented mechanical hinge (Remontage Papillon), serving to harness and store the kinetic energy generated by the user. On this specific model the energy is then used to activate the mechanical system
  • Hinge with clicks and bevel pinions
  • 100-hour power reserve indicator positioned at 7 o’clock and displayed over a 200° angle
  • Each opening and closing of the clamshell phone generates an additional 3 hours of power reserve
  • Flying Solitaire tourbillon visible on both sides
  • World’s most off-centred tourbillion (36 mm)
  • Regulating organ mounted on shock-absorbers (4 springs)
  • Barrel disengageable by a slipping spring
  • Steel hands coated with Superluminova
  • Time-setting via the crown at 12 o’clock
  • Labelled: “Manufacturé en Suisse”
  • Movement integrated within water-resistant box in aluminium treated with GL coating of titanium and ceramics to ensure extreme resistance
  • Dial featuring black gold finishing with three-dimensional logo and hour-markers
  • High-end watchmaking finishes: satin-brushed black gold, rhodium-plated and bevelled bridges, circular graining


The phone
  • Mechanical battery-ejection system, Clous de Paris hobnail pattern
  • Main connector protected by a mechanical-locking flap
  • Mechanical screen-cover shock-absorbing system ensured by spring-mounted beads
  • 7 main sapphire parts, some much larger than conventional watchmaking standards and featuring two radii of curvature
  • Camera lenses and flash protected by sapphire lenses
  • Volume buttons designed like chronograph pushbuttons
  • Mechanical engraving
  • Logo featured at the back of the phone and on the dial


Technology
  • Technology developed in cooperation with Sagem Wireless, renowned for the high quality and reliability of its platforms. Every platform is tested to meet the Sagem standards.
  • User interface deliberately simple, user friendly and designed to optimize the understanding and the ergonomics. It’s been proven that the global perception of a human being doesn’t go beyond 7 elements, therefore the main menu includes only 7 essential features:
    • 2 functions: validate and back,
    • 4 applications most used: Call, messaging, camera and address book,
    • 1 direct access to a sub-menu that includes internet, email, agenda and other additional applications
  • Phone Sagem 2,75 G GSM-GPRS-EDGE : Triband 900/1800/1900MHz
  • Screen AM-OLED : 2.2” QVGA 320x240 262k colours
  • Photo / Video : 3.2Mpix camera, Autofocus, Flash, Digital Zoom
  • Music : MP3, AAC, AAC+, Music Player. Stereo, 3D sound
  • Video streaming, video capture and playback, progressive download
  • Bluetooth 1.2 Profile : AADP, AVRCP
  • MMS, Java application, 2Go internal memory (SD card)
  • Browser open source
  • Battery: Li-Ion 770mAh, >3.5 hours of talking time, 240 hours of power reserve in standby mode
  • Multi-lingual interface, including: French, English, Chinese, Russian, Spanish, Arabic
  • Simple data transfer system. By transferring the SD card and the SIM card from one device to another all private data is deleted from the original device and transferred to the new one.


Ecosystem of accessories
  • Minimum of 3 hand-stitched leather accessories per set. All items are designed by Celsius X VI II and made by specialized craftsmen
  • Mechanical Hands-Free Kit in leather and polished /satin-brushed metal. This “tie pin” accessory includes an ingenious system ensuring the wires do not tangle
  • Mechanical Docking Station in wood, leather and polished and satin-brushed metal to recharge and synchronize the phone. A mechanical system enables easy docking and undocking of the phone
  • Mechanical presentation box crafted in noble materials

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