Introducing The Angelus U10 Tourbillon Lumière Dead Seconds Tourbillon, Mechanical Revenge On The Seventies’ Quartz Watch

An old name recently resurrected by La Joux-Perret, Angelus presents the U10 Tourbillon Lumière, a tourbillon with dead-beat seconds. It’s a well conceived medley of seventies industrial design – and also a subtle and witty inside joke about the triumph of mechanical watchmaking.

To understand why the Angelus U10 Tourbillon Lumière is one of the drolly entertaining statements of Baselworld 2015, you have to understand where it comes from. Angelus was a brand that died in the seventies, along with most of the Swiss watch industry when the cheap quartz watch came along. Now the label has been revived by La Joux-Perret, the ingenious movement specialist that’s the sister company of Arnold & Son (both are owned by Citizen of Japan). Appropriately enough, its first timepiece takes over where the original Angelus ended – in the seventies. The U10 Tourbillon Lumière is equipped with a large, oblong case inspired by the watches and industrial design of that period – echoes of the early Beta 21 quartz watches are obvious. And to top it all off, the U10 Tourbillon Lumière has a dead seconds that ticks in one second steps, just like the quartz watches that decimated Angelus forty years ago. Instead of remaking some of its more famous vintage watches like the Chronodato (the first ever chronograph with date), Angelus has created the intriguing U10 Tourbillon Lumière. Visually it is pure seventies, with the case inspired by German industrial designer Dieter Rams’ creations for Braun. Measuring a large 62.75 mm by 38 mm, the case is made from BO-988, a steel alloy with higher corrosion resistance than the 316L steel typically used for watch cases.

The movement was developed by the talented team at La Joux-Perret, the same people responsible for the recent complications from Arnold & Son. It’s a one minute flying tourbillon with the tourbillon regulator mounted on a titanium arm, seemingly floating in between two large sapphire crystals. That effect is enhanced by the matte black coating on the inside of the case around the tourbillon.

Also made of clear sapphire, the aperture for the dial is also matte black on its inside. The seventies aesthetic continues with the bowl-shaped dial with a radial motif, modelled on the Doney 14 transistor TV designed by Sapper and Zanuso for Brionvega. The seconds hand ticks forward in one second increments, a feature known as the dead-beat seconds that La Joux-Perret has used extensively in Arnold & Son’s collection. This is meant to invoke the quartz watches of the seventies, a “little wink at – and snub to – history”, according to La Joux-Perret technical director Sébastien Chaulmontet. At 16.25 mm in diameter the tourbillon cage is larger than most, though it beats at a traditional 18,000 beats per hour. While most contemporary timepieces of this style feature titanium cages, steel is the material of choice here, in order to mirror polish and bevel the carriage to a sufficient standard. Another traditional material used in the movement is the German silver for the bridges and base plate, though they are decorated in a modern manner. A laser engraved crosshatch motif decorates the bridges, while the ratchet wheels are similarly engraved then filled with black lacquer.

Two large mainsprings drive the large tourbillon, giving the movement enough torque for 90 hours (or nearly four days) of power reserve. The case has seven sapphire crystals, on the front, back and sides, each of which is bevelled and set slightly above the case. One of the crystals is curved at 90 degrees, wrapping around the to show off the tourbillon. And another is for the power reserve indicator, located at six o’clock on the side of the case.

The Angelus U10 Tourbillon Lumière is a limited edition of 25 watches. Pricing will be announced at Baselworld.

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Introducing The H. Moser & Cie. “Smart Watch”, The Endeavour Perpetual Calendar Funky Blue (With Specs And Price)

After an intriguing teaser promising its first smart watch, H. Moser & Cie. unveils the Perpetual Calendar Funky Blue with a bright blue fumé dial, its idea of a mechanical smart watch.

A few weeks ago H. Moser & Cie. released a teaser for its upcoming smartwatch; I was sceptical of the teaser, which is why it wasn’t published here. And as it turns out the watch in question is not the sort of smart watch the whole world is talking about. Instead the “smart watch” is the Endeavour Perpetual Calendar in a new, “funky blue” guise. According to H. Moser’s droll announcement, its watches offer “a clean interface, state-of-the-art ergonomics, ingenious functions and long power autonomy.” And the new Perpetual Calendar Funky Blue “both looks smart and is in fact very clever… the original smart watch.” And the announcement was accompanied by this droll video: The Funky Blue is fitted with a blue fumé dial, featuring a graduated colour that darkens towards the edges. This blue fumé finish was originally found on a series of Mayu prototypes that eventually made it into production as a special edition for Chronopassion, a Parisian retailer. 

Mechanically the Funky Blue remains the same hand-wound, seven day power reserve calibre that is impressive for its engineering. Originally developed by AHCI member Andreas Strehler for H. Moser, the perpetual calendar is probably H. Moser’s most ingenious complication. 

The calendar mechanism is instantaneous, and can be set backwards and forwards at any time. And like the other top of the line Moser movements this is equipped with an interchangeable escapement.

The case is white gold and 40.8 mm in diameter. It will cost US$60,000.

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Introducing the H. Moser & Cie. Perpetual Calendar Concept Funky Blue in Stainless Steel

The first ever H. Moser & Cie. wristwatch in stainless steel, the Perpetual Calendar Concept Funky Blue is a stripped-down version of the brand's signature complication. Here's a summary, including the price.

H. Moser Introduces the Venturer XL & H. Moser Endeavour Concept Funky Blue

H. Moser & Cie. adds two blue timepieces to its collection at SIHH 2016, the Endeavour Centre Seconds Concept Funky Blue and Venturer Small Seconds XL - specs and prices follow.

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Pre-Basel 2015: Chopard Introduces The L.U.C Regulator, Featuring A Revamped Case And Dial

Chopard gives its L.U.C Regulator a new look with a redesigned dial and case, while retaining the beautifully finished, eight day power reserve plus second time zone movement.

Modelled on regulator dial clocks, the Chopard L.U.C. Regulator has its minutes on the central axis, while the hours and seconds are on sub-dials. And it has the addition of a second time zone display at nine o’clock, along with the power reserve at noon. While the L.U.C. Regulator has been in Chopard’s line-up for nearly a decade, this is a facelifted version for Baselworld 2015, with a new dial and larger case. Regulator dials on clocks were meant to optimise legibility and improve the precision of time setting as such clocks were often used as reference clocks where high precision was imperative, like in watch factories or observatories. The new L.U.C. Regulator dial has been redesigned to that end, giving it a look reminiscent of a dashboard instrument, with large Arabic numerals for all the indications.

It’s equipped with the L.U.C 98.02-L calibre, a hand-wound movement with an eight day (or 216 hour) power reserve. The movement is both COSC and Geneva Seal certified, a somewhat redundant twosome since the Geneva Seal now demands both decorative finishing and functionality for the complete watch (while COSC tests the movement before it’s cased).

The dial is silvered with a radial brushed finish, while the case is rose gold with a recessed button to advance the second time zone hand. Dimensions are 43 mm wide and 9.78 mm high, making it flat relative to its diameter, a recipe for elegant proportions.

Pricing is not yet known but with the earlier generation of this model retailing for about US$40,000, expect this to be in the same ballpark.

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Chopard combines its wonderfully constructed chronograph movement with a perpetual calendar in the limited edition L.U.C Perpetual Chrono cased in Fairmined gold.

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