Angelus U10 Tourbillon Lumière – The rebirth of the brand & the introduction of a new complicated watch

calendar | ic_dehaze_black_24px By Brice Goulard | ic_query_builder_black_24px 6 minute read

Angelus had been a very influential manufacture for more than 125 years. Founded in 1891 by the brothers Albert and Gustav Stolz in Le Locle, it created deeply interesting watches and movements – that some are known to power the very first Panerai 8 days. Unfortunately the brand was lying dormant for more than 30 years and was only alive in collectors’ memories. However, in 2011, the well-known manufacture La Joux-Perret decided to re-launch the name and to recreate a collection of superb watches. The first one is now off the line. It’s named the Angelus U10 Tourbillon Lumière and it definitely deserves our interest.

Brief history of Angelus

In 1891, Brothers Albert and Gustav Stolz – distinguished watchmakers and former students of Henri Sandoz who was director of the Tavannes Watch Company – establish their Angelus watchmaking manufacture in Le Locle, Switzerland, a city world renowned for high-end watchmaking. They began with just a room on the Rue du Marais, modest beginnings for what would become an important brand.

Angelus manufactory history

The company quickly became renowned for developing and manufacturing interesting movements and timepieces, both for itself and for other brands. Angelus earned reputation for creating exceptional chronograph and multi-complication wristwatches, multi-display travel clocks, and alarm watches, as well as a groundbreaking 8-day movement which was also used by other brands such as Panerai.

Panerai-Radiomir-Egyptian-Egiziano-8-days-Angelus-Vintage-circa-1956-1
An example of a Vintage Panerai Radiomir Egiziano with a 8 days movement by Angelus – credits: Artcurial

The brand achieved several world-firsts, such as the first series wristwatch chronograph with calendar (in 1942), the first wristwatch chronograph with big date, first wristwatch with alarm and date, first automatic repeater wristwatch, and first fully waterproof repeater wristwatch. However, like many other brands, Angelus had difficulties to face the arrival of quartz watches and the company ceased operations in the late 1970s.

Angelus Chronograph Quantieme
A 1942 Angelus Chronodato – Chronograph with Calendar, the first ever created

After lying dormant for more than 30 years, Angelus has now been revived by Manufacture La Joux-Perret – a renown team of watchmakers, also known for creating movements for Arnold & Son and others. Angelus is now based on a skilled and enthusiastic team committed to putting Angelus back on the way to high-end watchmaking.

Angelus U10 Tourbillon Lumière

After deciding to reintroduce the name Angelus, Manufacture La Joux-Perret passed 4 years to develop a brand new watch. We could have expect a vintage-inspired chronograph or a re-issue of the famous 8-day movement. This would have been too simple and expected. Instead, the new Angelus U10 Tourbillon Lumière is taking clues from 1960s and 1970s travel clocks and bring them in a very high-end, contemporary and deconstructed architecture.

Angelus U10 Tourbillon Lumiere - 5

The Angelus U10 Tourbillon Lumière is far from being a simple and classical watch. The look, the complications and the shape of the case and of the movement claim for real luxury and modern intentions. Inside the unusual rectangular case sits an innovative and exclusive movement that comes with the hours, the minutes, a central dead-beat second (a seconde morte, just like Arnold & Son latest watch, the DSTB), a linear power reserve indicator on the case profile and an oversized, off-centered one-minute tourbillon.

Angelus U10 Tourbillon Lumiere - 6

The one-minute flying tourbillon is located in its own sapphire crystal showcase, thanks to a deconstructed case. The regulating organ measures a large 16.25mm and sits on a weight-saving and robust titanium bridge. Such a large tourbillon requires a superior amount of energy and thus, the Angelus U10 Tourbillon Lumière comes with two barrels for a 90-hour power reserve. The movement is finished with both contemporary and traditional techniques. The main-plate is laser-engraved, satin-finished with a criss-cross pattern. The two ratchets are also laser-engraved and then enameled. The rest of the finishes show haute-horlogerie clues, with hand polishings, chamfered angles, graining, etc…

Angelus U10 Tourbillon Lumiere - 1

Alongside the movement, the case also brings its dose of interest. Measuring a large 62.75 mm x 38 mm x 15 mm, it is crafted in a specific annealed stainless steel (BO-988), bead-blasted and treated with black PVD on the inside. The 7 sapphire crystals allow a view on several aspects of the Angelus U10 Tourbillon Lumière: one over the dial, one on the back to show the movement, 2 on the the sides to reveal the movement and the power-reserve indicator and 3 for the tourbillon, including a 90° cambered one. The shape is decidedly modern and unusual, something essential nowadays, in order to stand out of the crowd of innovative, modern watchmakers.

Angelus U10 Tourbillon Lumiere - 7

Time is displayed classically by 3 hands on a circular dial. This dial is made of a translucent-grey coated concave sapphire disc on which are printed long and thin baton markers. This shape and design of the dial is reminiscent of the 1960s / 1970s German and Italian industrial design – such as the top crystal that reminds us of an old transistor TV screen.

As said before, the Angelus U10 Tourbillon Lumière comes with an interesting complication called ‘dead-beat second’, a mechanical system where the second hand acts like the one on a quartz watch – an instant jump every second instead of a continuous run over the dial. The choice of a dead beat second is a nice tribute to the 1970s era and to the quartz watches that finally buried the brand, a sort of ‘nose thumb‘ to what killed Angelus. Another cool detail: the circle of the second hand’s counterweight perfectly aligns with the logo at 6 when passing exactly 12 o’clock.

Angelus U10 Tourbillon Lumiere - 4

The Angelus U10 Tourbillon Lumière is an unexpected tribute to a dormant brand, more known for its chronographs than for ultra-high end and unusual watches. However, when relaunching the brand, Manufacture La Joux-Perret decided to use the innovative and pioneer spirit instead of playing on the vintage trend. This first attempt of a new Angelus is impressive and that’s clearly a watch that we want to see on our wrists soon, at Baselworld 2015.

The U10 Tourbillon Lumière is available in a limited edition of 25 pieces in stainless steel, which launches the Angelus Urban collection.

Specifications

Movement

  • Calibre A100, one-minute flying tourbillon movement Hand-wound
  • Jewels: 38
  • Dimensions: 52.10 mm x 30.40 mm
  • Thickness: 7.50 mm
  • Power reserve: 90 h, double barrel
  • Frequency: 2.5Hz / 18,000 vph
  • Tourbillon: 16.25 mm cage diameter, Swiss lever escapement, screwed balance and hairspring with Breguet overcoil
  • Functions: hours, minutes, central dead beat seconds, one-minute flying tourbillon, linear power reserve indication
  • Movement decoration: nickel-silver movement, rhodium treated with haute horlogerie finishing: satin-finished main plate with laser engraved pattern, satin- finished bridges with chamfered and polished edges, plate dial side with sunray satin-finish, circular satin-finished wheels, screws with bevelled and mirror-polished heads, two laser-engraved and enamelled ratchets
  • Tourbillon finishing: bead-blasted and satin-finished titanium tourbillon bridge, entire tourbillon cage with hand-chamfered and polished edges and either satin-finished or mirror-polished surfaces

Dial

  • Colour: translucent-grey coated concave sapphire and black outer ring
  • Double white (C1) Super-LumiNova dots at 12 o’clock
  • Single white (C1) Super-LumiNova dots at 3, 6 & 9 o’clock
  • Hour, minute & power reserve hands: brushed-finished, rhodium-treated, with black Super-LumiNova that glows blue in the dark
  • Dead beat seconds hand: white lacquered

Case

  • Material: BO-988 specific annealed stainless steel, bead-blasted and treated with black PVD on the inside
  • Dimensions: 62.75 mm x 38 mm
  • Thickness: 15 mm including sapphire crystals
  • Sapphire crystals: 7 in total, treated with anti-reflective coating Back: see-though sapphire crystal
  • Water-resistant: 30 m

Strap and buckle

  • Strap: hand-stitched black alligator leather
  • Buckle: stainless steel folding buckle

Limitation and reference

  • Limited edition: 25 pieces
  • Reference: 0LUAS.B01A.C001F

1 response

  1. It is truly fascinating, a brand lying dormant for 30 years and then being re-launched once again, simply unbelievable.

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