From the earliest days of its conception, the master model U10 Tourbillon Lumière was imagined as a piece of mechanical art, paying tribute to some of the most influential and forward-thinking designers from the 60s and 70s, such as Dieter Rams and Achille Castiglioni. Now, Angelus is pushing the envelope even further by integrating striking visual art into this singular watch. With its unique design and especially its vitrine-type construction, the U10 pays tribute to the old tradition of Mexican Calaveras.
Four years in the making, the U10 Tourbillon Calavera not only upholds the Angelus tradition of creating extremely inventive timepieces boasting finely-finished, in-house movements with long power reserves, it is also a timepiece of glorious contrasts.
On one hand the U10 Tourbillon Calavera is classic haute horlogerie. Its dead beat seconds complication – where the second hand advances in full steps of one second – derives from 18th-century pocket watches; the movement bridges and plates are in traditional nickel-silver that is bevelled and polished; and the traditional 2.5Hz / 18,000 vph of the screwed balance with Breguet-overcoil is a throwback to some of Angelus’ early pocket watches. And yet, the modernist display, innovative engineering and state-of-the-art materials and finishing ensure that the U10 Tourbillon Calavera can equally be viewed as a paragon of cutting-edge, contemporary watchmaking.
The configuration of the manual-winding calibre is decidedly avant-garde, with the tourbillon positioned far outside of the movement, displayed alone as a dazzling mechanical sculpture in its own sapphire crystal vitrine.
The generously-proportioned – 62.75 mm x 38 mm x 15 mm – case, which took over two years to develop, features no fewer than seven sapphire crystals. All the crystals are bevelled, polished and subtly protrude from the case, creating expressive three-dimensionality.
The stainless steel used to make the case is BO-988 specific steel. With its generous 16.25 mm diameter, the hand-polished tourbillon cage is crafted from weight-
saving stainless steel, while titanium has been chosen for the tourbillon bridge due to its strength and shock-absorbing qualities.
The hour and minute hands – brushed finished, rhodium-treated and filled with blue lacquer – are actually set into the concave dial made of grey-tinted sapphire. Like the interior of the tourbillon vitrine, the walls of the dial recess have also been bead-blasted to a matte finish and then black treated. Tiny holes drilled into the dial at 12, 3, 6 and 9 o’clock and filled with Super-LumiNova create bright white markers.
When fully wound, the Angelus A100 calibre provides a very healthy 90 hours of optimal power.