Introducing ThePuristS Edition #1

Haldimann H1 Flying Central Tourbillon,

December, 2005

Beat (Bay-aht) Haldimann has honored us, ThePuristS' Community, by introducing a special variant of his highly regarded H1 Flying Central Tourbillon.

The original H1 already offered many unique features, including a proprietary pallet design that was designed and created by Mr. Haldimann himself, as well as an ingenious three barrel design that results in a very flat torque curve, for extremely stable and reliable timekeeping. It also incorporates several other specifications and designs that make this central flying tourbillon unlike any other. It is a true Master Watchmaker's Creation, one that is owned by no less a horological genius than Dr. Ludwig Oechslin. Even Martin Wehrli, a Director in Audemars Piguet, which owns Renaud & Papi, and someone who can be a bit jaded and cynical about timepieces and the industry, having seen and done it all in high horology over the past 30 plus years, had nothing but praise for the design and execution.

What makes ThePuristS Edition special for our community is that Mr. Haldimann was kind enough to incorporate some design suggestions I made to him, and was enough of a gentleman to offer to name the new model resulting, after our community.

click here for a short .wmv video - about 2mb file

There are many technical innovations which will be elaborated on in the coming days, but just the annular rings to run the hands are possibly as complicated as most complete gear trains in other watches.

Note that this is from an unfinished prototype.
Beat also makes his own ultra light tourbillon cage, escape wheel, and custom designed pallet.

The tourbillon cage is the lightest of its type, weighing less than four Swiss stamps.
Yet, it incorporates the largest balance wheel ever used in a wristwatch - 14.14mm!
This is significant because among watchmakers that believe tourbillons can in fact help
with timekeeping reliability, many believe that a large balance is crucial to achieve this.

It was a very special feeling to be able to hold the tourbillon complete in one's hand.

(Note on the following paragraph - this is NOT an enamel or porcelain dial. It is a sandwich dial - a dial made up of two different plates, with engraved cut outs from the top dial to allow the contrasting lower dial to show through, in this case the hour indices. In this way, two solid metal disks can be used, with stable finishes that are impervious to fading or discoloration. Enamel and porcelain are stable finishes as well, but both are very fragile, and vulnerable to cracking and other physical damage. TM)

He uses a two solid piece sandwich dial, designed for permanence - the goal was to achieve the stability of enamel without the fragility of that medium. Both pieces of the dial sandwich are solid massive metal plates with a very stable finish.

Even the deployant buckle design is unique, and milled from 30grams of solid platinum (in the platinum version) One of the owners of the first four pre-series pieces, whose wrist is particularly small and difficult to fit, has commented how comfortable and well fitting the deployant is. (he was very worried about fit, while waiting for the finish and delivery of the first four pieces, a one year wait!)

(more pictures to come)

He tunes the escapement and case design to approximate the "voice" of a classic pocketwatch, and he believes in the mythical "singing Breguet over coil" (the lyre shaped tourbillon cage is an homage to this)

The preliminary reports from actual daily wear are starting to come in, and the on wrist running rate has been pretty spectacular...more updates to come.

Beat and I have been working on this special model for nearly two years now, and like proud new fathers, we are both ecstatic with the results.

The first four pre-series pieces, which were pre-ordered to sponsor the creation of the line, are all in private hands already, and the last I heard, all four owners have been walking around with this silly, goofy satisfied grin on their faces, and a microcosm of the pulsing of the universe on their wrists.

These four pieces, all variants of No. 00, feature a special dial (I'll not spoil the fun of trying to figure it out, if you ever have the rare chance to see one in person.)

Pieces from the naturally limited production will start with No. 05, and delivery after order and receipt of deposit takes approximately 1 year (which may increase as back orders start to build up.)

ThePuristS Edition Haldimann H1 Flying Central Tourbillon should be ordered directly from Beat Haldimann's Atelier. I am happy to assist in contacting Mr. Haldimann, but will not be directly involved in the final transaction, which will be between the new owner and Mr. Haldimann directly.

Yep, all in all a pretty special piece, one I am very proud of...


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