Although the CVSTOS Challenge Tourbillon Yachting Club will possibly fail to stun you with extreme legibility or painstakingly measured proportions, its skillfully decorated maze of indicators and displays with ice-cold platinum accented by warm, maritime-inspired wood makes a strong impression when you see this ultra-expensive gadget the very first time. Whether the impression will be lasting, is another question.
While still in its infancy (the company has emerged only about three years ago, however one of its founders worked full-time at TAG Heuer and even designed timekeepers for such established brands as Breitling and, perhaps, Zenith), the recently established Swiss-based brand Cvstos keeps introducing elegant and classic-looking timepieces in its favorite Tonneau form-factor. With its highly complicated hand-wound mechanism, the recently unveiled limited-edition Challenge Tourbillon Yachting Club may well become the Swiss brand’s opus magnum.
At least, for the time being, just to stay afloat in this industry, newcomers have to invest a lot of effort regularly introducing even more well-designed timepieces that would keep the media attention flowing. Sleep on your laurels just for a year, and you become a non-entity: such is the rough world of fashion accessories (and CVSTOS must still come a long way before becoming a living legend with a constant flow of sales.)
Presented in a large barrel-shaped platinum case almost 54 millimeters long and 41 millimeters wide, the case hugs your wrist in as comfortable a fashion as possible. Its case profile is nicely curved and the integrated lugs are short enough for the device to look good on any wrist. Yes, the crown protrudes just a bit more than I would care to, but I don’t think that it will be uncomfortable for an average person.
The new timepiece hides nothing from its owner thanks to its wholly skeletonized Calibre CVSTOS CVS 2600CY hand-wound movement.
The baseplate here offers such a degree of skeletonization that, at some point, it becomes virtually invisible, almost like a spider web.
Comprising 197 components, the movement stores enough to work for as long as 60 hours after being wholly wound.
While many skeleton watches often offer a “see-through” design that lets one see the bare skin of its owner’s wrist, this model has the empty space filled with wooden details that remind us of wood panels on expensive yachts.
The flying tourbillon (its 12.00-millimeter carriage is not planted into the movement bridge, but connected to it with a single cantilever) is placed at 6 o’clock and is equipped not with one, but with whole three seconds hands, each counting the same 20-seconds interval on the lower scale.
The sword-shaped hour and minute hands (although not particularly in contrast to the skeletonized lattice-works of the movement) are covered with some unspecified luminous substance and must provide good readings during the night.
The only problem with this Yachting Club model is that its blue rubber strap and the 3 x 20 seconds indicator of the same color somehow do not live happily in the satin-finished platinum case. I, actually, get the idea behind the choice of colors, but it still makes the watch look like a rather sophisticated toy clock.
Build Quality: 5/5
Overall Legibility: 3/5
Nighttime Legibility: 1/5
Value for Money: n/a
Overall Rating: 4/5
Challenge Tourbillon Yachting Club specification
Movement: Calibre CVSTOS CVS 2600CY, open-worked, Swiss Made
Complications: 3×20 seconds indicator, tourbillon
Power reserve: 60 hours
Case: Platinum; Polished and satin-finished case with four apertures on the lateral sides (two per side)
Dimensions: 53.70 mm x 41.00 mm
Case height: 15.00 mm
Dial: Pierced, sapphire, non-reflective coating, exclusive CVSTOS TECHNOLOGY decoration
Water resistance: 100 meters
Strap: Blue rubber with buckle folding clasp
Crystal: Sapphire crystal, none-reflecting coating