Three is a strong number in our lives. We can discuss three versions of time – past, present and future for instance. Three is also the number of dimensions we humans can perceive as a species. For Antoine Preziuso and his son Florian, the number three was the inspiration for their new timepiece; Antoine Preziuso Tourbillon des Tourbillons. Antoine is in his third decade as a watchmaker; Florian is a third generation watchmaker and turned 33 earlier this year. Three also happens to be the number of tourbillons in the new watch.
First and foremost, three tourbillons are placed on the front of the movement, in plain sight. However mesmerizing the movement of one tourbillon might be, having three of them only enhances the visual impact. The tourbillons resonate at the frequency of 21,600 bph and are in perfect sync with one another. To add to the whirlwind of motion from the three tourbillons, they are mounted in a carriage that fills the entire case. The carriage is balanced and weighted down to obtain perfect inertia as it makes a full rotation once every ten minutes.
The carriage is driven by a central planetary triple-differential gear with what the younger and elder Preziuso claim are the smallest ball bearings in the world at 1.6mm in size. The steel balls inside are supposed to be about the thickness of a human hair. Three gold plaques, in between of the tourbillons, provide the weight for the inertia to keep the carriage going without draining too much power from the movement.
From the back, you can see the symmetrically placed double barrel set-up, storing the power for the movement. The bridge over the differential is decorated with Côtes de Geneve and the mainplate has been given a perlage decoration. All the movement, from the back to the carriage of the tourbillons is finished by hand with chamfered bridges and polished bevelled angles and straight graining on the flat surfaces. On the back of the Antoine Preziuso Tourbillon des Tourbillons you can also read that the timepiece is patented (with three patents, as mentioned). A sapphire crystal covers the back of the movement.
The case, 45mm in diameter and 14mm in height, is constructed with a combination of steel, 18kt gold and grade 5 titanium. Despite its size and complexity, it is surprisingly light due to the variation of the materials. Most of the case, like the caseband, bezel, caseback, are done in titanium which helps keep the weight down. It is available with rose or white gold accents, or with a black PVD coating. The interchangeable lugs and the 8 support-columns for the case are done in gold and held in place with screws from the front and back of the case, regardless of the version at hand. A domed sapphire crystal, with anti-reflective coating, covers the structure of the carriage and tourbillons. Diamonds are also an option, as the pictures show (on the casebands of the PVD coated edition).
As complex as the movement is, it only depicts hours and minutes. The centrally mounted hands are done in the same gold as the lugs, columns and crown. They are partially openworked and engraved
The Antoine Preziuso Tourbillon des Tourbillons comes attached to a hornback crocodile strap in grey, brown or black. According to Antoine, the leather comes from the Porosus saltwater crocodile, the largest species in the world. The skin of this particular species of crocodile is considered to be the most valuable.
The Antoine Preziuso Tourbillon des Tourbillons is without a doubt a stunning timepiece, but will likely cater to a very select group of customers. Not only because of the CHF 380.000,– price tag, or the very limited numbers produced, but also due to extravagant design. More info can be found on Antoine Preziuso’s website.