The new Perrelet Tourbillon Volant (ref. A4011/1) watch is a more energetic reinterpretation of the elegant Perrelet Tourbillon model that was revealed two years ago at Baselworld 2009.
Unlike the original model that was sold in a mid-size case that measured only 42 mm in diameter and could even be deemed compact by current standards of luxury watchmaking, the new Perrelet Tourbillon Volant comes in a really huge case.
Whole 50 millimeters in diameter and 14.30 mm in height make it an elephant in the range of haute horlogerie timekeepers.
The case is done in three parts. The bezel and back made of scratch-resistant DLC-treated stainless steel and the middle part is crafted out of 18-carat rose gold.
As usual, the watch features non-standard lugs that will make it difficult to find an aftermarket strap for this little monster. On the other hand, the timepiece clearly targets collectors and extremely wealthy enthusiasts, and something tells that practicality (at least, in its normal meaning) wasn’t the first thing on Perrelet’s mind. I mean, when you have enough financial means to fund your hobby, paying a couple of hundreds more for a non-standard spare strap doesn’t look like a serious problem from that perspective.
Sporting the same Perrelet P-161 automatic caliber as the aforementioned 2009 model (the caliber is listed as an in-house job, although I wasn’t able to find any proof that the mechanism is wholly made at Perrelet’s own production facilities: being owned by Festina Group together with Soprod -a supplier of mechanical movements and complication modules for dozens or maybe even hundreds of watchmakers-, there is a good chance that Swiss brand worked together with Soprod in developing and building the movement,) the new Tourbillon Volant has grown in size not just to impress general crowd, but also for the sake of divine aesthetics.
Or, rather, guys at Perrelet simply wanted to create a watch that would be able to make a statement without actually saying a single word. Weight, especially if it is an 18-carat rose gold alloy, is a sign of reliability, right.
Judging by the look of it, the main proportions of the dial have been carefully preserved: the tourbillon carriage and the main sub-dial still form a figure “8,” which is turned upside down.
However, the main dial has grown notably larger. Its radius has been increased at least by two or three millimeters, I suppose.
I must admit that the new dial looks better than the one on the original 42 mm version of the watch. Mainly, thanks to the pair of carbon fiber “wings” that visually unite the tourbillon and the off-centered hours and minutes display.
As brutal as it is, the combination of a huge case and a three-dimensional dial provides for an aggressive-looking sports watch that simply crushes the competition with its powerful presence.
Perrelet will present the new Tourbillon Volant next month at Baselworld 2011 international trade show.
Perrelet Tourbillon Volant (ref. A4011/1) 50mm automatic watch specification
Price: Approx. $50,000 USD
Movement: Automatic, caliber Perrelet P-161, 33 jewels, 28,800 vph, in-house, COSC-certified chronometer, Swiss Made
Movement decoration: Skeletonized oscillating weight decorated in-house
Functions: Hours, minutes, tourbillon
Power reserve: 110 hours
Case material: DLC-treated stainless steel and Rose gold
Bezel material: DLC-treated stainless steel
Case shape: Round
Bezel shape: Round
Case size: 50.00 mm
Lug width: No data
Case height: 14.30 mm
Dial: Carbon fiber
Water resistance: 50 meters
Strap: Natural black rubber with DLC-treated stainless steel buckle
Crystal: Sapphire, antireflective
Case back: Sapphire, antireflective