The Biver Carillon Tourbillon Gets a Three-Dimensional Guilloche Dial

Elevated guilloche.

Biver concludes the 50-piece run of its flagship Minute Repeater Carillon Tourbillon with a striking pair featuring its first guilloche dials.

Instead of the conventional engine turning on metal, the dials are either black obsidian or white mother-of-pearl, both finished with three-dimensional guilloche. Inspired by the links of the brand’s bracelet, the guilloche forms a terraced geometric patterns in dial centre that’s elegantly accentuated by baguette-cut diamond indexes.

Initial thoughts

Despite being neither a watchmaker, engineer, nor constructor, Jean-Claude Biver is an individual who personifies the Swiss watch industry – and he isn’t even Swiss. In his career so far, he revived two brands, Blancpain and then Hublot, and in between the two turbocharged Omega, in the process becoming one of the most influential and respected personalities in watchmaking.

So when Mr Biver announced that he and his son Pierre would be starting their own brand, everyone was paying attention. The brand’s inaugural watch, the Carillon Tourbillon, is a grand complication executed to an impressive degree of quality. The design, however, was debatable. Consequently the brand got off to a tough start, particularly on social media where the criticism of its design was free flowing.

With a one-off created for charity auction Only Watch, Biver eliminated the dial, resulting in a striking, appealing watch. Here the brand has retained the dial, but with new materials and decoration.

The guilloche dials enhance the aesthetics by a large margin. More like engraving than typical engine turning, the three-dimensional guilloche is unusually intricate, made up of pyramids in progressively smaller sizes arranged in concentric rows. Interesting, the guilloche dials feel more balanced, even though the proportions of the various elements remain largely identical.

Pyramid guilloche

Limited to 50 pieces, the Carillon Tourbillon is now in its final ten examples, which are being offered with either of the new guilloche dials, both of which sport baguette-cut diamond indices.

The first is black obsidian, which is actually volcanic glass that resembles rock. The central section features pyramid guilloche, while the chapter ring is polished obsidian. This is matched with a rose gold case, resulting in a high contrast aesthetic.

The chromatic opposite is the version in mother of pearl, which has a mother of pearl dial paired with a titanium case. Here the dial is similarly made of two parts, with a pyramid guilloche centre and polished chapter ring.

Dials aside, the final edition Carillon Tourbillon is identical to the earlier variants. Featuring distinctive soldered lugs that are a key element of its design, the case is 42 mm in diameter and 13.7 mm high.

Below the see-through back is the JCB.001, a self-winding movement with a micro-rotor. Developed with the help of  Le Cercle des Horlogers, the movement specialist that’s a sister company of Speake-Marin, the JCB.001 beats at 21,600 beats per hour (3 Hz) and offers 72 hours of power reserve.

The minute repeating function is notable for being a carillon, meaning it is equipped with three instead of the usual two sets of hammers and gongs, so the repeater strikes a high note for the hours, triple note for the quarters, and a low note for the minutes.

Key facts and price

Biver Minute Repeater Carillon Tourbillon
Ref. Black Obsidian
Ref. White Mother of Pearl

Diameter: 42 mm
Height: 13.9 mm
Material: Titanium (mother of pearl) or 18K rose gold (obsidian)
Crystal: Sapphire
Water resistance: 50 m

Movement: JCB.001
Functions: Hours, minutes, seconds, tourbillon, and minute repeater
Winding: Automatic
Frequency: 21,600 beats per hour (3 Hz)
Power reserve: 72 hours

Strap: Alcantara or Buffalo leather with folding clasp

Limited edition: 10 pieces across both dials
Availability: At authorised retailers
Price: CHF560,000 for mother of pearl; CHF630,000 for obsidian

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