Monochrome Watches
An online magazine dedicated to fine watches

The Super-Openworked Artime ART01 Tourbillon Makes A Bold Statement

A horological team effort of industry veterans results in a super-modern and transparent tourbillon watch.

| By Denis Peshkov | 4 min read |

It’s tempting to delve into the detailed backgrounds of the individuals behind this independent creation, the Artime ART01 Tourbillon. Each name, obscure to the general public, speaks volumes to watch professionals and enthusiasts with a deeper knowledge of who’s who. Initially, I felt it imperative to provide profiles for each of them when tasked with writing this story. However, such information is readily available on Artime’s dedicated website and other internet resources, including reviews of the timepiece. To save you time, we’ll discuss the creators of the inaugural Artime ART01 Tourbillon as the watch prompts us to do so. And what an extraordinary watch it is.

The ART01 is the inaugural creation of Artime Créations SA, conceived to showcase “the proven skills of its founders in the complete design of Haute Horlogerie creations.” The founders – Stéphane Maturel, Fabrice Deschanel, Emmanuel Jutier, Manuel Thomas, Didier Bretin, and Claude Emmenegger – emerge as stalwarts in the watchmaking industry and survivors of its revolutions. This team brings to the forefront a rare blend of profound expertise and extensive experience, gathered through years of working for high-end brands like Audemars Piguet, Philippe Dufour, Greubel Forsey, F.P. Journe and others.

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Armed with a collective eagerness to decipher, analyze, and transform a client’s vision into a horological masterpiece that exceeds every expectation, the distinguished founders set out to demonstrate their capabilities with the ART01 Tourbillon. In a unique twist, it appears that their first client was the talented collective itself. While the story of how these six visionaries reached a unanimous agreement is yet to be chronicled, let us focus on the exquisitely transparent, three-dimensional, and technically sophisticated Artime ART01 Tourbillon.

The ART01 tourbillon exudes craftsmanship with its titanium and sapphire construction, showcasing a gold movement in all its glory. At first glance, the watch exudes a sense of super-integration, giving the impression of being a unified whole rather than a complex assembly of hundreds of components. However, this illusion quickly dissipates upon closer examination. The seamless integration of the case, dial, movement, and strap – we typically describe a watch in that order – makes it challenging to dissect these essential elements individually.

The 42mm case, standing at 11.4mm thick with downturned lugs, boasts alternating layers of titanium and sapphire components. The very bottom is the sapphire caseback, with four custom screws pressing its titanium frame to the titanium mid-case, adorned with brushed surfaces and polished chamfered edges. The sapphire crystal level is resting atop, sufficiently thick to offer a side view of the intricate movement within. The crystal seamlessly merges with the case, extending until it meets the slim, polished stainless steel bezel. The flat sapphire at the top is so far from the now-popular domed and glass-box shapes that it is refreshing.

Its fluted crown may initially appear as an unusual bulge, but there’s a reason for this design. The crown features a co-axial push-button selector for its functions – N for neutral, H for time-setting, or R for winding – with the active function conveniently displayed on the dial. While a function selector in a watch may not be groundbreaking news, it’s worth noting the principle was conceived by members of this collective, and Artime explains the true innovation here lies in a column wheel that controls the two vertical clutches using rockers. The system is prominently visible next to the crown, showcasing the engineering behind its operation.

Since we are delving into the inner workings, let’s continue exploring the movement, which also doubles as a dial. The bridges, crafted for symmetry, showcase exquisite finishing techniques. There’s no mainplate, and the movement is secured to the case middle with custom screws visible from the back. On the dial side, these screws are cleverly concealed by round black hour markers with luminescent HyCeram inserts on the sapphire chapter ring, showcasing the minute track, also in HyCeram. The original central hour and minute hands, featuring skeletonized designs and HyCeram inserts, contribute to an unexpectedly coherent and readable time indication.

Positioned at 12 o’clock, the mainspring barrel balances the double hairspring tourbillon at 6. The concentric hairsprings, supplied by Precision Engineering AG (affiliated with H. Moser and Cie.), operate in opposition. This design ensures that any balance faults generated by the pulsation of one balance spring are compensated by the other, enhancing the timepiece’s chronometry.

Noteworthy among the innovations is the tourbillon cage, featuring a novel three-armed design without the pillars usually connecting the upper and lower parts. This unconventional design frees up space for the regulating organ, contributing to the overall ingenuity of the timepiece. The three-armed shape is repeated on the barrel. A bridge at 9 o’clock, supporting the cannon pinion and the hands, features the brand’s logo and mention of Didier Bretin’s name – for he is the watchmaker-designer with a bit more power within the team, mastering the aspects of watchmaking architecture. The ART01 Tourbillon’s manually-wound movement operates at 3Hz with a power reserve of 80 hours.

Its outstanding, transparent presentation and design solutions certainly make this inaugural Artime watch worthy of consideration, that is, if you have CHF 195,000 to spare or want to commission your piece built by this super-knowledgeable team of experts according to your expectations and vision.

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