Last year, we told you about the rebirth of an old and iconic brand: Angelus Watches, famous among vintage lovers mainly because of the Chronodato (you can see an example here). However, the very first watch created for this renewal of the name Angelus, the U10 Tourbillon Lumiere, was actually far from what collectors expected, and instead of playing on the vintage trend and reissuing a chronograph with calendar, the idea was to redefine the brand on what it could have been now. For the second watch to be introduced, we’ll again be far from expectations – which doesn’t mean the new Angelus U20 Ultra-Skeleton Tourbillon is not impressive.
We’ll have to get used to it… The name Angelus won’t be linked to vintage-inspired chronograph with calendar anymore. Period! This is even more surprising when knowing that the man behind the rebirth of Angelus, Sebastien Chaulmontet (also head of Arnold & Son), is one of the main Angelus collectors and a lover of vintage chronograph watches. It seems that too many brands relied on a forgotten past to be re-built, sometimes leading to watches empty of inspiration. Sebastien has a lot of respect for the brand and his idea was more into continuing the brand, like if it was still alive more than 30 years after its death, with modern watches that are still imbued with the DNA of the old manufacture. Thus, after a first watch, the U10 Tourbillon Lumiere, inspired by 1970s travel clocks and industrial design from the same era, the brand will come to Baselworld 2016 with another impressive watch, the Angelus U20 Ultra-Skeleton Tourbillon.
This Angelus U20 Ultra-Skeleton Tourbillon will give the guidelines for the coming collections: no more vintage inspiration. The coming Angelus watches will be modern, bold and technical. In some ways, this feels quite natural (even if some collectors will be very disappointed) as the Chronodato was, when launched in the 1940s, a very modern watch, with a rather large diameter, an unusual display and a sculptural case shape. It was, at that time, a bold sports watch. And so will be the new watches from Angelus. They won’t look at the past. The new Angelus U20 Ultra-Skeleton Tourbillon is based on a modern construction of the case, with pleasing design. The 42mm central part, the bezel and the caseback are made of NTP Carbon fiber (which gives this aleatory shape of the fibers) on which are added grade 5 titanium lugs, finished with brushed surfaces and polished bevels. To bring strength, the case is reinforced with an internal structure in carbon fiber.
The prowess of the Angelus U20 isn’t in its case but entirely in its very, very opened movement – which explains the name Ultra-Skeleton Tourbillon. With only the idea of bringing light into the movement, Angelus (in fact, La Joux-Perret, who manufactures the movement) did not skeletonized the movement but they made the technical elements of the movement virtually floating. How? In fact, the main plate (which entire holds the movement) is made of transparent sapphire crystal. The Angelus U20 Ultra-Skeleton Tourbillon does not boast an ordinary movement that has been skeletonized afterwards, but a tourbillon movement that has been created from scratch to be symmetrical and transparent. The regulating organ, the barrel, the adjusting mechanism as well as the gear train are hold in place by only 3 bridges, themselves skeletonized and manufactures in blued titanium – allowing for lightness as well as rigidity.
As technical the movement is, finishing is worthy of being inspected with a loupe. The sapphire plate used as a main plate is machined from a single block and then polished. The tourbillon cage, as well as the bridges are chamfered and polished by hand and the jewels are inserted in solid gold chatons. Even the wheels with 6-spoke design are specific to this watch. The Angelus U20 Ultra-Skeleton Tourbillon features a flying tourbillon – thus it does not require an upper supporting bridge – that rotates classically in one minute. It features a variable inertia balance wheel with 4 regulating gold masses. It shows an usual Z shape (like the Arnold and Son Constant Force Tourbillon) that maximizes aerodynamics and reduces air resistance. This watch remains rather simple in terms of display, as only giving the hours and minutes on the central axis. The show is clearly on transparency and 3D effect.
The Angelus U20 Ultra-Skeleton Tourbillon will be introduced officially during Baselworld 2016 (price to be confirmed). It will be a limited edition of 18 pieces. Something tells us that it won’t be the only novelty, as the brand already teased us with some photos of another new watch on their Instagram account – and this time, it features a column-wheel… Chronograph is to come. More details on the official website of the brand.
Features and Indications
- Central hours and minutes, one-minute flying tourbillon, haute horlogerie manufacture movement with sapphire main plate and blue skeletonized satin-finished titanium bridges
Movement and Finishing
- Calibre: Angelus A-250, manual-winding with flying tourbillon, sapphire main plate and blue titanium bridges
- Jewels: 18, set in solid gold chatons
- Diameter: 32.60 mm
- Height: 5.78 mm
- Power reserve: 90 hours
- Frequency: 21,600 vph / 3 Hz
- Balance: variable inertia regulated by four gold weights, minimal air-resistant design
- Escapement: Swiss lever
- Gear train: exclusive Angelus 6-spoke design to maximize rigidity
- Complications: one-minute flying tourbillon, ultra-light form
- Tourbillon cage: steel, hand-chamfered and hand-polished
- Movement finishing: haute horlogerie, all steel component with hand-chamfered and hand- polished edges, flat surfaces mirror-polished or satin-finished
- Material: sapphire dial is actually the movement main plate
- Hour and minute markings: printed spokes on outer chapter ring
- Hour and minute hands: rhodium-treated and skeletonized
- Material: NPT carbon-fibre and titanium
- Diameter: 42.00 mm
- Height: 10.30 mm including sapphire crystals
- Crown: engraved with ANGELUS logo; 2 positions: 1. winding, 2. time-setting
- Back: sapphire display back
- Distance between lugs: 21.00 mm
- Water resistance: 30 m / 100’/ 3 atm
- Crystals: Sapphire crystal dome with anti-reflective coating on inside surface
Strap and buckle
- Material: stealth black alligator leather with titanium insert
- Buckle: titanium, pin buckle engraved with Angelus logo
Limitation and reference
- Limited Edition: 18 pieces
- Reference: 0TCAB.U01A.C004T