Kerbedanz Two extraordinary new tourbillons from Kerbedanz
Kerbedanz continues its exploration of the tourbillon. Following in the footsteps of the gargantuan Maximus, a double GMT tourbillon has been unveiled, along with a tourbillon automaton.
It has become trendy to forecast the demise of the tourbillon, the star complication of the watchmaking renaissance of the 2000s. And it’s true, the unprecedented rise of vintage styling has thrown some shade on the august escapement patented by Abraham-Louis Breguet in 1801. And yet the tourbillon endures, innovates and reinvents itself. Cartier, Breguet, Piaget and Audemars Piguet still have plenty of skin in the game, as do a good selection of independent brands and watchmakers. The former include Jacob & Co., Greubel Forsey, Richard Mille, Patek Philippe and Bovet, while the latter group numbers Vincent Calabrese, David Candaux, Beat Haldimann, Antoine Preziuso among its many adherents. Clearly, the tourbillon remains incredibly relevant.
Kerbedanz has made the tourbillon its complication of choice. The watchmaker’s opening salvo was devastating. It is called Maximus, and it is the world’s biggest tourbillon. The cage of the gigantic flying tourbillon performs one rotation every 6 minutes, rather than the more usual 60 seconds. To maintain its frequency of 18,000 vibrations per hour (2.5 Hz) and guarantee a 54-hour power reserve (which has its own indicator), no fewer than four series-mounted barrels have to be wound by means of a key, rather than a crown. It’s a true original!
Maximus © Kerbedanz
Polvs Arcticus, Double Tourbillon GMT
Today, Kerbedanz has announced a new creation that will be produced exclusively to order. The Polvs Arcticvs is driven by the manually wound KRB-07 calibre with dual tourbillon – one North, one South – and GMT function. It has 341 components and 46 rubies; it beats at 21,600 vibrations per hour (3 Hz) and supplies a power reserve of 72 hours. This exceptional calibre resides within a generously proportioned 50 mm white gold case. Aside from the mechanism, further technical mastery is visible in one rather special dial detail: a layer of translucent enamel, 0.1 mm thick!
Polvs Arcticus © Kerbedanz
Quintum Tourbillon, Automaton Minute Repeater
The Quintum Tourbillon is a one-of-a-kind piece. Or, more accurately, it’s a one-of-a-kind piece of which a second copy has been made, for the same collector. The name of this creation betrays the nature of its escapement, which is also a tourbillon. Nevertheless, the watch also features a minute repeater and an automaton. This has become a rare feature in the watchmaking landscape. Jaquet Droz is the main proponent, with an entire collection built up on the basis of centuries of know-how. We might also call to mind the creations of Ulysse Nardin (Hourstriker) or the animations of Louis Moinet (Derrick Tourbillon).
Quintum Tourbillon © Kerbedanz
The Quintum features the five elements (hence the name), three of which are animated. When the minute repeater is triggered, the dragon moves its foot, the bird beats its wings and the tortoise entwined in the coils of the snake also moves. In order to create this animated micromechanical construction, Kerbedanz has called upon two of the foremost establishments in Swiss haute horlogerie: Geneva-based La Fabrique du Temps, and movement maker Concepto from La Chaux-de-Fonds. Thus was born the KRB-05 calibre, a hand-wound movement with 29 rubies, decorated with Geneva stripes, which boasts a 100-hour power reserve and a frequency of 21,600 vph thanks to a silicon escape wheel and pallets. This is a truly exquisite piece which, since its debut, has seen a further two orders placed. Quand on aime, on ne compte pas...