La Chaux-de-Fonds-based watchmaker, Angelus, announced an interesting new skeletonized flying tourbillon wristwatch. Introducing the Angelus U41 Vibrant Structure Tourbillon Skeleton – delivered in an ultra-light 42 mm x 10 mm grade 5 titanium case – available with either an orange or blue color scheme. Perhaps as a sign of the current times, you receive a flying tourbillon and a highly skeletonized movement – made in Switzerland – for under $35K. There were no precious metals used, but it still makes six-figure tourbillons seem way overpriced. Perceived value, is, of course, a large factor in getting consumers to part with enough money to buy a car or a house – for an unnecessary item that goes on your wrist.
The Angelus U41 Vibrant Structure Tourbillon Skeleton features central hours and minutes, as well as a 60-second flying tourbillon (which means the rotating tourbillon cage is only supported on one side to give a better view of the oscillation of the regulation system). This particular tourbillon does complete a full oscillation every 60 seconds, although since there are no markings, you cannot tell exactly once every minute passes, except by looking at the minute hand. Beyond the visual treat of a tourbillon, technically speaking, the cage spins around continuously to prevent the negative effect of gravity on the balance wheel, balance spring, and escapement, thus improving the rate accuracy and amplitude.
Designed and developed in-house, the caliber A-300 is a 4Hz hand-wound mechanical watch movement measuring 32.80 mm x 4.30 mm, with 23 jewels, and a 60-hour power reserve. Interestingly, Angelus has pointed out that the movement frequency was increased from 3Hz to 4Hz to prevent against impacts, but the downside is the power reserve is reduced from 90 to 60 hours. Still, 60 hours is more than a lot of movements offer, even with no tourbillon drawing power.
A notched bezel, with a circular-grained surface, and a slightly domed sapphire crystal, protect the dial side of the watch. The case flanks feature straight-grained brushing and the lugs are short and articulated and have been hollowed out – with polished bevels – providing a contrast to the mostly matte surfaces of the case. The Angelus emblem is engraved in the crown. Water-resistance is rated to 30 meters. A rubber strap, with a grade 5 titanium pin and buckle, in the same color as the dial accents, complete the sporty look of the Angelus U41 Vibrant Structure Tourbillon Skeleton. (Ref. U41: 0TSBT.O01A – orange, Ref. U41: 0TSBT.U01A – blue). Limited edition of 25 pieces each. Retail is $34,400. Also be sure to check the list of the most expensive wrist watches in the world.