CELSIUS X VI II MICRO-MECHANICAL REMONTAGE PAPILLON TOURBILLON MOBILE PHONE - APPROX $275,000 EACH
Published: March 11,
2010 | 04:46
If you won't be in Switzerland next week for the Baselworld watch fair for the world's first public viewing, don't worry, The Watchismo Times has an exclusive sneak peek of this über-gadget, the CELSIUS X VI II micro-mechanical tourbillon cell phone!
Celsius is a French company founded in 2006 by four young entrepreneurs. In March 2010, after three years of research and development with icons like Richard Mille and controversial movement maker "Confrerie Horlogere Hublot" (formerly BNB Concept), Celsius X VI II are launching a range of high-end micromechanical phones featuring some exceptional patented mechanical complications.
The first creation, a cell phone merged with a tourbillion watch featuring a patented Remontage Papillon mechanism, heralds a new generation of objects with high emotional value. CELSIUS X VI II reinvents micro-mechanical applications to humanize the future of communication: pushing the boundaries of established watchmaking, each creation will be a significant step towards the dream of a completely mechanical mobile phone: a phone in which every function will operate mechanically, solely through human energy.
Celsius X VI II has developed its first papillon item as an accessory for the contemporary aesthete. The successive design sketches reveal a quest for perfect elegant - skilfully contoured lines, fine materials and subtle details - through a functionalist approach, beauty without excess. The quality of the manufacture hints at a fine watchmaking influence. The pieces of the case are of the best workmanship, and most of the roughly 547 mechanical components are hand-finished. The aesthetic design plays with transparency to reveal the magic of the technology, to an even greater extent than would be allowed by the butterfly design alone.
The fact nonetheless remains that, tucked away inside its hinge, the item conceals a patented system that is activated when the wings are unfolded. Based on complex micromechanics, this innovation has its name - "Remontage Papillon" (butterfly rewinding) - spelled out on the top wing. Its presence has much to do with making this creation a favorite among enlightened enthusiasts. This ultimate appeal is an asset that opens up new horizons, as Celsius X VI II begins to explore mechanical functions that will revolutionize the world of communications, things never before seen or heard that in the future will become a major sector of the prestige market.
Celsius X VI II is fundamentally an innovative brand that combines mobile telephony with prestige watchmaking in creating nomadic objets d'art.
A dream that embraces a concept that is still impossible today but may one day come true: an entirely mechanical cellphone!
It will be unveiled next week at Baselworld 2010, starting price will approximately €200,000 ($275,000)
By now, many are aware of BNB Concept and their work – after all, it was only a matter of time before people started to wonder where the likes of Romain Jerome, De Witt, Hublot, Concord, Jacob & Co. and Bell & Ross acquired their blisteringly innovative tourbillons all of a sudden. Jorg Hysek’s HD3 visionaries were the only ones to freely admit the origins of their gothic-tech complications from the start, but once people started spotting BNB’s trademark spiral-spoked escape wheel all over the place, the cat was out of the bag. Once was a time when people were reluctant to reveal the minds behind their rent-a-calibres – now everyone's falling over themselves to get a piece of the BNB action and the instant provenance it brings. As BNB attests:
“BNB wishes not to become a new watch brand, but rather a label of quality. Should BNB create its own brand, it would inevitably become a competitor to its customers.”
Unlike Renaud & Papi's selective austerity or Christophe Claret's mercenary dictatorship, BNB is a genuinely cool, relaxed community of eager young things with genuinely new ideas about how watches should work – with no less than five facilities in Duillier, Crans-près-Céligny, La Vallée de Joux, La Chaux-de-Fonds and Nyon at their disposal, all crammed full of the latest tools, CNC machines, electroplating and engraving machines, and rank-upon-rank of sterile assembly lines. What’s doubly impressive about BNB is that they make complete WATCHES for their 25-or-so clients – not just the multi-plane/dual-axis tourbillon movements they’re famous for. For a five-year-old outfit, that’s serious progress.
Members of the Confrérie Horlogere 2008-2009 and Mathias Buttet (CEO and founder BNB Concept ; founder Confrérie Horlogère).
From the left: David Rodriguez, Ranieri Illicher, Clara Bise, Mathias Buttet, Ken Koshiyama, Sabitry Montandon, Gabriel Salgado-de Arce, Brigitte Carneiro.
It was therefore inevitable, despite the abovementioned pledge, that as a fully verticalized entity, BNB would eventually indulge in its own vanity projects – albeit under an alternative banner, "Confrérie Horlogère". (Perhaps reminiscent of Robert Greubel and Stephen Forsey’s Complitime factory, which bankrolled proceedings before they unleashed their eponymous double tourbillon).
Confrérie Horlogère is a bit Opus, a bit Maitres du Temps, a bit Time Aeon – only the emphasis is on nurturing youngsters with ideas beyond their usual means. And in this first year, no less than seven talents and four almost-complete watches have been put on pedestals by BNB’s effusive CEO Matthias Buttet (one of the "B"s in BNB - the others being Barbasini and Navas, all of them formerly of Franck Muller’s Watchland - Buttet as a micro-technical engineer, Navas and Barbasini as prototypists).
In Buttet’s words:
“The Confrérie Horlogère, far from being a product, is an ambitious project to promote such values as work, creativeness, craftsmanship, community spirit, respect and above all freedom of women and men moved by the will to express themselves through excellence, as well as unexpected design.”
And I’m pleased to report that every one of Buttet’s fresh-faced prodigies have come up with equally amazing movements and watches... It really is quite incredible to see such a tranche of brilliance emerge all at once.
Every year, Confrérie Horlogère will select a maximum of 7 “graduates” to develop their own watch, produced on a very small-scale – no more than 10 pieces each. And unlike many flash-in-the-pan pantomime projects, which run the danger of costing more to fix and service over a lifetime than the watch itself (if indeed you find a capable-enough and willing watchmaker in the first place, once the flash-in-the-pan brand has gone belly-up) the CH timepieces will benefit from a lifetime’s guarantee. Buttet trusts his kids that much.
This year’s 7 “companions” are:
1. David Rodriguez, a Peruvian watchmaker, whose “la Résilience” tourbillon demonstrates sublimely anarchic finishing with Punk overtones that actually reveal through its scars and stitching the difficulties Rodriguez faced as an abused orphan on crutches who, finally, found in Switzerland and watchmaking a refuge. Metaphorically biographical watchmaking – surely a world first?
2. Brigitte Carneiro, watchmaker, with “la Face Cachée”
la Face Cachée
3. Ken Koshiyama, watchmaker, with “Racines japonaises”
4. Ranieri Illicher, watchmaker, whose la Passion à l’italienne micro-brand debuts with the “Bel Canto” minute repeater tourbillon – a chiming watch literally suspended in a bell, which also serves as the watch case – why didn’t anyone think of this before?!
Bel Canto Minute Repeater (thanks to DonCorson Watchprosite.com)
5. Sabitry Montandon, watchmaker
6. Clara Bise, watchmaker
7. Gabriel Salgado de Arce, engraver and chaser of watch components, whose coral reef ImmenSEAty just defies all watch-finishing convention. Words can’t do this justice.
8. An eighth Companion has already been selected for the year 2009- 2010. His name is Jérôme Siegrist, a watchmaker who is already involved in an ambitious project that focuses on recreating and scaling down to wristwatch dimensions an extremely complex mechanism built, anachronistically, two centuries B.C. and salvaged from a shipwreck in 1901. Antikythera will be presented by the end of 2009, but you can get an inkling of what to expect-->here.
The ANTIKYTHERA mechanism wristwatch concept
Beside these individual “Complications” watches, the Companions will all be collaborating on joint Confrerie Horlogère projects, either as small-series “Classiques” or one-off “Masters” pieces. So far, there’s Masters Clef du Temps – an ornately skeletonised vertical tourbillon movement (presumably derived from the one developed for Concord, but as usual completely original and unlike anything seen before) – and Classiques Chronographe Tourbillon Pulsion 1 (I’ve run out of superlatives….)
The Confrérie Horlogère’s Only Watch 09 (by BNB Concept) is “La Clef du Temps” (the Key to Time) – a watch created by Buttet in collaboration with the brand’s R&D team. It is the first timepiece created in the “Les Masters” collection. It is a working prototype of a sophisticated timepiece called “La Clef du Temps”, which will be produced in small series after the Only Watch 09 auction. It is an innovative tourbillon watch featuring a hand-wound mechanical movement with hour and minute indications, a 3-day power reserve indication (PRI) in a 120° sectoral indicator at 8 o’clock and retrograde running seconds at 4 o’clock. The retrograde seconds of 0, 30, 60 depict the rhythm of time as it passes, and the power reserve reminds you when to rewind the piece as it makes its 0, ½, and 3-day passage. Like a body, if you don’t eat properly your body doesn’t function properly, and so with the watch if you forget to rewind it.
“The funds from Only Watch are there to indirectly help the children suffering from Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy,” says Buttet. “So I thought: what is it that everyone hopes for? Everyone hopes that these children will live longer than expected. I wanted this watch to express this dilemma.”
Buttet wanted the piece to convey two very important and thought-provoking concepts associated with being a parent: Firstly, the idea that however rich you are, true luxury lies in the freedom to manage one’s time as one wishes; secondly, the watch has a sophisticated mechanism that allows the wearer to “adjust the speed” of his personal time by adjusting a simple three-position lever that alters the running speed of the hours and the minutes.
Hence Position 1 the pace of time slows by half so that the true value of one hour is displayed as a half-hour on the dial. Position 2 the pace of time stays at true/standard time. Position 3 the pace of time runs at double speed so a true/standard half-hour becomes a full hour on the dial of the watch.
As Buttet says, “This way, pleasant moments can be made to last twice as long while unpleasant ones can be shortened by half while the ability to ‘return’ to true time is always there.” The watch’s extremely sophisticated mechanism allows the watch’s time indications to remain in positions 1 or 3 as long as its wearer wishes, since a simple turn of the lever to position 2 (the watch’s memory) resets the hour and the minute hand to the real time of day.
As Buttet sees it, it’s his way of extracting some form of balance from a seemingly unjust world that makes us feel that when life is good, time flies, but it slows to a crawl during the rough patches. As with a child with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy, the pleasure of the good times passes all too fast and the painful moments all too slow.
The movement is shaped like a stylized human brain because, according to Mathias Buttet, “Time is a sort of “state of mind” which is the result of the will of any single person. Not to have time to do something is, at the end, a personal decision and it is not at all something imposed by someone else. Every person decides if he or she wants to have the time to do or not to do something.” Moreover he adds “If you look at the figures on the dial you will see that they are mirror images of themselves. Some numbers are reflected face-to-face, showing the moments that are the result of the one’s will; others are reflected back-to-back: in this case, it is fate that controls your life.”
The futuristic case is shaped like a spaceship – ever searching for a better life, and the strap is composed of four rubber-clad steel strands. Lifetime warranty and the totally Swiss-made provenance of its every part and component are other characteristics of the “La Clef du Temps”.
UNVEILED - Concord C1 Quantum Gravity Aerial Bi-Axial Tourbillon with Liquid Vertical Power Reserve
Published: March 20,
2009 | 01:21
New Concord C1 Quantum Gravity Bi-Axial Tourbillon
A liquid featuring green phosphorescent nanoparticles fills a tube to assist in the reading of the power reserve
An aerial bi-axial tourbillon, vertical power reserve.
Designed and developed by C Lab Series, a special unit specialising in extreme watchmaking, the C1 QuantumGravity follows from last year's C1 Tourbillon Gravity.
Devised in Fall 2008, the C1 QuantumGravity was born after a 5-month incubation period; BNB Concept created the movement, while Studio Bellon finalized the design.
C1 Movement by BNB Concept
An aerial bi-axial tourbillon mechanism. A vertical power reserve. Individualist seconds. A stripped-down dial and spectacular volumes: the latest specimen from the C Lab Series defies all theories. Even better, it creates its own rules: emptiness is its core material, engineering its constancy; chemistry a dare and transparency a must.
Designed and developed by the C Lab Series, the C1 QuantumGravity symbolizes unrestricted and unconstrained time, where only impulse and intuition prevail. A special unit dedicated to extreme watchmaking, the C Lab Series has a mission: to push the boundaries of mechanical watch making by introducing it to new modes of expression. Last year, the C1 Tourbillon Gravity timepiece inaugurated a new watchmaking era, where time liberates itself without reserve.
In 2009, the C Lab Series is expanding this watchmaking metamorphosis to embrace new horizons. Initially devised in the fall of 2008, the C1 QuantumGravity was born after a 5-month incubation period, nurtured by the will and tireless energy of a team that works on instinct alone. BNB Concept was entrusted with the creation of the movement, while Studio Bellon finalized the design.
The result: a new species of watch that lives time as if it were an experiment and space, a source of stimulation. The creation of the C1 QuantumGravity constitutes a provocative act in itself, while its construction is an exploration carried out at the brink of excess and defiance.
A perpendicular power reserve
First equation: Power reserve = verticality + fluidity
A cylindrical piston. A vertical back-and-forth movement. Liquid. These were the three essential elements combined by the C Lab Series to create this astounding equation involving mechanics and chemistry.
Traditional design and display codes have been demolished to make way for a mobile glass column, located between 12 and 1 o’clock, which serves as the power reserve with a vertical indicator. On the chemistry side of things, a liquid featuring green phosphorescent nanoparticles fills a tube to assist in the reading. Meanwhile, on the mechanical side, this energy gauge operates perpendicularly to the caliber, rising up and down from its base to signal the remaining energy of the movement in relation to its available three-day power reserve. Its graduated outline corresponds to level indicators, which are secured to the inner surface of the watch.
A stayed bi-axial tourbillon
Second equation: Tourbillon = suspension + axes2
Cables. A bi-axial movement. A lateral position. This collection of challenges had to be taken on to erect a spectacular tourbillon carriage.
Exported to the timepiece’s Western border and literally suspended, it rotates in a multi-dimensional manner on two axes – the main one being vertical. Its baffling structure has adopted the rigid and light elevation of cable-stayed bridges: one arm, extended from cables measuring just 2/10th of a mm-wide and fastened to the plate, maintains the carriage vertically and thus reinforces the impression of an independent arrangement. The suspension mechanism is supported by an elastomeric self-tensing system, which enables the cable/arm hinge to be precisely adjusted and the dilatation effects, compensated.
Third equation: Time = space
48.5 mm in diameter and 22 mm in depth: the appearance of a Titan, whose proportions reach a staggering 57.5 mm in breadth. Yet, the C1 QuantumGravity remains easily wearable thanks to its lugless design which ensures a perfect fit on the wrist. The use of Titanium for the case and Aluminum for the majority of movement components bestows a lightness on this timepiece that is as astounding as its size.
The build of this watch composed of 511 parts is also offset by an anatomy that privileges space and transparency: the case, whose machining required 400 hours of fine adjustment, can be reduced to a structure that is literally enveloped by 5 sapphire crystals. The mechanism is visible from all angles.
Although the case and movement share a genetic bond as they were made for each other, they are flanked by other elements that seem to operate self-sufficiently: to the West, a glass excrescence house the tourbillon carriage while to the East, two symmetrical casings house the winding mechanism and the seconds, at 2 o’clock and 4 o’clock respectively.
Concealed entirely, the imposing time-setting key can be ejected from its armor by simply pressing on the push button. As for the seconds, they evade the dial to nestle on the side of the case. They are engraved in luminescent orange against a black aluminum roll and can be seen through a window whose cut echoes the push button of the crown. A lateral sapphire crystal reveals the rotating orange blades of the seconds wheel.
The dial has also been contaminated by this urge for maximum openness. Although it strives to display the flight of hours and minutes, its focus is on empty spaces. The depth of its field of vision is dizzying, the feeling of levitation exhilarating. Deconstruction, a concept so dear to Concord, has been magnified: the C1 QuantumGravity apprehends time as a perspective, using emptiness as a material on which time features are grafted.
Under the impressive sapphire crystal, the panorama, amplified to its utmost, outlines time that has almost been dematerialized. And despite the exuding madness, legibility has remained at the core of its construction. Just like a suspended glass saucer, the off-centered hour-circle between 3 and 4 o’clock dresses a part of the cavity at the bottom of which the movement is supported. A spider-like structure acts as a scaffold under the transparent disc punctuated by the luminescent orange markers. The 6.5 mm high hand-fitting is a technical prowess in itself and adds to the feeling of dizziness.
Wedged at the bottom of the abyss, the mechanical manually wound movement choreographs time with precision. An officer-style case-back which appears as an air-lock at every opportunity reveals the geometric circuit, the right-angled skeletonized bridges, the gear-trains that transmit energy to the tourbillon carriage and the cable adjustment. The finishing touches highlight an industrial design that is both methodical and futuristic: a black aluminum plate against anthracite aluminum bridges, rubies against polished steel screws… They embody the spirit of a watch made with high-tech materials, glass, emptiness and colored luminescent materials.
The C1 QuantumGravity defends time that is inexorably linked to space. Prophetic, its construction created in record time propels Concord into a parallel world where intuition is a favored ally and its design and mechanics a harbinger for the future of watchmaking. An addiction to breaking established codes and extrapolating underlies Concord’s creative mettle. C1 QuantumGravity is its ultimate creation.
Go to www.c1-quantum.ch to find out about how this exceptional timepiece, in a limited edition of 10, was created.
Movement Mechanical manually wound movement Caliber Concord C104 21,600 vibrations per hour 3-day power reserve 42 Jewels
Functions Hours, minutes Roll of seconds external to the case Vertical power-reserve indicator Bi-axial tourbillon
Case Titanium case with white gold elements Dimensions: 48.5 mm in diameter – 22 mm in depth 5 sapphire crystals See through officer-style hinged case back
Dial Aerial skeletonized dial
Strap Black vulcanized rubber fixed to the case with 4 screws
Developed with the custom tourbillon masterminds of BNB Concept, the brand Concord will be unveiling their C1 Gravity Tourbillon this April. Featuring a vertically set tourbillon visible from the side of the watch as shown here. More to come soon...
BNB helped develop the HD3 Vulcania, Hublot Bigger Bang, and Bell & Ross BR 01 Grand Complication to name a few. Press release; In April 2008, Concord is renewing ties with this legacy and these origins, while remaining true to its own identity by taking a sharp new turn in both technical and aesthetic terms. The world-first C1 Tourbillon Gravity will be an invitation to ponder the history of time, while simultaneously propelling Concord into the modern age of innovation and a firmly futuristic approach. This stupefying timepiece will be equipped with a unique and complex movement based on an orthogonal mechanical concept. The vertical position of the tourbillon – the only justifiable one for a wristwatch – enables it to serve its initial and primary function: namely to compensate for the effects of gravity in a vertical position. But Concord’s creativity does not stop there. An unprecedented construction principle enables it to display a tourbillon carriage on the fringes of the actual body of the watch. Independent and apparently detached from the mechanism, it is housed outside of both the dial and the case. This feat will give watchmakers more space to create other complications “inside” the watch itself…