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May 5

“Mission Tourbillon” is taking shape

48 comments

Edited: May 5

 

 

We have launched “Mission Tourbillon” as a foolsday-joke. Some days later we made it pretty clear that it was only a joke when it comes to our photoshopped Array tourbillon version and that we are serious about making a HORAGE tourbillon watch.

 

In our 2nd post we want to walk you through the specs for this tourbillon movement and especially decide about the styling of the plates and bridges which at the end of the day will make the look of this watch.

 

The specs:

· Model name: Not yet found (Tbd)

· Case material: 904 or Titan grade 5 or Arpal+ (Tbd)

· Type: Flying Tourbillon

· Functions: Minute-, Hour-hands ; Second is the tourbillon itself

· Watch Dimensions: <41mm diameter / <9.95mm height

· Movement size: 32,8mm x ?mm

· Beat: 4 Hz / 28.800

· Runtime: target approx.. 70h

· Rubies: 23

· Parts-count: approx. 173 pieces / 67

· Movement finish: Skeletonized / beveled angles / Femtosecond laser-finish /Color (Tbd)

 

As you can see we have choose a Flying Tourbillon which has been designed by Alfred Helwig in 1920. He was an instructor at the German School of watchmaking in Glashuette. At this time the German watch industry boomed both in Glashuette and its western counterpart Pforzheim until the 2nd world war wiped out both cities and with them the future of German watchmaking. The British tried to improve the known Tourbillon to increase precision, however the German watchmaker Helwig redesigned the Breguet invented tourbillon into its flying version by removing the typical bridge (I call it a dog bone). This bridge was traditionally needed to hold one end of the balance-wheel axle, however it kind of disturb the hypnotizing aesthetics of the rotating cage.

 

 

"...because we do this watch for our soul..."

And this is exactly the reason why we go for a flying tourbillon, because we do this watch for our soul and for the joy of watching the cage rotating around itself once per minute. The downside is that you perhaps should avoid throwing the watch against a concrete wall with full throttle, because it cannot resist as much G-force as the tourbillons with the “bone”.

 

 

After travelling with some Flying Tourbillon watches on my wrist and after talking to experts who make and sell flying tourbillons for decades, we came to the conclusion that overly G-force marketing should not outweigh our desire for an undisturbed beautiful view on our tourbillon watch and that the flying version is the way to go. Don’t worry even if it can resist less G-force it will be a daily watch with COSC certification.

 

 

Spec and the “unknowns”

 

HORAGE is inextricably connected to the K1 movement project and everybody who has bought a watch with a K1 movement knows about our story and that we typically live up to what we promise in terms of precision and reliability. We needed 7 years to bring the K1 movement to life and another 3 years to make it a bombproof workhorse for our watches. We are convinced that 10 years is the median time for any movement project which is designed and built from scratch like the K1.

 

To avoid getting dragged into another 7 years engineering “silo”, we choose existing and proven solutions to build our hand-wound flying tourbillon watch.

In this way we can enjoy the watch in the foreseeable future and sleep well when selling them to you😉.

 

As you can see, the current spec-list is not set in stone and is leaving room for decisions to be made along the project run time. One of the unknowns is the runtime we can achieve once we adapt our escapement know how to the regulating unit. 70 hours is our wish however it is not a guarantee.

Similar like the K1 movement in its full spec, this movement will have around +170 parts whereas 67 parts alone will go into the tourbillon cage itself.

Needless to say, all these parts are damn small, they have to be super light to reduce inertia and they have to be machined to outmost precision.

 

Due to our history we feel safe and experienced with all the known components of a mechanical movement, however the tourbillon unit is new to us and we want to make sure we can focus on making sure this part works well. This is the reason why we skip calendar or automatic winding systems, because we not only want to have a very undisturbed look but keep our promise of a reliable product. It will be challenging enough to make this happen. We will come back to specs and more details around these parts during the period of the project.

 

 

Finish and Look

 

Most of the cost for such a product comes from finishing!

Since we do not want to burn big holes into our pockets, we need to find ways to create a unique hand finished aesthetic which can be realized by machining processes to a major degree. This is the only way to keep cost under control as we all know that Switzerland is not exactly a low-cost labor country and “hands” work is expensive.

 

We want the fascinating inner workings to be exposed in a subtle way... the skeletonizing should have a modern feel making room for finish work and allowing the colors of the plates to unfold.

 

This is where the community decision comes into play for the first time…

 

 

What are the color combinations you would prefer?

Please make a vote and don’t forget to invite others for an opinion!

 

 

 

front & back - silver

 

 

 

 

 

front & back - brown gold

 

 

 

 

 

front & back - blue

 

 

 

 

 

front & back - dark grey

 

 

 

 

 

front - dark grey / back - blue

 

 

 

 

Note on the finish:

  1. The closed squares are planned as slightly lowered sections, into which we "copy" a perfect straight brush hand-finish with a femtosecond-laser. Since the remaining structure shall be mate finished and will be slightly elevated, such look can only be achieved with modern short pulse laser technology.

  2. We want all edges to be angled, however we are yet in the process of figuring out what the minimum inner radiuses will be to allow a CNC machine to do this job.

Hi Andreas, I like the idea of the blue colored plate! A flying tourbillion is just the right choice for such a wonderful piece of art. I’m thrilled to see and hear how it evolves.

Yes it was a big discussion on the type of tourbillon... the classic just covers the most important actor and this is what we didn’t like.

Love the grey, blue finish. Just to look that little bit different.

I am so curious to see how the samples come out, but this is a way to go anyhow and I am sure that there are tons changes coming up. CAD and Photoshop is nice, but at the end of the day only real samples are the reliable thing to decide upon.

May 5

Love the blue finish. It should look really nice with a titanium case, plus it gives some great contrast with the gears, the jewels and the tourbillon.

I can also imagine a mate finish titnium case.... but we are not yet there;-) lots of decisions to come in the future.

May 6

I would prefer to have a simple face to make the tourbillon stand out more. From the rendering pictures above, it seemed the darker ones can show the tourbillon more. Yes, i agree, a real sample should be able to give you a better idea. At this moment, I cannot make up my mind.

I also assume the darker ones or the blue one will make the tourbillon pop more, because these parts are silver finished. The geometric and not too extrem skeletonizing should make the tourbillon stand out well. It will be very interesting to see the indexing and the hands with it. But we are not yet there ;-)

May 6

The dual tone, with darker grey front and blue back, with the blue tint still visible from the front, is a subtle but lovely design feature which still keeps the focus on the flying tourbillon. +1 !

 

are you tempted to further adapt the design of the tourbillon itself - so over time folk will recognise its distinctive features and say, “look, that’s a Horage tourbillon”?

We have to figure things out with the machine guys and see where we can take advantage on existing parts to avoid cost explosion and where we can add some "only us" look and feel. Touching this area is very sensitive, because all these parts are highly functional and since we want to go through COSC we need to be sure that we do not mess things up. However I am sure that the overall look will be very much Horage and clearly identifiable us.

I think that the dark grey front and back works to give a bit of contrast with a titanium case without distracting from the tourbillon itself.

Hands and time indexing will play a significant role in the look. it can change everything. Titanium ... we will see how it looks ;-)

May 6

I love the all blue and the grey/blue options. With the red points it feels like a constellation in an early evening sky.

@legolad How cool is that observation... never thought about it like that, but you are right. Perhaps something to think about when it comes to naming.

@legolad it seems we are onto something here when it comes to naming. Pulsar... sounds pretty good and sparks a lot of imagination. We should put this on the list for the naming process. With a little bit of luck perhaps we can read a constellation into the positioning of the rubies as they are now...

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May 6

front - dark grey / back - blue for me. Allows the front to display a blue depth of color adding interest to the rest of the face.

May 6Edited: May 6

Deep sea blue ;-) It will be interesting to see how the angled edges come out and if they still have a polish feeling when the color is relatively dark. We will see.

May 6

My vote - front in dark gray and black casE in blue. The contrast is great. It’s an innovative look to compliment your innovative design. Definitely a stand-out look.

@dcpwb it will be specifically interesting to see how the dark front will play out with the golden and silver cage and balancier parts.

May 6

I like them all, but front & back - dark grey is my favorite.

 

Choice... always a tough thing to handle;-) as we have seen in the Multiply campaign some time ago. I am sure all of them can really be nice, it will come down to how we combine this with hands, indexes and case design...

bicolor is original; but it depends on other parameters like case finish, dial and hands.

Yes correct, this is the job for the coming chapters. Lots of decisions to come yet...

May 7

I like both the dark grey and the blue option as they give more contrast. Silver and brown gold seem to me a bit more too classic. Anyway I do agree with Christian, it all depends on the other parameters.

Next step is the case. We are on it and hopefully we can get more and more growth into our community... there was some good finding and inspiration for us already.

May 8

Do you need the lattice grid frame behind the tourbillon or could it be suspended in mid air with just one arm supporting from underneath?

The back part needs to be bit more solid, because all the forces go in there, holding the cage. But we will check things there.

May 16

Like many of the comments before mine, I think the contrast between the darker color plates and the lighter colors of the tourbillon makes the complication more eye catching. Conversely, making the colors of the tourbillon darker and the pates lighter might make an interesting visual contrast too.

 

 

Soon more info to come... fighting with hands and indexes right now;-)

May 16

back to naming the timepiece and the K-Tou movement... you can’t really go wrong with K2 (“K two”) as after all, the K2 mountain is one of the most technically difficult to ascend and considered the ultimate climb, so perfect for a tourbillon complication.  You named your first creation the K1 after the size of the ambition!

How about calling it K2 Savage or K2 Summit after the mountain itself - or K2 Solaris for a planetary link.

Hmmm need to think about that however I am not sure if we should reserve K2 for something else which might come... don’t want to disclose things right now 🙃

Have been ordering color samples last week. So let’s see how it will come out ... will take a while.

Is there any news about K-Tou? We're looking forward to it!

Update in Progress. Will be exciting. We made good progress and a lot of intense discussion inside of our team ;-) next week we will show more.