Angelus U21 Tourbillon & U22 Tourbillon Watches

Angelus U21 Tourbillon & U22 Tourbillon Watches

Angelus U21 Tourbillon & U22 Tourbillon Watches Watch Releases

Since the brand's revival in 2015, Angelus has been producing highly engineered, avant-garde timepieces under the direction of La Joux-Perret in Switzerland. Their most notable releases, which include watches like the Angelus U10 Tourbillon Lumiere, fall under their product line known as the Urban Collection. For Baselworld 2017, Angelus will be marking a new chapter in this collection with the introduction of the Angelus U21 Tourbillon and U22 Tourbillon watches. Perhaps the most intriguing aspect of these two watches is the fact that they offer a fundamental and streamlined look that allows for the movement's key components to be viewed without obstruction. This is accomplished in part by the integration of a mainplate constructed entirely out of carbon fiber, which makes it appear as if it's part of the case itself.

Angelus U21 Tourbillon & U22 Tourbillon Watches Watch Releases

Much like the U20 Ultra-Skeleton Tourbillon watch that achieved a similar effect through the use of massive sapphire crystal pieces, the Angelus U21 Tourbillon and U22 Tourbillon watches are meant to provide exceptional visibility to the movement. The key with these two models, however, is the structural optimization and weight reduction Angelus is able to achieve through the use of specialized materials. It's a welcome effort, and any notable motion to reduce weight through the use of these materials is something I can appreciate.

The bezel-less cases on both the Angelus U21 Tourbillon and U22 Tourbillon watches measure in at 42mm in diameter, are 10.3mm thick, and deliver a vastly different look when compared to the Angelus models constructed before the brand's revival. Both models also feature sapphire crystal casebacks and offer 30 meters of water resistance. This approach in and of itself is yet another reason to love the Angelus of today, as they have chosen to exist and progress as an entirely new brand without feeling the need to shoehorn an endless barrage of tribute models from the Angelus of the past.

Angelus U21 Tourbillon & U22 Tourbillon Watches Watch Releases

The Angelus U21 Tourbillon watch features a case constructed entirely out of NPT carbon-fiber and 18-karat red gold - a look that goes well with the fully carbon fiber mainplate. To enhance this look, the skeletonized bridges along with a few other movement elements are also finished in 18-karat red gold and we can also find a variety of brushed and polished surfaces throughout. Same goes for the crown, which features a deep engraving of the Angelus logo.

Angelus U21 Tourbillon & U22 Tourbillon Watches Watch Releases

Angelus U21 Tourbillon & U22 Tourbillon Watches Watch Releases

The hands are Rhodium-treated with white Super-LumiNova and emit a deep blue hue for low-light visibility. They are finished in a completely different tone that helps differentiate them from the skeletonized movement components, and that's just another plus for legibility. Sapphire crystals can be found on either side of the watch and there's an application of anti-reflective coating on the domed dial side. All of these design touches serve to clearly present the centerpiece of the watch's design - the flying tourbillon assembly.

Angelus U21 Tourbillon & U22 Tourbillon Watches Watch Releases

Angelus U21 Tourbillon & U22 Tourbillon Watches Watch Releases

The Angelus U22 Tourbillon, on the other hand, takes weight reduction even further with a carbon-fiber and titanium case that weighs in at just 54 grams. With a slightly more racing-inspired look, the Angelus U22 features a set of red accents that move along the chapter and carry on below the Angelus "A" logo near the 4 o'clock mark. Unlike the U21, this variant features an application of red Super-LumiNova on the hands, something I found myself geeking out about perhaps a little too much upon viewing the images for the first time. While it may just be a matter of personal preference, I find that this kind of material and color combination works best with the carbon fiber mainplate and the visual prominence of the skeletonized movement.

Angelus U21 Tourbillon & U22 Tourbillon Watches Watch Releases

The Angelus A-250 caliber runs as the heart of both models. It operates at 3Hz, or 21,600vph, and delivers 90 hours of power reserve when fully wound. It's here where we see the careful dedication Angelus put into the movement as it features several components (like the tourbillon cage) that have been hand-chamfered and hand-polished meticulously. Additionally, four gold weights support the variable balance inertia wheel which Angelus claims has been designed for maximum aerodynamic performance and reduced air resistance. Finally, in an effort to support the movement visibility, the titanium mainspring barrel bridge is fitted directly to the carbon fiber mainplate through the use of slim pillars - a feature that I find enhances the three-dimensional effect the watches strive for.

Both the Angelus U21 Tourbillon and Angelus U22 Tourbillon watches come on black alligator leather straps with titanium inserts that serve as a nice match with the case finishes.

Angelus U21 Tourbillon & U22 Tourbillon Watches Watch Releases

As a brand that doesn't seem concerned with making modern pieces overtly tied to a previous legacy, I think that Angelus works well to symbolize true progression with their range of high-tech, contemporary timepieces. The same can be said for Arnold & Son, which is a sister brand under the same corporate umbrella and founded revived in modern times by the same man, Sebastien Chaulmontet. Both of these models exist as interesting developments for the Urban Collection, and as someone who has been hooked since the U10, I'll be excited to see what they do next in terms of material integration and movement architecture. The Angelus U21 Tourbillon and U22 Tourbillon watches are each limited to 18 pieces and priced at $52,200 and $37,995, respectively. angelus-watches.com

What do you think?
  • Interesting (6)
  • Thumbs up (2)
  • I love it! (1)
  • I want it! (1)
  • Classy (0)
  • SuperStrapper

    I think I want to say that these are my favourite (modern) Angelus watches, but still what I don’t like sticks our further than what I do.

    Not a fan of coloured gold, so I’ll scratch the 21 and focus on the 22. I really want to like this watch, but I can’t believe how turned off I am by the single purple jewel in the barrel assembly, basically clashing so hard against all those red accents. Couldn’t they have just used a red one? The carbon ‘mainplate’ is interesting, and shows off the movement nicely, but the pattern is odd.. At a glance when I saw the opening picture I thought maybe the mainplate had an anyone turned finish that was black rhodium plated, which would have been cool. But this npt process resulted in an odd pattern… but at least it is uniform.

    Also can’t say that I’m a fan of the ‘attached’ look the lugs have. Also, the movement view is a real letdown.

    • Yeah, the back is not the side to oggle on this one.

    • On my calibrated and profiled monitor (I need color accuracy in my work) the combination between all the jewels and the red accents looks fine. Balanced I might say.

      • SuperStrapper

        Well, on my home-tuned TRS 80 model 1 (I require blistering speed and undisputed excellence in my work) the combination looks like an oversight and the net result is a sore thumb.

        Stalemate?

        • 🙂 I guess the important remaining question is how does it look in real life, under different lighting conditions…

          • SuperStrapper

            Bingo

  • IG

    Nice movement. Luckily not a see-through to admire one’s hairy wrist.

    • And…and…(wait for it)…they are hand wound, ha ha! Cheers.

      • IG

        Great observation!

  • IanE

    ‘This approach in and of itself is yet another reason to love the Angelus
    of today, as they have chosen to exist and progress as an entirely new
    brand without feeling the need to shoehorn an endless barrage of tribute
    models from the Angelus of the past.’

    But why, then, use the Angelus brand name?

    • The first watch introduced (the U10) did incorporate a number of vintage Angelus styling idioms. Plus Sebastien Chaulmontet (then head of movement design at A&S and LJP) is a long time Angelus collector. So resurrecting the brand was a personal quest for him. One that he successfully “sold” to his company which acquired the Angelus name (at a very fair price as I understand it). After the U10, I see the subsqeuent Angelus references as clean slate designs – which can be a very good thing – not being overly tied to the past. My understanding is that Dr Chaulmontet is sadly no longer with A&S, LJP and Angelus. I think this will be a huge loss for those companies. Cheers.

  • Richard Baptist

    I would like to see something else besides a tourbillon. How about a hand wound chronograph? How about a hand wound central seconds chronograph with great movement finishing? Now that would be something you don’t see every day. I got it, you can do tourbillons, can we move on?

    • How about the same watches but just without a tourbillon? That would help the price a lot without a huge change in appearance and only a little less watch geek appeal.

      • Richard Baptist

        Agreed Mark, something without the tourbillon would be great. I just want to see something, anything different. I’m getting tired of the tourbillon, it’s almost become lazy.

        • Yeah, these watches are special enough that they don’t require a tourbillon in order to stand out and be up there on my grail list (the U20 in particular).

          • Richard Baptist

            Agreed, although back of the movement is plain, even though the action is on the front of the watch.

  • I like the styling elements (hour makers, lack of logo, etc.) on the U21 but I appreciate the light weight and price of the U22. If money were no object, I’d take the U21. Compared to the preceding U20 ($70K), the price of the U22 at $38K is a huge step in the right direction given market conditions in the watch world.

  • Timestandsstill

    Considering the price of most tourbillions and the pedigree, exclusivity and finishing of these pieces, pricing seems surprisingly reasonable.
    I’d like to see them close up in the metal.

  • ??????

    Angelus U40 is my absolute grail watch: it fascinates me how they managed to present a skeleton in such a harmonious (and legible) form. U21 & U22 seem to continue the idea, but, in my opinion, are more playful and at the same time a bit less appealing. I think that U21 may suffer from poor legibility compared to U40, but have to see some real life shots to decide. “Lugless case” effect seems to look odd here, can’t explain, its just a feeling. The lugs look a bit alien to the case. The carbon pattern looks a bit out of place as well. All in all, I find these great and appreciate what they managed to deliver considering the price, but I still like the U40 more.
    P.S. Regret to hear that Sebastien Chaulmontet may no longer be associated with Angelus and A&S. I really liked the direction these two brands were going to. Hope things won’t change too much.

  • Ulysses31

    The movement side is unstimulating and the lolly-stick-like elements on the front are so visually obtrusive, I just can’t get behind this design. I must be the only one who finds tourbillons completely tedious by now. It used to be something of an achievement, but like the second, third and fourth men to walk on the moon, nobody really cares.