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"Royal Blue" mystery tourbillon (Basel 2005) ...

April 21 2005 at 8:08 AM

Marcus Hanke  (Login mhanke)

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I was a bit astonished to read the sceptical comments of some regarding the new "Royal Blue", since I thought it to be a most striking design from the first sight. My wife, who unfortunately not often shares my taste in watch designs, immediately said "stunning! absolutely marvelous!", when she saw the first press kit pictures. After having the chance to handle the watch in Basel (and having difficulties giving it out from my hands again!), I really have to state that it is a wonderful piece of mechanics! In its design, it is a "first" in the watch world, although some key elements have been realized earlier already, by (or better: for) different brands: Cartier had a sapphire mystery tourbillon, and Cedric Johner had the unique circumferal teethed ring, that serves to transfer the eenergy from the crown to the mainspring barrel. However, the latter had a conventional tourbillon bridge, while the "Royal Blue" is a flying tourbillon, adding by this some more complexity.

Here is a pic of a version that features additional diamonds on the bezel and lugs. On this piece, the diamond/sapphire ring used as minute and hour markers is absolutely not out of place, but a perfect and attractive match.

On a clean metal case version, though, I agree that the jewelled ring looks a bit unnecessarily flashy.

The skeletonized mainspring barrel somehow reminds of a sports car wheel

The unique power transfer gear

Note the thick blue sapphire lid holding and covering the mainspring barrel

Unlike so many tourbillons, the "Royal Blue's" rear is also very attractive

the heartpiece is the flying tourbillon. Note the huge sapphire jewel covering the balance pinion. This has become some kind of 'signature' of Christophe Claret, famous master watchmaker and longtime development partner of Ulysse Nardin.

Best regards,

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