This watch looks a bit like a 1960s clock radio, with its long rectangular case, and the brand Angelus mentions, amongst its design inspirations, televisions by Richard Sapper and Marco Zanuso for Brionvega and record players designed by Dieter Rams for Braun. In this tourbillon watch, a stainless steel case has seven sapphire glass windows, one of which is the watch glass for the time display on the left, while the other large sapphire on the right curves down over the side and provides a grandstand view of the tourbillon.
A mechanical watch that ticks like a quartz timepiece
The dial is shaped like a shallow pan, with very long second indices which highlight a feature of the movement: the dead beat (or true beat) seconds complication so that the second hand moves once a second, like a quartz clock. The second hand has a large circular counterweight which exactly frames the “A” logo at 6 o’clock when the second hand reaches 12. The design of the watch was masterminded by Sébastien Chaulmontet, Head of Development at Angelus. He said, “Seeing the design of the U10 Tourbillon Lumière’s dial – which is inspired from the era of quartz watches – you wouldn’t expect a sweeping seconds hand. This timepiece has dead beat seconds to honour a historically important horological complication but also to evoke the jump of the second in a quartz movement. What’s more, and as a touch of irony, we are imitating the very technology that signalled the death knell for Angelus, as well as many other prestigious Swiss brands, in the 1970s.”
Flying tourbillon steals the show
But of course all the attention is on the flying tourbillon, which can be viewed from 5 sides, through the main window, another on the caseback, and two smaller windows on the long sides of the watch. The tourbillon is separated from the rest of the movement, which is in the left-hand side of the case under the dial. The tourbillon balance runs at 2.5 Hertz, 18,000 vph, and the tourbillon bridge is in titanium.
Linear power reserve indicator
On the lower caseband, there is a linear power reserve display: the watch is hand-wound and has a power reserve of 90 hours, provided by the two mainspring barrels that can be seen on the caseback. The reverse of the watch shows the same sort of 1960s functional design heritage that hallmarks the case. The crown, on the left, is large to make winding and time-setting easy. The case is also large, 62.75 mm wide, 38 mm high, and 15 mm thick.
The first watch by a newly brand
The Angelus A100 movement was specially designed for this piece. The watch represents a powerful start for a brand that was founded in Le Locle, Switzerland, in 1891, went out of business in the late 1970s as a result of the quartz crisis that decimated the Swiss mechanical watch industry, and has now been revived by La Joux-Perret (formerlyJaquet S.A.), the same company that for a time owned Arnold & Son and made movements for this brand. At Baselworld, the Angelus U10 Tourbillon Lumière was presented at the Arnold & Son stand. It has a price tag of 100,000 Swiss francs (about €92,500), in a limited edition of 25 pieces.