Angelus - Angelus U40 Racing Tourbillon Skeleton
Luc Virginius / Chronopassion
Angelus - Angelus U40 Racing Tourbillon Skeleton

Angelus U40 Racing Tourbillon Skeleton

Angelus
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28'750 €

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See other pictures Luc Virginius / Chronopassion

A skeleton designed for ultimate performance:

As part of its return to the forefront of cutting-edge Swiss watchmaking, ANGELUS is proud to announce the launch of the latest addition to its Urban Collection. The U40 Racing Tourbillon Skeleton is powered by the A-300 in-house tourbillon movement, which was developed from the bottom up to enhance its three-dimensionality and sculptural beauty while boosting its performance and shock-resistance.

 

When the Angelus engineers set out to develop, design and manufacture the U40 Racing Tourbillon Skeleton, they went way beyond the confines of traditional watchmaking and took their cue from cutting-edge architecture and high-performance structural engineering, some of the world’s greatest supercars and aerospace-inspired technology.  The result of their labours, which involved four years of intensive R&D, is the Angelus Tourbillon Skeleton A-300 calibre.

 

Designed to be unique

 

Unlike most conventional skeletonized watches, which tend to be cut-out versions of existing models, the U40 was designed to be a skeleton from the start and is based on structural optimization. As Angelus Head of Innovation Sébastien Chaulmontet explains: “When you’re designing a watch as unusual as this one, it’s vital that you’re conscious from the start of all the points you need to take into consideration. In this case, one of the main challenges was to achieve the rigidity necessary when the skeletonized mechanism is intrinsically so flimsy.” 

 

The U40’s simplicity and elegance are set off to maximum advantage by a movement that has the appeal of a three-dimensional sculpture and is a celebration of consummate mechanical achievement. Much reduced in weight, it has maximum rigidity from its beam-type bridges and the fact that all the movement’s main elements, such as the wheels and barrel, are firmly secured between two plates. This design replaces the conventional main plate and bridges construction and massively increases the mechanical resistance of the movement. The watch’s rigidity is further enhanced by the Angelus in-house six-spoke design, which reinforces the wheel train and protects the skeletonized ratchet and barrel.

 

With its core functions – hours, minutes and one-minute flying tourbillon – the A-300 calibre has 23 jewels, a Swiss lever escapement and measures just 4.3 millimetres in thickness and 32.8 millimetres in diameter. The 4 Hz / 28,800 vph frequency is a guarantee for high performance and precision.

 

The ultra-slim movement has painstakingly executed contemporary haute horlogerie finishing with snailed black ADLC coating and chamfered edges. The design is enhanced by a skeletonized ratchet and barrel in the exclusive Angelus six-spoke design.

 

Avant-garde inside and out 

 

The U40 Racing Tourbillon Skeleton is housed in a fabulous grade 5 titanium case that measures 42 millimetres in diameter and is only 10 millimetres thick. The design is highly complex and features a variety of curves and lines combined with alternating polished and satin-finished surfaces and a see-through back. Viewed from the side, the housing is stepped and tapers from top to bottom, the widest section accommodating the extra-large glass with the lower part narrowing to fit snugly on the wrist. The lugs are hollowed out to further increase lightness.

Encompassing the dial is a multi-step bezel in black, dark grey and light grey with red imprints and a flange with an index and chapter rings. The hour and minute hands have red or white tips.

 

This impressive timepiece is secured to the wearer’s wrist by a black rubber strap bearing a three-dimensional motif and Angelus logo and fastened by a titanium pin buckle.

Technical specifications

Features and Indications

Central hours and minutes, one-minute flying tourbillon

 

Movement and Finishing

Calibre: A-300, mechanical hand-winding tourbillon movement

Complications: One-minute flying tourbillon

Jewels: 23

Diameter: 32.8 mm

Height: 4.30 mm

Power reserve: 60 hours 

Frequency: 4 Hz / 28,800 vph
Balance wheel: Black gold-treated

Escapement: Swiss lever

Regulated: Set to 5 positions
Gear train: Wheels with exclusive Angelus six-spoke design to maximize rigidity

Main plate: Snailed with chamfered edges, black ADLC coated 

Upper bridges: Snailed with chamfered edges, black ADLC coated

Tourbillon cage: Mirror-polished with chamfered and polished edges

 

Dial

Chapter ring: Multi-step with indexes treated in black and dark grey with white and red prints

Hands: Skeletonized, polished facet and sandblasted with coloured tip central hour and minute hands

 

Case

Material: Grade 5 titanium with black coating on the case band

Diameter: 42 mm

Thickness: 10 mm

Crown: Engraved with ANGELUS logo, 2 positions: 1 winding, 2 time setting

Back: Sapphire

Distance between lugs: 21 mm

Water resistance: 30 m / 100 ft / 3 atm

Crystal: Box sapphire crystal with anti-reflective coating

 

Strap and buckle

Material: Black rubber, with 3D motif, Angelus logo and titanium pin buckle

Length range: 120/75 mm

Width: 21/18 mm

Buckle: Titanium pin-buckle

 

Reference number

Reference number: 0TSAT.B01A.K007T red hands

0TSAT.B01B.K007T white hands

 

Who's who

The announcement was reserved for an attentive audience of connoisseurs – in short, a very select community of seasoned watch geeks. That’s precisely Chronopassion’s clientele, which is why Laurent Picciotto spotted it amongst the hundreds of others made at Baselworld. It could be summed up in a couple of words which everyone had practically given up hope of ever hearing: “Angelus is back”.

Founded in 1891, Angelus devised legendary calibers for fine Swiss watchmaking, and was one of the most innovative manufactures of the first half of the twentieth century, before its name was swept aside by the advent of quartz in the mid-1970s. Nevertheless, for purists it still enshrines the essence of the very best in mechanical calibers. Many of them have powered high-ranking watches, including certain Panerai Luminors, much sought-after nowadays.

With a heritage such as this, seeking to bring Angelus back to life is an audacious enterprise. And in addition to daring, it calls for resources, creativity and talent capable of more than simply repeating the past. All of these qualities are now to be found at La Joux-Perret, the illustrious movement manufacturer based in La Chaux-de-Fonds, supported by the Citizen Group – and responsible for some outstanding Arnold & Son watches. It’s this dynamic, coherent ensemble that’s resolved to bring Angelus back from the ashes.

“So on paper, the rebirth of Angelus had all the ingredients for success. I just needed to see the watch itself,” explains Laurent Picciotto. “The watch” rather than the model – because in Basel in March 2015, there was just one in existence. And it was reserved on the spot for Rue Saint-Honoré.

“It immediately caught my attention,” confirms Picciotto. “The offset, protruding tourbillon juts out ever so slightly from the main housing, with the time almost in the background – a wonderful device. The  U10 Tourbillon Lumière instantly becomes a talking point.”

And so Chronopassion has become the first store to offer one of the very rare U10s – there are only 25 of them in the world. It was love at first sight, in terms of both its design and its caliber. “It’s an absolutely pure expression of form,” is how Laurent Picciotto puts it. “It’s been designed to be an exact fit for its bespoke, unique, and very seventies case. The dead second feature is not only a rare complication, but also a nod to the decade that saw the end of Angelus’ first life. It’s a great inside joke that’s not lost on connoisseurs.”

Clearly, Angelus is not just another start-up. The firm offers all the guarantees of experienced watchmaking professionals – enjoying complete creative freedom – while the ‘Angelus’ name delivers legitimacy and a seal of approval.

Could one talk in terms of a historic rebirth? Only time will tell. But if so, the U10 will be its cornerstone. And once again, as it has so often been for others, Chronopassion will be helping it on its way, right from the outset. 

Journalist : Olivier Müller

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