While most were at home indulging in holiday delicacies the team here at Horage and THE Plus have been relentless in the quest to finish the Tourbillon 1.
"Rolling up the sleeves”, is an understatement, but we are determined to replace the prototype in this image with the new and improved 100% in-house movement.
Just prior to ringing in the New Year the first movement was 100% complete. The movement has been undergoing numerous tests and further points of optimization have been found and are being addressed. Movement making on paper/computer is step one, the second step is to assemble the physical movement and do a thorough assessment. There are always areas of improvement and our Tourbillon project is no exception. After all, if it was easy, everyone would be doing it and from the last two hundred years of tourbillon development one can conclude that it definitely isn’t easy. Luckily our team are of the limited few with the knowledge and ability to attempt such an undertaking.
A movement nearing completion around mid-December. Two weeks later and it would be complete.
It goes without saying that there are external challenges at play. We are not immune to COVID-19 and must follow suit with our employees health and government guidelines. Currently our production capacity has been reduced significantly due to measures needed to safeguard our employees and their families. For the next two weeks we are limited to one individual assembling whilst the remaining are working from home. This is not to say production is still not moving along, we are making progress, but production has slowed from our estimated rate.
Silvan is hands on and overseeing each and every process.
Upper bridge of the Tourbillon cage awaiting the addition of a luminous marker.
When things get specialized you won’t find the tool at the local watchmaker supply store. Developing something truly new means you have to make the tools yourself. Here is a luminous setting tool our team developed to set the Swiss Super LumiNova in the seconds indicator.
Marcella hand brushing each and every tourbillon bridge along with overseeing the decoration of each component before it is finished.
COVID restrictions means the team is making photos and videos on their own. However, it doesn’t matter what you photograph these blue bridges with, they simply look stunning!
On the positive side, all bridges have been machined, decorated and have received their colour treatment. Silvan has just completed all jewel setting steps and is preparing for next steps in assembly, he is alone in the facility with a masked Andi popping in from time to time to document his updates.
Silvan sets each jewel in the plate then they are precision set by the Axnum machine.
Silvan’s hair is greying with each day that passes. Here is checking the jewel setting to ensure its within tolerance.
Our team has been working with a few different versions of the main barrel and tourbillon cage to assess what bears the best results. After analyzing the data they recently decided to further optimize the main barrel and a few titanium components within the tourbillon cage. The power reserve as estimated has been achieved, but as with any good engineering exercise the team is determined to push the boundaries of possibility a little further for the benefit of all.
DLC coated main barrel is receiving a little further optimization to ensure the longest possible power reserve.
Silicon escapement wafer with Tourbillon 1 anchors ready for assembly.
Components, cases, and hands are all in-house and ready for assembly. Once testing of the movement and final optimization is complete final assembly will begin.
It feels a lot like a race, but we are not aiming to finish in the best possible time, we are aiming to finish with the best possible product. After all precision and quality are what one expects from a tourbillon and we are sure that if we deliver on our promised result that the time you spend with your tourbillon will be well worth the wait.
Lenny at work with a careful eye on movement precision.
We had a lot of luck on our side since taking this project completely in-house and turning it around in record time, but winter is rearing hits ugly head. At the current moment we anticipate a few weeks delay which means late February we will start to deliver the Tourbillon 1 watches.
Our hopes are that you all understand the challenges we have been faced with and understand that we are still striving for our original estimated timeline. If required we will take that extra few weeks to ensure the Tourbillon 1 receives the most care and attention and ultimately you receive a watch that exceeds expectations.
Till next time…