What can be the link between a tourbillon watch and an AK-47 Kalachnikov? At first sight, nothing. But looking at the Fonderie 47 Inversion Principle, you have the connection. The concept is simple and based on a charity idea: creating a watch, raise funds by selling it and for each watch sold, destroy a thousand guns. Most of the charity watches are just limited editions of a classical model, adorned with a logo, a new colour or an engraved caseback. The Fonderie 47 Inversion Principle is watch especially created for that reason and that also includes a part of a gun its own movement. And believe us, it is a complicated engine.
Before talking about the watch itself, the concept of Fonderie 47 (foundry in french) has to be explained. The goal of Peter Thum (Founder of the project) when creating Fonderie 47 was to reduce the number of destabilizing assault weapons in Africa. A large majority of these are AK47 variants. Peter Thum decided to transform these implements of devastation into something as removed from them and as positive as possible, i.e. exclusive objects that would inspire change and fund the destruction of weapons. Revenues from the sale of each timepiece will be used to fund the destruction of one thousand assault weapons in Africa. Today, it’s 30.000 AK-47 that have been destroyed thanks to the project.
The Fonderie 47 Inversion Principle is not only a charity watch but also a technically advance piece of Haute Horlogerie. First it comes with a quite unusual 3-minute central flying tourbillon. The cage of the tourbillon is composed of three second-hands, spaced 120°, and thus indicating the running seconds. Only one second hand is visible at any time, the other two are hidden under the gold bridges on the top of the crystal. In addition to the central tourbillon, time is also displayed with complicated and singular mechanisms. At 12 on the dial is the jumping hour indicated and visible through an aperture. It can be quickly adjusted by only pressing a pusher in the crown. The minutes are indicated by a 240° retrograde hand on the lower part of the dial.
The side of the watch reveals one of the two power reserve indicator (the movement boasts 6 days of power reserve). This year, the Fonderie 47 Inversion Principle also comes in a new 10-piece limited edition in 18k red gold, always with the same 42mm case. The movement is finished with a sun-ray guilloché on the main plate, hand engravings, hand polished beveled angles and heat-blued screws. It also shows a second power reserve indicator on the upper part. But the most important feature is the ratchet wheel, which is a dark plate of transformed steel from a destroyed AK47. The serial number ’56-3701F42′ of the watch is also a reference to the (unfortunately) famous gun, as it is the serial number of the destroyed weapon which was used to create the ratchet wheel cover.
The Inversion Principle is available as a limited edition of 20 pieces, 10 in white gold (that was presented last year) and 10 pieces for this red gold edition. It comes at a price of $ 195,000 USD. That’s a serious price tag, but besides helping Fonderie 47 to reduce the number of assault riffles in Africa, you get a very complicated timepiece, that looks gorgeous on the wrist and that clearly stands out of the rest of the production.
Specifications – Fonderie 47 Inversion Principle
Case: 18k red gold, 42mm x 14.6mm, sapphire crystal traversed by embedded gold bezel bridge framing tourbillon cage, lateral sapphire window in case band for power reserve indicator
Movement Caliber F47-001:
- Regulator: Central three-minute flying tourbillon
- Tourbillon cage: gold counter weight and curved to follow sapphire crystal
- Jumping hour: thin mechanism (patented)
- Retrograde seconds: mechanism with light aluminum arm and precision regulator
- Power reserve: six days
- Balance frequency: 18,000bph (2.5Hz)
- Jewels: 38
- Balance spring: Breguet overcoil and distinctive balance spring stud
- Finishing: Sun ray guilloche; hand engraving; hand polished bevels; heat-blued screws and power reserve indicator on back.
More information through the Fonderie 47 website.