Discover the details behind the 2015 revival of Angelus with Sébastien Chaulmontet, Head of Innovation at Angelus. In this video, Chaulmontet walks us through the timeline of this 19th century watch brand and shares the particulars of the contemporary Angelus U10 Tourbillon Lumière. Will we see more from Angelus at Baselworld 2016? Stay tuned starting March 17th when iW reports live from Baselworld.
The Historical Past
After brothers Albert and Gustav Stolz founded Angelus in 1891, the company achieved several world-firsts and became noted for its focus on complications, multi-displayed travel clocks, and chronographs. Marking a few important Angelus milestones are watches such as the Chronodato from 1942, which was the first series wristwatch chronograph with calendar, and the Chrono-Datoluxe, launched in 1948 with the very first big date in a chronograph wristwatch.
Perhaps the Angelus timepiece that drew the widest acclaim was the 1958 Tinkler (pictured at the top of the article), an automatic repeater wristwatch that was said to be waterproof. In addition, the Foursome compact table clock, with its 8-day power reserve, automatic calendar, barometer, and thermometer, was well ahead of its time when it was presented in 1937.
Manufacture La Joux-Perret (which owns Arnold & Son) purchased Angelus in 2011 after a thirty-year period of dormancy. Both firms are based in the Swiss watchmaking town of La Chaux Fonds, a neighboring town to Le Locle where the original Angelus manufacture was located.
Last year, Chaulmontet’s Angelus U10 Tourbillon Lumiére announced the rebirth of Angelus.
“We always first think of the final design of the watch that we wish to create,” Chaulmontet toldiW. “For the U10 Tourbillon Lumière, we wanted a large tourbillon displayed on its own in a sapphire showcase.” Executing the deconstructed movement is not an easy feat. As Chaulmontet describes in the accompanying video interview: “In order to realize the design we had to develop a new movement from scratch, with the tourbillon configured apart from the rest of the movement. The case and the movement then went through several phases of development so that they worked perfectly together, both technically and visually, before arriving at the final, emphatically sculptural, result.”
After four years in development, the finished product is reminiscent of the vintage Angelus multi-display travel clock, though the in-house, hand-wound A100 movement is thoroughly modern. Each technical aspect, from the lateral power reserve and deadbeat seconds to the one-minute flying tourbillon, are on display through seven sapphire windows that shape the stainless steel case.