Purnell Purnell: get ready for an explosive 2021!
Purnell, a WorldTempus partner from today, lifts the lid on some of the things we can look forward to in 2021. Rest assured the tourbillon hasn’t said its last word!
Patented by a certain Abraham-Louis Breguet in June 1801, the 220-year-old tourbillon remains a hallmark of a Haute Horlogerie watch… albeit one that has made it into the mainstream of several brands’ collections - think TAG Heuer and its €17,000 tourbillon. An affront to horology? Hardly, given that at the same time others have taken the tourbillon to new and greater extremes, whether Richard Mille (RM 70-01 Tourbillon Alain Prost at almost a million euros) or, in a more traditional vein, Greubel Forsey (Double Tourbillon 30°, Quadruple Tourbillon).
Escape II Forged Carbon © Purnell
Tourbillons for the 21st century
Purnell belongs to neither category. Traditional? “No way. We’ve always been a forward-looking brand taking the tourbillon into the twenty-first century,” insists Maurizio Mazzocchi, CEO and co-owner of Purnell. Sports? You can always take your Escape II kitesurfing but with no guarantee this beauty will survive intact. Ultimately, a Purnell tourbillon is a piece of uniquely extravagant, ultra-complex engineering for an incomparable visual display
Escape II Icy Blue © Purnell
A handful of double tourbillons
Purnell isn’t the first to turn its hand to a double tourbillon. Rare specimens exist, at Roger Dubuis, Greubel Forsey, Arnold & Son, Louis Moinet (Space Revolution) and Manufacture Royale (Micromegas).
The Spherion effect
Purnell has, on the other hand, chosen a unique approach that is as much about sheer wonderment as it is advanced engineering. Making it happen is Eric Coudray, a watchmaking wizard who has already obliged several of the aforementioned brands, and others. For Purnell, he came up with the Spherion, a triple-axis tourbillion. Such creatures had already been seen at Jaeger-LeCoultre (Hybris Mechanica) as well as Thomas Prescher. The difference at Purnell being the speed at which the Spherion rotates: its three cages make a complete revolution in respectively 8, 16 and 30 seconds. It is the first double high-speed triple-axis tourbillon.
Escape II, black DLC and Titanium Grade 5 © Purnell
Haute Horlogerie meets micro-setting
Purnell could have stopped there. Such a mechanical exploit was more than sufficient in itself. Instead it pushed the boundaries further and micro-set each arm of the outermost carriage. Whether in diamonds or a rainbow of gems, the result is nothing short of breathtaking. Purnell has also developed a luminescent coating which, applied to the cages, becomes a stunning sight when darkness falls. And so the Escape II collection was born, together with the gem-set Treasure variation. At this level of refinement, the customer can request a gemstone of special meaning to them, from a wide selection, and choose whether they would like the case to be in titanium, carbon or gold.
Escape II Treasure Baguette Diamond © Purnell
2021, a high-speed year
The new year will get off to a strong start for Purnell. In addition to a complete revamp of its website, the brand is moving into a new head office at 80, Rue du Rhône in Geneva. The ground floor will be home to the first Purnell showroom, with offices on the floor above. This is where the new Purnell movement is taking shape, in the utmost secrecy. The brand’s fourteenth, it should be revealed at Watches & Wonders 2021.
Inspired by performance, precision and mechanical prowess, Purnell’s philosophy of bringing more future than past to watchmaking. Each timepiece distinguishes itself by having a tourbillon movement. Purnell takes this complication to a level of technical and aesthetic mastery that has never been seen before.Find out more >
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