The 2008 Angular Momentum Illum Aqua Ladies delivers a rare combination of high legibility and unique finish. While the greatest majority of brands tends to simply transpose successful designs to their own timepieces or, in the best scenario, blend a couple of different design approaches into something more or less distinctive, AM’s owner seems to be never afraid of trying an unbeaten path every time he starts designing a new piece.
While in the watch world form usually follows function, Angular Momentum, the niche-based Swiss watchmaker, keeps designing timepieces following in exactly opposite direction. Just like it was with the AXIS/XXVII Time Spiral watch, the new Illum Aqua is more a piece of art than a timekeeping device.
However, while pieces of art usually serve a pretty decorative purpose, this one can really be used for some diving or, at least, snorkeling.
Featuring a Swiss automatic movement (the Swiss watchmaker doesn’t specify the caliber, but this is probably the well-known ETA 2824 self-winding ebauche, since it is, too, built on 25 jewels) hidden inside the two-piece circular stainless steel case 37 millimeters in diameter, the Angular Momentum Illum Aqua actually makes its point with an arty two-tone dial.
Featuring a rather unusual chapter ring, the face of the device also acts as a diving scale: as you can see, there is a dark grey quadrant at the upper right part of the dial that has two luminous green markings that allow you to measure you dive time. Of course, the dial is fixed, so the functionality is quite limited, but it still looks great.
The dial, as you can see on the pictures, is done in brass Champleve technique, rhodium plated with Email Lumineuse, which is currently available only in “Aqua Blue” and “Pale Green” colors.
The Email Lumineuse is AM’s proprietary technology of creating a luminescent cover based on fusing enamel and a luminous yet non-radioactive substance.
Being exposed to direct light during a period of only 10 minutes, the Email Lumineuse will glow for up to 35 hours.
Of course, nobody would use her Illum Aqua as a real diving tool, although it provides for decent water resistance of 100 meters, it will be definitely a hit at a beach party.
Even its recommended street price of CHF 3200 doesn’t seem too high when you understand that, for such a miserable handful of Swiss francs you get yourself an accessory that doesn’t look like anything you can encounter in a normal watch store.
The only problem with this timekeeper is that, like with most of the other Angular Momentum watches, you will not find it in a normal watch store: the independent Swiss watchmaker is too far away from the mainstream to easily attract huge retail chains.
To get it, you will have to find and order it on Angular Momentum’s website.
See also: a.b.art launches simplistic MM series
Photos: Angular Momentum
Angular Momentum Illum Aqua Ladies specification
Price range: CHF 3200 (MSRP)
Movement: Swiss made automatic, 25 jewels
Functions: Hours, minutes
Power reserve: 38 hours
Case: Stainless steel, screwed back, screw-locked steel crown
Diameter: 37.00 mm
Dial: Brass Champleve, rhodium plated with Email Lumineuse in “Aqua Blue” and “Pale Green”
Water resistance: 100 meters
Strap: Natural rubber strap or stainless steel bracelet
Crystal: 3.00 mm curved sapphire crystal, scratch-proof