HORLOGERIE SCULPTURE

The entire U20 Ultra-Skeleton Tourbillon watch has been conceived as a beautiful mechanical haute horlogerie sculpture. Its design is streamlined and based on structural optimization. Made of sapphire, carbon and titanium, the U20 is at the forefront of cutting-edge watchmaking. From the movement to the case design, every aspect of the U20 has been conceptualized to allow light to enter the watch and reveal the splendor of the movement’s architecture and tourbillon. The first elements one sees are the raised dome sapphire crystal of the carbon case and the mirror-polished beveled edge of the monobloc titanium lugs, all reflecting the light.

The watch features a manufacture Angelus A-251 caliber, one-minute flying tourbillon, haute horlogerie movement with sapphire main plate and skeletonized blue satin-finished titanium bridges with a diameter measuring 42 mm. A deeper look reveals the virtually transparent movement floating in the case and allowing an unobstructed view through the watch. The quest for transparency and three-dimensionality is essential in the world of ultimate high-end watchmaking. The goal is to present the essence of the movement by removing any superfluous material. What seems to look deceptively simple to achieve requires great artistic vision and engineering prowess. The more material that is removed, the more the structure of the movement has to be carefully calculated to ensure rigidity and sturdiness.

The U20 Ultra-Skeleton even goes a step further. It does not boast an ordinary movement that has been skeletonized afterwards, but a tourbillon movement that has been created from scratch to be symmetrical, transparent and resplendent. To further enhance transparency, the U20 features a sapphire main plate. The bridges have been made of blued titanium and have been skeletonized to increase transparency even further. The bridges’ beam shape also maximizes rigidity – the latter being essential for chronometric precision.

The discerning eye will be pleased to discover that haute horlogerie has not been sacrificed on the altar of transparency: components in the Ultra-Skeleton Tourbillon have been hand- chamfered, hand-polished and hand satin-finished to ensure that they look as good as they are filigree. To further increase visibility into the top of the three-dimensional movement, the U20 Ultra-Skeleton Tourbillon features a unique design element. The case dispenses with a bezel and instead uses a sapphire crystal dome, which also allows a sideways view onto the movement.

The titanium lugs, which are securely attached to the carbon fiber case and reinforced with an armature of carbon fiber, have a very technical shape and echo the titanium bridges of the movement. However, the intricacy of the lugs is softened by the clever use of polished chamfered edges and contrasting satin-finished surfaces. The sapphire in the U20 Ultra-Skeleton Tourbillon is very specific, offering the essential characteristics necessary for use in a haute horlogerie timepiece. The sapphire main plate is first crafted from a solid block of sapphire before being painstakingly polished to be perfectly transparent. This elaborate process results in a very precise main plate with tolerances in the micron range. The latter is important as the sapphire used throughout the Ultra-Skeleton Tourbillon is not decorative but 100% functional.

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