From the earliest days of its conception, the Angelus U10 Tourbillon Lumière released in 2015 —we featured it here— was imagined as a piece of mechanical art, paying tribute to some of the most influential and forward-thinking designers from the 60s and 70s, such as Dieter Rams and Achille Castiglioni. Earlier this year, Angelus pushed the envelope even further by integrating striking visual art into this singular watch in a unique piece like no other. The new Angelus U10 Tourbillon Calavera takes its inspiration from the Mexican 'Dia de los Muertos' celebration —Day of the Dead— where sugar-made skulls are painted and decorated with vibrant colors to honor those that have passed away. The U10 Tourbillon Calavera features one of those iconic 'Calaveritas' —little skulls— on its dial, just like Fiona Krüger does it with her 'Calavera' inspired timepieces.
The Case & Dial
For their very first unique piece, Angelus has decided to maintain the same case construction as in the U10 Tourbillon Lumière with a rectangular case in stainless steel measuring 62.75 mm x 38 mm x 15 mm. Just like on its predecessor, the U10 Tourbillon Calavera is fitted with four sapphire crystals —all beveled and polished— that subtly protrude from the case, creating expressive tridimensionality. The most striking one is the one located on the side of the case and which wraps around at 90° over the end of the caseband. The large crystals throughout the watch allow for light to flood in and shine as a spotlight on this mechanical centerpiece. The vitrine aspect of the tourbillon space is cleverly enhanced by light-absorbing, matte black PVD finish on the interior walls encasing the tourbillon that features a bright 'Rosa Mexicano' —Mexican pink— lacquer bridge.
The case, made of a special steel called BO-988 specific steel is an annealed steel of a much higher quality than the usual 316L steel or 904 steel found in most wristwatches out there. This type of steel contains fewer impurities, is less liable to corrode and is more bio-compatible.
Its finer grain size allows for a better standard of polishing and higher level of finish. Next to the opening that allows for lateral view of the flying tourbillon a convenient 90-hour linear power reserve indicator is located.
One of the biggest differences between the Angelus U10 Tourbillon Calavera unique piece and its counterpart the U10 Tourbillon Lumière is the strap. The black alligator strap on the U10 Tourbillon Calavera is similar to the Bund aviator straps but with cutouts to allow for unobstructed view of the manual wound movement powering this timepiece. The strap is secured by a double folding clasp with the Angelus logo and is lined in a contrasting blue color.
Fully visible via the display case back and the opening on the strap, the Angelus A100 manual wound movement features hours, minutes, central dead beat seconds, one-minute flying tourbillon and linear power reserve indication. When fully wound, the Angelus A100 calibre provides a very healthy 90 hours of optimal power. The two mainspring barrels are optimally sized in a special ratio for a flatter torque curve, which maximizes accuracy throughout for the full 90 hours.
On the Wrist & Price
On the wrist, the Angelus U10 Tourbillon Calavera wears extremely big and in reality almost impossible to wear in a natural comfortable way. While this is an amazing unique piece of 'haute horlogerie' we feel that the size goes beyond reasonable boundaries. Nevertheless, from a visual design and watchmaking standpoint this wristwatch is in the money. Beautiful, captivating and unique as it gets.
Sticker Price $118,500 USD. For more info on Angelus click here.