Allow me to ask a question to my valued Chinese readers. Exactly how important is the number 8 in Chinese culture? I know that it is considered a powerful and positive symbol, but how drawn are people to wanting items which intentionally focus on the number 8? Let me put it another way; is a good luck charm lucky because it has some special or unique quality? Or is a good luck charm lucky because people label it as lucky? I just see a lot (and I mean a lot) of high-end wrist watches that either focus on or feature the number 8 in some capacity. Most of them don't hide that they do so to attract Chinese customers. So getting back to my question, exactly how big a deal is the number 8?
To the Cacheux 8 watch, the number 8 is a really big deal. It goes without saying that it will be produced as a limited edition of eight pieces. The name of the watch is "8," and the watch reportedly required eight months to develop. On the watch dial is a massive eight carat diamond and the case is made of 88 grams of 18k gold (white, pink, or yellow... and platinum as an option). Don't forget that on the dial is a large figure 8, which is also in 18k gold. I also imagine that the watch will take about eight months to deliver if you order one. Let me be the first to suggest that the price should be no less than eight figures!
The design is certainly unique, thanks to talented designer Fabien Cacheux. One thing I can credit him with is always presenting unique ideas and concepts to the world of watches - not something always easy to do. You might not like all of his stuff, but you sure want to check out what comes next from him. For him, these is nothing secret or hidden about the Cacheux 8 watch. He bills it as a "tribute to the number 8," and makes no qualms about the fact that it is intended to appeal to Chinese customers. At least he is being straight forward unlike many other brands. For example, if you design a gold and diamond watch with an Asiatic Dragon and suggest it is meant to appeal to the "world market," then you simply aren't being honest.
While the 8 watch is unique, the dial does remind me of the Montblanc Grand Tourbillon Heures Mysterieuses timepiece. Not exactly the same of course, but thematically similar dials. They both have tourbillons as well. Can that large set diamond on the dial live next to a tourbillon? Will they steal attention from one another? Who knows. According to Cacheux, the watch will have a five day power reserve (via a single mainspring barrel) manually wound movement with the time and tourbillon. You will be able to see the movement through the caseback window on the back of the watch. There better be a few number 8s back there or I will be upset.
Going back to the dial you have a lot of things going on - even though it looks pretty simple. There appears to be a lower level with a textured silver background on the bottom of the face. While everything looks rather large, the hands are a bit puny. Cacheux seems to make an artistic statement with the strangely put hour indicators, but I find the dial hard to read. I think Fabien wanted to emphasis other parts of the dial for design purposes and only dedicate part of the dial to telling the time. This is apparent when realizing that the huge diamond would totally block the path of the hands if they were larger. So I get what needed to be done, but I still think dial space could have been utilized a bit better to make the watch dial itself more legible. The hands also seem to look like mini Royal Oak or Nautilus hands.
It is hard to say what appeal a large set diamond on a watch dial will be. I haven't really see it done like that before. It is like a ring version of a watch right? Personally I would sport this thing around just to see what people have to say. Rather than having a bunch of stones all over the case, this watch simply opts to concentrate it all into one large shiny rock. While I don't think it is a feature of the watch, it would be really cool for the diamond to rotate once each minute. That would add some serious sparkle. You'd be like a walking jewelry display case.
There is one more important detail - not about the watch, but about the brand. Fabien Cacheux is a designer and apparently never thought he would ever actually be making watches. Back in 2010 he released images of a concept watch called the Cacheux Elephant. He reports that thanks to coverage on sites like aBlogtoRead.com, interested retailers and customers pressured him and gave him the inspiration to start the Cacheux brand. That was a nice bit of info for me to learn.