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The Millennium Watch Book
Cyrus - Klepcys Vertical Tourbillon: Standing tall

Cyrus Klepcys Vertical Tourbillon: Standing tall

The very first tourbillon to be placed in the middle of the dial on a vertical axis in a wristwatch, the Klepcys reimagines this traditional complication*

This small independent Swiss watch brand was founded just 10 years ago and has produced a whole range of innovative movements that it combines with cutting-edge design. The Klepcys Vertical Tourbillon is one of the brand’s most recognisable timepieces thanks to its tourbillon that is placed on a vertical axis in the middle of the dial, a first in the watch industry. The brainchild of master watchmaker Jean-François Mojon, the idea came from a study his workshop did regarding all the different positions a wristwatch can find itself in during a 24-hour period, whether it is placed on a bedside table, or on the wrist of a person walking down the street or sitting at a desk.

Breguet’s original tourbillon invention was designed to compensate for the effects of gravity on a movement that was typically worn in a vertical position in the pocket of a waistcoat. Because most wristwatches are worn in the horizontal position, it makes more sense to put the tourbillon in a vertical position to counter the effects of gravity. It was this thinking that inspired Mojon to put the tourbillon in a vertical position in a wristwatch.

Klepcys Vertical Tourbillon: Standing tall

Klepcys Vertical Tourbillon © Cyrus

The manual-winding movement uses an intermediary wheel with contrate toothing at 90 degrees that links to a pinion, thus making it possible to place the tourbillon vertically within the timepiece. The tourbillon cage is relatively classic in design, but it affords a view of the movement from all angles so special attention was paid to the finishing of the components, some of which are openworked.

The balance was particularly challenging to create as it needed to be absolutely flat so as to avoid an otherwise inevitable slight wobble. This isn’t normally a problem in a regular tourbillon as it doesn’t affect its operation, but was aesthetically displeasing to the eye in the vertical axis.

The movement took two and a half years to develop due to this unusual tourbillon as well as its unique way of displaying the time. The hours and minutes are read on each side of the tourbillon with jumping retrograde hours on the left and retrograde sweeping minutes on the right. One of the challenges here was to synchronise the jumps as the minutes return to zero and the hour moves on by one digit.

The 3Hz movement has an impressive power reserve of over 100 hours, or four days, thanks to two barrels. There is also a power-reserve indicator in the form of a small sphere at 12 o’clock which counts down the days from four to one. It is also interesting to note that there is a seconds indicator in the centre of the tourbillon that turns somewhat like a Ferris wheel.

Klepcys Vertical Tourbillon : le tourbillon qui se tient debout

Klepcys Vertical Tourbillon © Cyrus

Like all Cyrus’s timepieces, the Klepcys Vertical Tourbillon has two crowns, one at 3 o’clock for setting the time and winding the watch, and one at 9 o’clock for advancing the hours in one-hour increments.

In terms of design, each timepiece comes in a 44mm cushion-shaped case and is particularly recognisable thanks to the two arches that cross the dial and separate the two retrograde displays. The arches were directly inspired by forms created by Leonardo da Vinci and are covered with a stunning domed sapphire crystal that has anti-reflective coatings on both sides.

The Klepcys Vertical Tourbillon was first unveiled in 2018 and came in three 38-piece collections: one in 18K 4N rose gold; one in rose gold and black DLC titanium; and a third in black DLC titanium. A year later, the brand released an open-worked version issued in series of five timepieces for each colour iteration. In 2021, the brand released a limited edition of ten sapphire crystal versions to celebrate its tenth anniversary, which provides an even better view of this unique vertical tourbillon that remains one of the most unusual on the market to this day. 

*This year GMT Magazine and WorldTempus have embarked on the ambitious project of summarising the last 20 years of the Tourbillon in  The Millennium Watch Book - Tourbillons, a big, beautifully laid out coffee table book. This article is an extract. The Millennium Watch Book - Tourbillons is available on www.the-watch-book.com, in French and English.

 

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As a modern, dynamic and independent company with its Manufacture in Le Locle, CYRUS approach to the “Conquest of Innovation” requires to dive into the unknown to discover what has never been done before. Cyrus timepieces, designed by master-watchmaker Jean-François Mojon, are the perfect blend of the highest level of innovation possible combined with a unique and distinctive aesthetics which endows all creations with a strong identity.

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