Angelus introduces two new versions of its Skeleton Tourbillon movement: the U21 and U22.
Marking a new chapter in Angelus’ Urban Collection of cutting-edge watchmaking, the brand revisits the U20 movement and streamlined design focused on structural optimization with two new executions: the U21 and U22.
From the movement to the case design, the objective from the get-go has been to showcase the splendor of the movement’s architecture and tourbillon while reducing as much weight as possible. For this purpose, the U21 and U22 Tourbillon feature a carbon fiber main plate, giving the impression of being a part of the case.
The U21 Tourbillon interprets the uniquely structured movement in a noble metal case, combining the bezel-less carbon fiber central case element with polished and satin-brushed18-karat red gold lugs, enhancing its visual appeal. The skeletonized bridges are solid 18-karat red gold for additional harmony between the case and movement. To further enhance legibility, the hands are filled with white SuperLumiNova.
The U22 Tourbillon on the other hand features a carbon fiber and titanium case like the original U20, however with an even greater emphasis on weight reduction. Thanks to its carbon fiber main plate, the U22 Tourbillon weighs a mere 54 grams in total. The flange ring has also been revisited, set with satin-finished applied indexes for the hour markers. The central hands offer a racy look thanks to the red SuperLumiNova.
The tourbillon 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 as open, three-dimensional and resplendent as possible. Components have been hand-chamfered, hand-polished and hand satin-finished to ensure that they look as good as they are filigree.
And to further increase visibility into the top of the three-dimensional movement, both models features a unique design element. The case is fashioned without a bezel and instead uses a sapphire crystal dome, which also allows a sideways view onto the movement.
The U21 and U22 Tourbillon deserve closer inspection, which reveals many of the well- thought-out details that go into creating a contemporary, cutting-edge skeleton watch: the variable inertia balance wheel of the tourbillon is especially designed and crafted to minimize air friction; the patterned carbon fiber used in the main plate offers maximum rigidity; ruby bearings are set into solid gold chatons. The ultra-light case, entirely made of carbon fiber, red gold or titanium and sapphire, has been designed to echo the three-dimensional aspect and the technical feel of the timepiece.
The heart of the U21 and U22 Tourbillon is the flying tourbillon. The tourbillon is "flying", which means that it does not require an upper supporting bridge. This helps to maximize the three-dimensionality of the movement and allows maximum appreciation of the technical and aesthetical refinements throughout the movement.
The tourbillon’s steel cage is hand chamfered and polished with flat surfaces either mirror- polished or satin-finished.
The variable inertia balance wheel is regulated by four gold weights around its perimeter. In the quest for high performance, the rim of the balance wheel has been milled to maximize aerodynamics and reduce air resistance.
The highly engineered movement further features beam-type titanium bridges, which are skeletonized to reduce weight and offer a better view of the watch’s inner workings.
The titanium mainspring barrel bridge is supported by slim pillars set directly into the carbon fiber main plate, a feat in itself that requires great precision and a total functionality of the carbon fiber main plate.
All wheels throughout the entire gear train have a specially developed six-spoke design, again in the quest for maximum rigidity for minimum mass.
All of the rubies, which actually act as low-friction bearings, are fitted into solid gold chatons that are embedded in the carbon fiber main plate. Gold chatons not only look good and attest to the movement's haute horlogerie bona fides, they are also non-magnetic and corrosion resistant like the carbon fiber itself. Their functional purpose is to compensate for the slight deformation due to the driving of the jewels in the main plate and prevent the rubies or carbon fiber from breaking.
The U21 Tourbillon is available in a limited edition of 18 pieces in NPT carbon-fiber/red gold case and priced at $49,900.
The U22 Tourbillon is available in a limited edition of 18 pieces in NPT carbon-fiber/titanium case and priced at $35,900.