After similar one-off pieces dedicated to the Wat Arun temple in Bangkok, and the Grand Prix de Monaco (both 2016), Ateliers deMonaco have presented the Tourbillon Casino de Monte-Carlo. A single piece depicting the Montecarlo casino on the dial, powered by the brand’s tourbillon movement XP1. I had imagined that this sort of watch was made to order but apparently not: at the time of writing, the watch is still for sale.
Case and dial
The case is in white gold with a titanium core that reduces total weight. It is 44 mm in diameter and 13.1 mm thick, water resistance the standard 3 atm. The dial, also in white gold, comprises three plates at slightly different heights to enhance the three-dimensional effect, one at the bottom with the opening for the tourbillon and also showing the Casino steps and palms, the next for the building, and the third for the sky. Hour markers are applied to the dial, and their lozenge shape reflects both the company logo and the Monaco coat of arms. The watch has a brown alligator leather strap with a folding buckle in white gold and titanium.
The XP1 movement (also called the dMc-980) was one of the first to be patented by the brand. It is by Dutch watchmaker Pim Koeslag, who is one of the brand’s founders, with Peter Stas (also CEO of Frederique Constant and Alpina) and Robert van Pappelendam. The brand say that it is one of the most precise tourbillon movements in the world, with a maximum deviation of just 0-2 seconds per day. XP1, because it is “extreme precision,” and a one-minute tourbillon. It is self-winding, with an oscillating weight visible through the caseback, depicting the coat of arms of Monaco.
The escapement wheel and lever are in silicium. Silicium technology requires complex specialist machinery, and so possibly Ateliers deMonaco work with an external supplier at least for this part of the movement. The XP1 has 29 jewels and a 42-hour power reserve. It runs at 4 Hertz, 28,800 vibrations per hour. The transparent sapphire bridge makes it easier to view the tourbillon. A hand on the tourbillon cage rotates once a minute.
Price and reference
The Tourbillon Casino de Monte-Carlo by Ateliers deMonaco is reference dMc-TB-CMC-WG, a one-off piece. It costs 157,400 Swiss francs. Further information from the Ateliers deMonaco website.