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October 11, 2009

Confrérie Horlogère Unveils Three New Watches

By Pardhasaradhi Gonuguntla

Clef du Temps TourbillonBel Canto Tourbillon Minute RepeaterPulsion Tourbillon ChronographLaunched in April 2008, Confrérie Horlogère, the haute horlogerie brand founded by Mathias Buttet, introduced a new collection of watches. Backed by BNB Concept, the company was conceived as a venue where young, talented watchmakers are given free reign to design the watch of their dreams and bring that dream to fruition—three of which have already been produced.

The Clef du Temps Tourbillon, part of the “Mentors” collection, was designed by Buttet himself for the 2009 Only Watch auction, a biennial event sponsored by HSH Prince Albert II of Monaco to raise money for Duchene muscular dystrophy. Containing a unique mechanism that seems to slow the progression of time for those who want to make it last longer, the vertical tourbillon watch features a hand-wound mechanical movement and a three-position crown that allows the wearer, depending on the crown positioning, to slow time by half, double the pace of time or keep it in real time. The watch is limited to 24 pieces.

The Bel Canto Tourbillon Minute Repeater, the very first timepiece created and signed by Ranieri Illicher, is a highlight of the brand’s “ Confrères” collection. Its classic round case frames an original dial through which to admire the beat of a hand-wound mechanical movement providing a five-day power reserve. Equipped with a full set of cathedral chimes, his minute repeater tourbillon features two complications much prized by connoisseurs of fine horology, interpreted here in a distinctly contemporary style. Ranieri Illicher’s creation will be produced in a series of ten watches.

At the heart of its “Origines” Collection, the brand has placed the Pulsion Tourbillon Chronograph featuring a chronograph whose column wheel couples directly with the flying tourbillon carriage. This rare and precious timepiece comes with a hand-wound mechanical movement fitted with a flying tourbillon, i.e. with suspended carriage, at 6 o’clock. Its design is such that the carriage rotates without ball bearings and includes a Swiss lever escapement. The heart of the watch is housed in an ergonomically designed tonneau-shaped case in titanium. The design’s spherical sapphire crystal further underlines the designer’s intention to create a smoothly sensual and ergonomic timepiece.

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