A skeleton designed for ultimate performance: Angelus U40 Racing Tourbillon Skeleton
As part of its return to the forefront of cutting-edge Swiss watchmaking, ANGELUS debuted the U40 Racing Tourbillon Skeleton. The U40 is powered by the A-300 in-house tourbillon movement, which was developed from the bottom up to enhance its three-dimensionality and sculptural beauty while boosting its performance and shock-resistance.
When the Angelus engineers set out to develop, design and manufacture the U40 Racing Tourbillon Skeleton, they went way beyond the confines of traditional watchmaking and took their cue from cutting-edge architecture and high-performance structural engineering, some of the world’s greatest supercars and aerospace-inspired technology. The result of their labours, which involved four years of intensive R&D, is the Angelus Tourbillon Skeleton A-300 calibre.
Designed to be unique
Unlike most conventional skeletonized watches, which tend to be cut-out versions of existing models, the U40 was designed to be a skeleton from the start and is based on structural optimization. As angelus head of innovation Sébastien Chaulmontet explains: “When you’re designing a watch as unusual as this one, it’s vital that you’re conscious from the start of all the points you need to take into consideration. In this case, one of the main challenges was to achieve the rigidity necessary when the skeletonized mechanism is intrinsically so flimsy.”
The U40’s simplicity and elegance are set off to maximum advantage by a movement that has the appeal of a three-dimensional sculpture and is a celebration of consummate mechanical achievement. Much reduced in weight, it has maximum rigidity from its beam- type bridges and the fact that all the movement’s main elements, such as the wheels and barrel, are firmly secured between two plates. This design replaces the conventional main plate and bridges construction and massively increases the mechanical resistance of the movement. The watch’s rigidity is further enhanced by the Angelus in-house six-spoke design, which reinforces the wheel train and protects the skeletonized ratchet and barrel.
With its core functions – hours, minutes and one-minute flying tourbillon – the A-300 calibre has 23 jewels, a Swiss lever escapement and measures just 4.3 millimetres in thickness and 32.8 millimetres in diameter. The 4 Hz / 28,800 vph frequency is a guarantee for high performance and precision.
The ultra-slim movement has painstakingly executed contemporary haute horlogerie finishing with snailed black ADLC coating and chamfered edges. The design is enhanced by a skeletonized ratchet and barrel in the exclusive Angelus six-spoke design.
Avant-garde inside and out
The U40 Racing Tourbillon Skeleton is housed in a fabulous grade 5 titanium case that measures 42 millimetres in diameter and is only 10 millimetres thick. The design is highly complex and features a variety of curves and lines combined with alternating polished and satin-finished surfaces and a see-through back. Viewed from the side, the housing is stepped and tapers from top to bottom, the widest section accommodating the extra-large glass with the lower part narrowing to fit snugly on the wrist. The lugs are hollowed out to further increase lightness.
Encompassing the dial is a multi-step bezel in black, dark grey and light grey with red imprints and a flange with an index and chapter rings. The hour and minute hands have red or white tips.
This impressive timepiece is secured to the wearer’s wrist by a black rubber strap bearing a three-dimensional motif and Angelus logo and fastened by a titanium pin buckle.
At the heart of ANGELUS' incredible work is promoting true value and craftsmanship for the watch collector and buyer. The U40 highlights a calibre developed exclusively by the team at ANGELUS' manufacture in La Chaux-de-Fonds and features a skeleton tourbillon movement made specifically for a skeleton timepiece. But, perhaps its best feature is the price, a modest $28,750, gives the U40 guaranteed appeal and considerable value proposition.