Stepping on the heels of Ulysse Nardin’s Maxi Marine Diver Titanium chronometer, Perrelet reveals its new masterpiece: the self-winding Tourbillon (ref. A3021/1). What is the connection between the two? Both are made of titanium and polished gold: a combination that was unthinkable for mainstream watchmaking brands only a couple of years ago.
The 2009 Perrelet Tourbillon is a spicy dish.
Even now, with the niche actively probed by dozens of young brands that try to stun you into buying one of their creations by combining aggressive design with unusual materials, it takes real courage for an established brand like Perrelet to introduce a watch that is as dressy as it is sporty equipped with a tourbillon escapement (traditionally reserved for ultra-luxury timepieces of the more classic exterior,) which is not only made of gold and titanium but also sports a carbon-fiber dial!
Adding insult to injury (well, maybe not the best choice of cliche; rather, simply trying to amplify the timekeeper’s overall “sportiness”,) the Swiss manufacturer offers the Tourbillon on a black rubber band.
Although often regarded as a more practical choice, the choice of the strap here seems to be more of a decorative reason since the case, with its official water resistance rating of just 50 meters (5 ATM) is not suitable for diving or even swimming and wearing a rubber band on a hot sunny afternoon is rarely a particularly pleasant experience. Well, at least, if you can pay close to $90,000 for the piece, ordering an aftermarket strap of a similar look, but crafted from a more comfortable material will not be a problem. Also, the fact that the Swiss watchmaker decided to equip the watch with standard lugs helps a lot.
Ulysse Nardin has already employed such a combination (sans the carbon fiber, of course,) in its new “diver”, but the Maxi Marine series was a kind of horological kitsch from the very beginning.
Well, maybe that’s why Perrelet plans to limit Tourbillon’s production to only 20 units.
According to Perrelet, the watch is equipped with the new P-161 automatic movement.
Officially certified by the local COSC authority as a chronometer, the movement is 6.95 millimeters thick and is whole 31 millimeters in diameter, which makes it look proportionate to the 42 mm case that has its bezel and transparent case back crafted of satin-finished gold and the notched middle part made of light-weight titanium.
Beating at a frequency of 4 Hz (28,800 vph,) the movement can keep ticking for almost five days: the manufacturer guarantees no less than 110 hours of autonomy after the mainspring is fully wound.
The tourbillon carriage, which is placed at 6 o’clock, also works as a small-seconds indicator. Since the dial features off-centered hours and minutes sub-dials, the view at the painstakingly crafted flying tourbillon is never obstructed.
See also: Chopard L.U.C Lunar Big Date chronometer
Perrelet Tourbillon (ref. A3021/1) specification
Price range: Around $90,000 (MSRP)
Movement: Perrelet P-161, open-worked, exclusively decorated Perrelet rotor, COSC-certified chronometer, in-house, Swiss Made
Frequency: 28,800 vph
Power reserve: 110 hours
Case: 18-karat rose gold and satin-finished titanium
Size: 42.00 mm
Case height: 15.00 mm
Dial: Black, titanium gray with a carbon fiber insert
Water resistance: 50 meters
Strap: Natural black rubber with Titanium deployment buckle with solid 18-karat rose gold cap
Crystal: Sapphire, antireflective