Angelus - ANGELUS U-30 TOURBILLON SPLIT SECOND CHRONOGRAPH
Angelus - ANGELUS U-30 TOURBILLON SPLIT SECOND CHRONOGRAPH

ANGELUS U-30 TOURBILLON SPLIT SECOND CHRONOGRAPH

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Perpetuating Angelus’ legacy of innovative chronographs

Built like a supercar, the Angelus U30 Tourbillon Rattrapante unites three coveted "haute horlogerie" complications in a contemporary, three-dimensional form that is unlike any other : the tourbillon, fly-back double column wheel chronograph and split-seconds (rattrapante),while also boasting automatic winding with a power reserve display.

 

Angelus can look back on a long tradition in innovative chronograph wristwatches: this history of manufacture chronographs for the wrist began in 1925 with a monopusher. The company's first highlight was the 1942 launch of the Chronodato, the world's first serially manufactured chronograph with calendar. Throughout subsequent decades, Angelus

released ever more groundbreaking chronographs, many of them including world-first complications. So when it came to developing an entirely new chronograph movement, Angelus’ present-day engineers and watchmakers knew that they had to do something utterly exceptional.

 

After five years of intensive research and development secured by several patents, Angelus now presents the U30 Tourbillon Rattrapante. It features a one-minute tourbillon, a fly-back double column wheel chronograph, a split-seconds (rattrapante), a self-winding mechanism and a power reserve indicator. However technically complicated that combination is, it is the movement's contemporary architecture and three-dimensional design that make the Angelus Tourbillon Rattrapante truly unique. All of these complications have been reengineered based on structural optimization and skeletonized to reveal as much of the movement as possible on the dial side, all while ensuring maximum legibility of the time and chronograph functions. The skeleton bridges alone allow the display of no fewer than 15 different wheels dial side !

 

The movement hosts a number of complications – all fully integrated rather than modular add-ons – that are built on several layers, all visible thanks to the skeletonized bridges that create a form evoking the “A” of Angelus. To further increase the impression of depth, the movement is fully transparent around the tourbillon and treated in various shades of black and grey.

 

A tour of the open dial begins with skeletonized central hour and minute hands. High legibility is ensured by high-contrast black movement bridges underneath light-colored hour and minute hands, as well as the fact that the latter have slightly curved profiles to catch the light from any angle.

 

The one-minute tourbillon occupies a quarter of the dial space and can be appreciated through the skeletonized movement plate and bridges at 10 o'clock. The tourbillon is highbeat with 4 Hz / 28,800 vph, a perfect fit for the watch’s character. The tourbillon cage is entirely made of non-magnetic material and reduced to the maximum to further minimize mass and optimize performance. Not only can the tourbillon itself be fully admired dial side, but also all its gearing, creating an intriguing micro-mechanical display.

 

The chronograph function of the U30 Tourbillon Rattrapante is among the most refined and complicated in existence: the split-seconds or “double” chronograph. This type of chronograph is highly complex to achieve, especially when combined with a tourbillon, as the energy consumption of a rattrapante mechanism is very high.

 

The rattrapante (or split-seconds) function allows the timing of different events that begin but do not end together, for example the times of two runners. Two separate chronograph second hands are set one over the other; the one underneath is the split-seconds hand.

 

When the chronograph is started, both hands start moving in lockstep together, until a press of the pusher in the crown "splits" them, with the top hand continuing and the bottom splitseconds hand stopping to allow an intermediate time to be noted. By again pressing the pusher, the split-seconds hand will instantly catch up to the main chronograph hand, ready again to record a new intermediate time. Integrated onto the bridge at 3 o'clock, a 30-minute counter completes the chronograph functions.

 

Fans of horology are sure to appreciate the visible column wheel for the split-seconds function at 4 o'clock, positioned just below the 30-minute counter. The observer can even watch it in operation when the split-seconds function is activated. A second column wheel on the back of the movement controls the chronograph.

 

Whereas the majority of chronographs operate in the sequence push-to-start, push-to-stop, and push-to-reset, Angelus’ U30 Tourbillon Rattrapante is first of all a "fly-back" chronograph,which means that the timing operation can be directly reset and restart without having to be stopped first. The fly-back function is very useful as it allows instant restarting of the chronograph with one push of the button instead of the three pushes necessary for standard chronographs.

 

The fly-back function is especially complicated to achieve when combined with the splitseconds complication as the fly-back mechanism has not only one, but two, central chronograph hands to reset and restart. In addition, the forces generated on the splitseconds mechanism during the instantaneous reset and restart are significant. 

 

Therefore, all of the different chronograph functions have to be painstakingly set and optimized by the master watchmaker during assembly in order to guarantee smooth operation of all functions.

 

Technical specifications

REFERENCE : OCRAC-B01A-KOO3U

 

// LIMITED EDITION : 25 PIECES // 

 

 

FEARTURES &INDICATION

- Central hours & Minutes

- One-minute Tourbillon

- Fly-back double column wheel chronograph

- Split-seconds (rattrapante)

- power reserve indicator

 

MOVEMENT

- Calibre: A-150

- Mechanical self-winding tourbillon split-seconds chronograph

- Jewels: 38

- Diameter: 37.60 mm

- Height: 9.35 mm

- Power reserve: 45 hours

- Frequency: 4 Hz / 28,800 vph

- Balance wheel: Black gold-treated copper-beryllium

- Escapement: Swiss lever

- Regulated: Set to 5 positions

 

FINISHING

- Gear train: Wheels with exclusive Angelus six-spoke design to maximize rigidity

- Screws: Angelus three-point design torque-optimizing heads

- Main plate and automatic bridge: Grey NAC-treated to maximize contrast and depth

- Upper bridges: Black ADLC-treated

- Column wheels: Black ADLC-treated and mirror-polished.

- Both the split-seconds’ column wheel on the dial side and chronograph column wheel on the back are visible

- Tourbillon cage: Hand-chamfered and hand-polished. Black ADLC-treated second pointer

 

MOVEMENT FINISHING

- Chamfered and polished edges, flat surfaces either satin-finished or sandblasted

- Rotor : Black ADLC-treated with solid 22-karat white gold segment

 

DIAL

- Chapter ring: Hours, minutes and chronograph seconds markers

- Counters: 30-minute counter laser engraved onto the upper chronograph bridge and rhodium treated.

- Power reserve indicator : laser engraved onto the power reserve bridge, rhodium treated and filled with green and red lacquer

 

HANDS

- Skeletonized,

- Sand-blasted with polished top hour and minute hands,

- Sandblasted chronograph second hand with red tip,

- Satin-finished split-seconds hand,

- Sand-blasted with polished top power reserve hand,

- Polished 30-minute counter hand with red line

 

CASE

- Grade 5 titanium with black coating on the case band

- Diameter: 47 mm

- Thickness: 15 mm

- Crown: Engraved with ANGELUS logo.

2 positions : 1 winding / 2 time-setting,

- Split-seconds pusher integrated in the crown

- Back: Transparent

- Distance between lugs: 22 mm

- Water resistance: 30 m / 100 ft / 3 atm

- Crystals: Box sapphire crystal (front and back) with anti-reflective coating on the inside

 

STRAP & BUCKLE

- Black rubber

- Length range: 70 mm to 125 mm

- Width: 22 / 20 mm

- Buckle: Titanium, folding buckle engraved with Angelus logo

 
 
 
 

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

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