With Baselworld 2018 right around the corner, there are plenty of new watches to discuss. One that has already caught our eye is the Angelus U50 Diver Tourbillon, which has the distinction of being the brand’s first-ever dive watch.
This isn’t the first time a tourbillon has been included in a dive watch — both Richard Mille and MB&F have done it before — but it’s still a rare look and speaks to the sort of high-concept horology that Angelus has strived for since it was brought back to life by Manufacture La Joux-Perret (now owned by Citizen) in 2011.
The 45 mm watch is made of titanium and has two screw-down crowns; the one at 4 o’clock controls the time and the one at 2 o’clock controls the interior uni-directional rotating bezel. Opposite the crowns is a helium escape valve allowing the watch to reach saturation-diving depths of up to 300 m. The skeletonized dial has a polychromatic aesthetic. Blue and yellow lacquer dominate the interior bezel, hands, and seconds subdial. The indices and the middle of the hands feature white SuperLuminova.
The Angelus team spent four years of R&D building the A-300 Caliber specifically as a skeleton instead of opting for a cut-out version of an existing movement. This allowed a greater reduction in total weight which, aided by the titanium case, helps make the watch quite lightweight overall while still appearing substantial on the wrist. Having the wheels and barrel securely fastened between two plates and the use of beam-type bridges has aided in the movement’s overall rigidity. Maximizing the total mechanical resistance of the movement was a major focus for Angelus here. It’s further strengthened by the Angelus in-house six-spoke design, which reinforces the wheel train and protects the skeletonized ratchet and barrel. However, the big surprise here is the exact size of the movement. With most dive watches — and tourbillon watches, for that matter — you expect a robust caliber. For the A-300, Angelus was able to keep the movement to a thickness of only 4.3 mm total. It also features detailed finishing such as snailed black ADLC coating and chamfered edges.
As the brand’s first attempt at a dive watch, it’s impressive how Angelus didn’t follow a typical nautical look and instead engineered and produced a watch that is distinctly a product of their design ethos. Four years of development is a lot of time to invest but, in the end, this watch has a lot going for it and I’m excited to see it in the metal at Baselworld next week.
The Angelus U50 Diver Tourbillon comes on a black rubber strap with a titanium pin buckle. It’s priced at 29,700 CHF (approximately $31,437 at time of publishing).