Insider: Angelus U40 Racing Tourbillon Skeleton. Hands-on with a Very Sporty Tourbillon.

As part of its return to the forefront of cutting-edge Swiss watchmaking, Angelus presented the Angelus U40 Racing Tourbillon Skeleton during Baselworld 2016 earlier this year. The U40 Racing Tourbillon Skeleton is powered by the A-300 in-house tourbillon movement, which was developed from the bottom up to enhance its three-dimensionality and sculptural beauty while boosting its performance and shock-resistance. Equipped with a 42 mm grade 5 titanium case this manual wound tourbillon is not only extremely sporty but exceptionally crafted. The U40 Racing Tourbillon Skeleton is also only 10 mm thick. 

When the Angelus engineers set out to develop, design and manufacture the new U40 Racing Tourbillon Skeleton, they went way beyond the confines of traditional watchmaking and took their cue from cutting-edge architecture and high-performance structural engineering, some of the world’s greatest supercars and aerospace-inspired technology. The result of their work —which involved four years of intensive R&D—, is the Angelus Tourbillon Skeleton A-300 calibre. Unlike most conventional skeletonized watches, which tend to be cut-out versions ofexisting models, the U40 was designed to be a skeleton from the start and is based on structural optimization. Therefore, its skeletonized dial rather than being a cut-out dial plate, is the front of the movement rising in full glory. The ADLC blackened bridges along with the multi-step flange in black, dark grey and light grey with red minute track, the flying tourbillon at six and the skeletonized barrel at 1 o'clock, make for a very masculine and sporty 'haute horlogerie' timepiece. Two references are available, one with white hands like the one we are reviewing here ref. 0TSAT.B01B.K007T and the other with red hands ref. 0TSAT.B01A.K007T.

The case design is highly complex and features a variety of curves and lines combined with alternating polished and satin-finished surfaces and a see-through back. Viewed from the side, the housing is stepped and tapers from top to bottom, the widest section accommodating the extra-large glass with the lower part narrowing to fit snugly on the wrist. The lugs are hollowed out to further increase lightness.

The beating heart inside the new Angelus U40 Racing Tourbillon Skeleton is the new in-house manual wound calibre A-300. This movement with a mere thickness of 4.3 mm is fitted with 23 jewels, a Swiss lever escapement and guaranteed for high performance and precision. The ultra-slim movement has painstakingly executed contemporary 'haute horlogerie' finishing with snailed black ADLC coating and chamfered edges. The design is enhanced by a skeletonized ratchet and barrel in the exclusive Angelus six-spoke design. The movement beats at a frequency of 4Hz/28,800 vph to provide a power reserve of 60 hours.

To round out its sporty design and contemporary look, this impressive timepiece is equipped with a black rubber strap bearing a three-dimensional motif and Angelus logo and fastened by a titanium pin buckle. Having a rubber strap on a watch like this, is simply perfect as the watch is water resistant to 30 meters and water activities can be fully enjoyed.

On the wrist, the new Angelus U40 Racing Tourbillon Skeleton wears slightly bigger than its actual size but extremely light and comfortable. The wrist presence screams 'haute horlogerie' from every angle you look at it. Furthermore, this is a 'haute horlogerie' example that won't break the bank as it is priced just right. This watch is only available in a limited edition of 25 pieces.

Sticker Price $28,950 USD. For more info on Angelus click here.