Angelus is one of those brands that should ring a bell, at least if you are into vintage watches. Besides their own chronographs and other complications, Angelus was also the supplier of movements to brands like Panerai back in the days. With an impressive array of movements and world-firsts in watchmaking, the brand couldn’t survive the 1970s due to the nifty quartz pieces that were made by other brands. There was no need any more for mechanical watches that couldn’t perform with the same accuracy as those battery-operated watches.
Have a look at Chrono24 or eBay and you will find some impressive looking vintage Angelus chronographs (Chronodato for example). It is really a shame that a brand like Angelus did not survive the 1970s if you look at all of those beautiful watches and movements they made prior to that. Manufacture La Joux-Perret must have thought the same thing and decided to revive this brand that was originally found in Le Locle, Switzerland.
After more than 30 years, the new Angelus manufacture is located in La Chaux-de-Fonds, near Le Locle. The first timepiece they are introducing (today) is something that I would have never expected as a ‘first’ from the revived Angelus. The Angelus U10 Tourbillon Lumière is a high-end watch, featuring a tourbillon and a dead-beat second hand complication.
With the Angelus U10 Tourbillon Lumière, the brand is back on the horological map with a bang! The flying tourbillon is visible in the beautiful duplex case. Four crystals surround the tourbillon, so it can be enjoyed from almost every angle. One of the sapphire crystals is wrapped 90 degrees over the end of the case. The inside of the case has this matte black finish so it absorbs the light. As you can see, the movement is deconstructed (as Angelus writes in their press release), which means the flying tourbillon is configured apart from the rest of the movement.
Now, on the left side of the stainless steel case, you will see the dial with a hour, minute and seconds hand. The dial is made of a translucent-grey coated concave sapphire and has a black outer ring. Super Luminova is used to be able to read the time with low light as well. The biggest attraction on this side of the watch though, is the white lacquered dead beat seconds hand. This complication is not as common as a tourbillon or minute repeater, but yet very interesting. We’ve seen a dead beat seconds hand on the One Hertz watch from Grönefeld for example. In the past, the dead beat seconds complication was used in pocket watches. It never really hit off in wrist watches, perhaps because it reminds most people (and watch companies!) a bit too much about the quartz watches of the 1970s that destroyed some of these fine brands.
According to Se?bastien Chaulmontet (who we also know from the other La Joux-Perret brand Arnold & Son), the dead beat seconds is “our little wink at – and snub to – history.“. The case of the Angelus U10 Tourbillon Lumière is shaped after the multi-display travel clocks Angelus was renowned for between the 1930s to the ‘60s. You could say that both aesthetics and mechanics are very well thought-through by Angelus for their first re-launch model.
As you can see on the image below, the Angelus U10 Tourbillon Lumière also has a linear power reserve indicator in its case band placed under the dial. The sapphire box that displays the flying tourbillon can be seen from multiple angles on the right. The case is made of a BO-988 specific annealed stainless steel, which is of higher quality than the more common 316L type steel (fewer impurities) as it is less liable to corode. The fine grain size also allowed Angelus to use a higher standard regarding polishing and finish.
I wonder whether this timepiece sets the new standard for Angelus watches and that it will become a new competitor for some of the independent brands out there (MB&F and Hautlence come to mind) or that other pieces will be less eccentric.
Only 25 pieces will be made of the Angelus U10 Tourbillon Lumière, all in stainless steel.
Calibre A100, one-minute flying tourbillon movement Hand-wound
Dimensions: 52.10 mm x 30.40 mm
Thickness: 7.50 mm
Power reserve: 90 h, double barrel
Frequency: 2.5Hz / 18,000 vph
Tourbillon: 16.25 mm cage diameter, Swiss lever escapement, screwed balance and hairspring with Breguet overcoil
Functions: hours, minutes, central dead beat seconds, one-minute flying tourbillon, linear power reserve indication
Movement decoration: nickel-silver movement, rhodium treated with haute horlogerie finishing: satin-finished main plate with laser engraved pattern, satin- finished bridges with chamfered and polished edges, plate dial side with sunray satin-finish, circular satin-finished wheels, screws with bevelled and mirror-polished heads, two laser-engraved and enamelled ratchets
Tourbillon finishing: bead-blasted and satin-finished titanium tourbillon bridge, entire tourbillon cage with hand-chamfered and polished edges and either satin-finished or mirror-polished surfaces
Colour: translucent-grey coated concave sapphire and black outer ring
Double white (C1) Super-LumiNova dots at 12 o’clock
Single white (C1) Super-LumiNova dots at 3, 6 & 9 o’clock
Hour, minute & power reserve hands: brushed-finished, rhodium-treated, with black Super-LumiNova that glows blue in the dark
Dead beat seconds hand: white lacquered
Material: BO-988 specific annealed stainless steel, bead-blasted and treated with black PVD on the inside
Dimensions: 62.75 mm x 38 mm
Thickness: 15 mm including sapphire crystals
Sapphire crystals: 7 in total, treated with anti-reflective coating Back: see-though sapphire crystal
Water-resistant: 30 m
Strap and buckle
Strap: hand-stitched black alligator leather Buckle: stainless steel folding buckle
Limitation and reference
Limited edition: 25 pieces Reference: 0LUAS.B01A.C001F
More photos below in the gallery. All photos can be clicked for larger versions.
Ever since he was a young child, Robert-Jan was drawn to watches, even though it were digital Casio and quartz Swatch models at the time. In the mid-1990s, his interest increased when he started to read about mechanical watches in... read more