The new Perrelet First Class Double Rotor Skeleton 20th Anniversary self-winding wrist watch pays tribute to the good old Dipteros 1777 model that the Swiss brand issued back in 1995. It was the first watch ever to feature so called “double rotor” design with a front oscillating weight visible freely on the timekeeper’s face. In fact, it is the watch that is a grandfather of their current iconic Turbine family. It was officially presented last week during Baselworld 2015 show.
Set to be issued in a limited run of just 327 pieces (250 of them in more practical stainless steel and the rest in more attractive 18-carat rose gold), the First Class Double Rotor Skeleton takes the idea behind the historic model and takes to a new level.
While the original, let’s be honest here, was a rather ordinary dressy timekeeper with the visible rotor being the only thing that differentiated it from hundreds of other models in the same niche, this new variety lets you know quite explicitly that during the last two decades the brand evolved both in terms of build quality and industrial design.
The 20th anniversary version of the timekeeper successfully combines the classic idea of a skeletonized movement with modern approach to design with flowing clean lines and extensive use of simple geometric figures.
If you will take a closer look at pictures above and below, you will soon realize how much effort and though was invested in the timekeeper’s finish. I especially like how mirror polished surfaces on the gently oversized body are interspersed by machine-brushed areas (those thin brushed patches on the coin-edged side strip are completely unexpected and therefore especially nice touch here).
It is too bad that Perrelet failed to produce real photos of a production ready model, but even on these 3D renderings it is visible that the open-worked oscillating weight organically, seamlessly blends into the frame set by the skeletonized baseplate of the mechanism. The fact that on the rose gold version the rotor is crafted from the same visually contrasting precious metal as opposing to something that looks like rhodium-plated steel or brass makes it look even more delicious.
The traditional vertical Geneva Stripes on the rotor and the plate nicely match the same pattern on the movement. Something that looks like tremblage engraving on the relatively thin spokes give the element additional visual depth and make it look more massive: something that many major watchmaking brands overlook when they design their timekeepers.
While the original Dipteros 1777 model was powered by Caliber P-181 (it still animates a number of their currently available Turbine models like, for example, this outrageous Perrelet Turbine Poker device) that was in fact a heavily modified version of the well-known ETA 2892A2 that features redecorated bridges, is built using selected parts and, of course, features their patented co-axial Double Rotor system.
This new variety is renamed as Caliber P-481 and, judging by its layout, is based on their earlier Caliber P-331 (they used the engine in 2012 Special Edition XL Turbine Racing DLC model), which is, again, an extensively modified Soprod A10 ebauche. Still, Perrelet prefers to market the mechanisms as “in-house” or “manufacture” ones. I am not sure about technicalities here, but, the way they redecorate and fine-tune every single part of it makes me wonder why don’t they actually build the movements on their own premises: it is would probably be almost the same in terms of costs.
As I have already noted, the watch comes in a mildly oversized body.
Measuring 42.5 millimeters in diameter, it is definitely more massive than an average watch, but not excessively so. Still, you must understand that, while the size is okay for a diving watch, which is in most instances is supposed to look massive and emanate self-assurance, this is a timepiece that is supposed to be worn with formal attire and, as flashy as it is, should not attract too much attention to your persona. Taking into account how relatively long its lugs are, you should probably have wrists that are either wide or just massive to make enough room for this little beast.
So, make sure to at least try one before ordering one of these things. I understand that this anniversary model does a very good job in activating that impulse buying center in the brain of yours, but, when it comes to watches this big, prudence is what you really need.
See also: Perrelet Chronograph Squelette
WWR preliminary verdict
Build quality: 5/5
Value for money: 4/5
Perrelet First Class Double Rotor Skeleton 20th Anniversary watch specification
Movement: Automatic, Caliber P-481 (base Caliber P-331), Swiss Made
Number of jewels: 25
Movement frequency: 28,800 vph
Power reserve: 40 hours
Movement decoration: Skeletonized, Geneva Stripes, visible ruby in its center
Functions: Hours, minutes, seconds
Case material: Stainless steel / 18-carat rose gold
Bezel material: Matches case
Crown material: Matches case
Case shape: Round
Bezel shape: Round
Case size: 42.50 mm
Case height: No data
Lug width: No data
Dial: Open-worked, white chapter ring
Hour markers: Rose gold, stick-shaped
Hands: Rose gold
Water resistance: 50 meters
Strap: Alligator leather strap with steel or rose gold buckle
Crystal: Sapphire, antireflective on both sides
Case back: Sapphire