Chanel Première Flying Tourbillon
On the 25th
anniversary of Chanel’s first watch the Première, whose shape was inspired by the octagonal geometry of the No. 5 perfume bottle stopper and the Place Vendôme, Chanel offers women the opportunity to enter into the world of high mechanical complications. Appropriately, this feminine incursion into the universe of watchmaking complexity is just as mysterious as it is beautiful and poetic.
After its first Tourbillon on a J12 model in 2005, this year, for the first time, Chanel presents a flying Tourbillon.
This exceptional Tourbillon, developed in close collaboration between Chanel and the Swiss manufacturers, engineers and master-watchmakers Renaud & Papi (APRP SA) – the advanced research and development branch of Audemars Piguet – is a first for both companies.
Decorated with the motif of the camellia, a tribute to Mademoiselle Chanel’s favorite flower, this flying Tourbillon beats away discreetly and almost secretly at the heart of the Première watch. The floral design creates a delicate texture with the use of interlocked petals and a heart that is paved with diamonds.
The flying Tourbillon makes one rotation per minute, with the petals indicating the seconds.
Equipped with a power reserve of 40 hours, this movement (“Camélia Flying Tourbillon” Caliber) has been mounted on a custom-designed rectangular bottom plate. All the finishes and parts that are chamfered, drawn and circular- grained by hand, adhere to the highest Swiss watchmaking traditions.
The hour and minute hands are off-center and set higher on the black ceramic dial.
The watch case maintains the perfectly balanced original proportions, albeit in new dimensions:
28.5 mm by 37 mm, compared to 19 mm by 26 mm of the traditional Première.
The case, the bezel and the crown are set entirely with baguette-cut or round- cut diamonds or precious stones.
Produced in a limited edition of 20 numbered pieces, the “Première Flying Tourbillon” in 18-carat white gold is set with 101 baguette-cut diamonds for a total of 5.2 carats, and 127 brilliant-cut diamonds for a total of 2 carats. Each piece requires 23 hours of setting and over one hundred hours of assembly.
Tourbillon and Flying Tourbillon
The frame of a traditional Tourbillon, which houses the suspended unit that regulates a watch (namely the balance and the spring, as well as the escapement) turns between the base of the movement, the bottom-plate and the upper bridge, which all hold this frame on its axis. It is this rotation that, by varying the positions of the regulating unit, compensate for the effects of the earth’s gravitational pull.
The Flying Tourbillon is more complex because it does not have an upper bridge. This absence enhances the aesthetics of the watch so the frame appears to be revolving weightlessly. However, without the upper bridge, the Flying Tourbillon still has to be able to resist impact just as well as a traditional Tourbillon. Consequently, the construction of the frame composed of a three-dimensional assembly of delicate elements, becomes a marvel of micro mechanics.