Introducing the Angelus U20 Skeleton Tourbillon in Carbon Composite and Sapphire

With a movement that appears to be floating inside the case, the Angelus U20 Ultra-Skeleton Tourbillon combines carbon composite, titanium and sapphire crystal for a lightweight, transparent timepiece. Here’s an overview, including specs and pricing.

Being the sister company of movement maker La Joux-Perret, Angelus has the good fortune of being able to make unusual movements. Soon to be unveiled at Baselworld 2016, the new U20 Ultra-Skeleton Tourbillon is an example of that, featuring a sapphire crystal base plate and blued titanium bridges.

Though the combination of materials is familiar, being the province of Richard Mille, the look of the U20  is original enough. A sequel to the novel U10 tourbillon Angelus introduced last year, the U20 is powered by a movement is based on the tourbillon calibre La Joux-Perret has supplied to brands like Hermes and Louis Vuitton. Though it shares a similar foundation, the A-250 movement inside the U20 is strikingly different from anything else La Joux-Perret has done. All the components seemingly float in midair, since they sit on a clear sapphire base plate, while the jewels in the base plate are held in white gold chatons. 

The gears and barrel are anchored to the base plate by blued titanium bridges that have been open-worked to maximise the transparency of the movement. Echoing the blue of the bridges is the blue chapter ring for the minute track around the dial.

Despite being a largish 42 mm in diameter, the case is light thanks to its constituent materials. The case band is carbon composite, while the lugs and bezel are titanium.  

The U20 Ultra-Skeleton Tourbillon is limited to 18 pieces, with a price tag of SFr66,200 without taxes. That’s equivalent to about US$66,700. Update February 24, 2016: Price added.

Back to top.

You may also enjoy these.

A Detailed Look at the Akrivia Tourbillon Chiming Jump Hour

Helmed by a pair of surprisingly young brothers, Akrivia is less than four years old but its movements possess the finesse and flair of more established makers. Now we go up close with the brand’s most complicated watch, the Tourbillon Chiming Jump Hour.

Akrivia is a nascent independent watch brand founded by a pair of brothers from Albania. Though young – the elder is just 29 – the Rexhepi brothers have managed to design and manufacture impressively constructed and gorgeously finished movements. Their most recent, and most complicated, timepiece is the Tourbillon Chiming Jump Hour.

Young talents

Already an apprentice at Patek Philippe in his teens, Rexhep Rexhepi later worked at F.P. Journe. He then founded Akrivia in 2012 with his younger brother, Xhevdet, who was also a young watchmaker at Patek Philippe. Both grew up in Geneva, but hail from Kosovo, which is why they named their company after “akrivia”, a Greek word meaning adherence to religious law in the Eastern Orthodox Church.

Akrivia is all about movements built and finished the traditional way, a philosophy that is immediately evident in the style and finesse of the movements. The watch pictured is a prototype, explaining the lack of finishing on certain parts of the tourbillon, but the skill and quality is apparent. That being said, a specimen of a completed Akrivia movement (which could not be photographed as it belonged to a client), did reveal some exceptionally minor imperfections. But given that the brothers’ age, they can go on to do great things.

The most complicated Akrivia 

Introduced last year, the Tourbillon Chiming Jump Hour is a hand-wound jumping hour watch with a tourbillon as well as a striking mechanism for a single chime at the top of every hour. The case is stainless steel, 43 mm in diameter and chunkily shaped. While the case is not one that will appeal to those who like traditional styling, it is well finished, with polished bevels that are meant to evoke movement anglage.

The dial is a dark grey, with an unnervingly smooth grained finish. This is done by hand, accomplished by polishing the dial plate with a mixture of oil and powdered abrasive stone. All the steel parts of the dial, like the hands and rings for the apertures, are polished with bevelled edges. The detailing is impressive.

The movement is even more impressive. To start with, it is pleasingly symmetrical, with elegant shaped bridges that are well proportioned. The aesthetics of the movement show its creators not only understand the technical aspect of traditional watchmaking, but how it should look.

The steel bridge echoes the shape of the tourbillon bridge on the dial

Those wonderful, bevelled corners

The sum of Rexhep and Xhevdet’s ages is barely 35 years, which makes their creation even more admirable. They are worth keeping an eye on.   The Tourbillon Chiming Jump Hour is priced at SFr180,000. It can be customised, especially in terms of the dial.


Back to top.

You may also enjoy these.

Welcome to the new Watches By SJX.

Subscribe to get the latest articles and reviews delivered to your inbox.