NEWS : Vianney Halter returns with the Deep Space Tourbillon

VH-DST_Tourbillon

As I write this I am watching an old episode of ‘Star Trek : Deep Space Nine’ on Australian free to air tv – yes, truly. Major Kira has discovered that the Bajoran Central Archives show her as having been in a Cardassian prison, whilst she has no memory of this. I won’t reveal what happens…

After a break of seven years Vianney Halter has come back with a new model, influenced by watching this series. He asked himself “what is the ultimate time instrument that a human being shall take with him for his trip in outer space?”

In the Star Trek universe(s), things are different, and Vianney Halter sought inspiration from the idea of spacecraft which are sent to explore unknown parts, to seek out new civilisations. His new Deep Space triple axis central Tourbillon is, for him, a watch that reflects this because of its technical challenges and its aesthetic sensibility.

A rather pronounced sapphire anti-reflective dome sits above a 46mm (10mm thick) round titanium case. Underneath at the centre of the watch is a huge triple axis tourbillon, surrounded by a index ring with ‘chemin de fer’. Two curved blued steel hands lean out of the watch periphery and spread towards the tourbillon.

To the core of this piece, the triple axis tourbillon is inside a structure that rotates in 6 min around a second axis perpendicular to the one of the tourbillon cage. The whole set is suspended in a cradle that turns in the plane of the watch mainplate in 30 min – the 3rd axis. As Vianney Halter puts it, “each dimension (axis) has its own rhythm, its own time”. Reaching over this are blued curved hands.

This is a seriously cool watch design-wise with a serious amount of technical ‘boldly go’ to it as well. It has been a long time between watches, but this re-affirms Vianney Halter’s place as one of the most interesting watchmakers around.

The Deep Space Tourbillon forms part of the Halter Tempus collection and is priced at CHF 180,000 (w/o taxes).

When awarded the 2011 prize for Best Watchmaker-Designer at Le Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève Vianney Halter said “Watchmaking is an exploration journey” – looking back, perhaps this was a hint of the new Deep Space Nine.



Categories: News, Vianney Halter, Watch Profile, watches, Watchmaking

8 replies

  1. Even the stock photos do not do justice to the watch (having had the privilege to strap on the prototype for 20 minutes earlier this year). It is utterly, utterly mesmerising, in a way that so few other watches – even other multi-axis tourbillons – are. It is so cool that Jeremy Clarkson would put it in the freezer along with the Aston Martin DBS and Kristin Scott-Thomas. It is at least as avant-garde and ‘technical’ as any GF and it makes the watches of the multi-axis kings, including Prescher, seem ordinary by comparison. Being able to tell the time with it is simply an added bonus. In that regard, perhaps its only peer is the Haldimann H8 ‘Sculptura’.

    Who would have thought that we might finally be talking of CHF180,000 (plus taxes) as seemingly a bargain? Do not go near this watch if you value your credit rating!

    Cheers,
    pplater.

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    • Alas I was not fortunate enough to view a prototype but if the opportunity presents itself to see the finished product, it will be grabbed with both hands. That the stock photos do not do it justice…food for thought.

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  2. you watch star trek?

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  3. @pplater – how does the domed crystal look/feel/sit on the wrist?

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    • Hello Sam.

      The domed crystal goes a significant way to ‘making’ the whole watch. Rarely do we see such exaggerated domes, of course: the Busser LM1 springs to mind, as do the bubble on the Zenith “Christophe Colomb” [?] and the character Corum watches. If you want to buy into the whole VH ‘story’ for this watch, you could think of it as the nosecone of your spaceship, or a viewing portal, or the visor to your space helmet. More pragmatically, it has the ‘feel’ of a bell cover, such as watchmakers use to keep dust off parts, or clockmakers use to encase tall skeletal pieces. It gives the tourbillon its own little ‘biosphere’, adding both to the sense that it is almost a living breathing thing and also adding to the sense of voyeurism – this is something which, primarily, you are drawn to watch [no pun intended] as it goes innocently and methodically about its business.

      One gets the impression that it could be a fraction less pronounced: the high point of the tourbilllon cage trajectory doesn’t seem to require as much clearance as it has. Other than that, though, the dimension is a direct function of the diameter of the case (dictated by the hands external to the movement) and the three dimensionality of the tourbillon cage.

      Sure, it wears big. You can take this as read, however: you won’t give it a second’s thought once it’s strapped on, and you’ll make every necessary adjustment to your thinking and your wardrobe to keep it on.

      Cheers,
      pplater

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  4. That is great! Thanks for the detailed answer!

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  5. I find this piece rather interesting!

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