The Gagarin Tourbillon Watch

The Gagarin Tourbillon Watch

The Gagarin Tourbillon Watch   watch releases

Ironically enough I was just thinking about BLU, and what ever happened to it? The cool high-end brand did some neat stuff with dials, but I haven't heard anything about them in at least a year or two. Well now I know. BLU's Bernhard Lederer is (BLU = Bernhard Lederer Universe) is on to other projects, and this is it - The Gagarin Tourbillon.

To remind you, I last wrote about BLU here (about two years ago). Anyhow, on to The Gagarin Tourbillon. Yes, this watch is an homage to Yuri Gagarin, the first man in space. He was blasted into orbit via the Russian Vostok-1 rocket (Vostok is also the name of a watch brand but little coincidence!), and then orbited around a bit before coming back down. The Gagarin Tourbillon tries to memorialize this with a tourbillon that acts as a satellite around the dial of the watch. It travels over city names and places like the original satellite did. The tourbillon is a one minute tourbillon, and it revolves around the dial once each 108 minutes. Why 108 minutes? Because I think that is how long he was up there.

The Gagarin Tourbillon Watch   watch releases

The Gagarin Tourbillon Watch   watch releases

The watch dial is meant to look more like a navigational instrument. In fact, this watch is less a watch and more a testament to Yuri's trip. The manually wound movement was entirely developed by Bernhard Lederer in Switzerland, though this is a piece meant to appeal mostly to the Russian market. Around the tourbillon cage is spelled VOSTOK, and the swoopy bridge is influenced by a memorial statue in Russia. The movement has 264 parts and has the time and tourbillon. It has three mainspring barrels and 80 hours of power reserve. Through the back of the watch you can see the rotating of the satellite as it moves.

The Gagarin Tourbillon Watch   watch releases

The Gagarin Tourbillon Watch   watch releases

When looking at the watch the most noteworthy element is the large monocle style magnifying glass on the case. The loupe style magnifier raises and lowers and is used to look more closely at the tourbillon. I am not sure if it is totally necessary, but it is fun. It also makes you wonder "what is going on here" when you notice the watch for the first time.

Do yourself a favor and check out the video to understand the watch in action. Words alone aren't enough to explain Mr. Gagarin the timepiece. The case is in all 950 platinum - you know just like the satellite, not. Come on, we are talking about luxury here people. The case is 42mm wide by 15mm thick. With the magnifying glass the watch is about 46.5mm wide, and the sapphire crystal is highly domed. It is all attached to a black alligator strap with a platinum buckle. Not sure about price but it won't be cheap. Further, The Gagarin Tourbillon watch will be part of a limited edition of 50 pieces.

12 comments
Ivan Y
Ivan Y

Ariel -- you published the article one day too soon! The 50th anniversary of the flight is on the 12th :) Speaking of which, I highly encourage everyone to check out First Orbit - a recreation of Gagarin's flight shot from ISS -- http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=RKs6ikmrLgg

Back to the watch -- I have no doubt they will be able to sell all 50 pieces in no time. Heck, I'm not even a Russian millionaire but want one very badly.

A few things to note:
- the magnifying glass mimics a window in Gagarin's capsule; combined with place names on the dial it's designed to signify Gagarin's view of the planet.
- tourbillon is suspended by a bridge that takes its inspiration from a huge (25 m/82 ft) commemorative statue at Gagarin's landing site.
- Chistopol watch factory started using Vostok (meaning, "east") brand name is honor of Gagarin's flight; similarly, brand names Poljot ("flight") and Raketa ("rocket") were came about because of space topics.

Anyhow, awesome watch that makes me wish I were a few millions richer :)

Kris C
Kris C

Pretty neat, but I hope the magnifying glass thing is detachable - it's a fun thing to have for showing off, but would be odd for regular wearing. Because a platinum-cased tourbillon embodies "daily wearer" to me like nothing else.

That is one hell of a crystal; the watch must be as high as it is wide. A wrist biodome.

Anyway, very interesting, and unique watch. My first impression was "what the heck is this - those hands are too small, this is awful", but twelling the time is not what this is all about, so whatever. I appreciate the logo'd tourbillon, with the (enamel?)-filled letters, and the really cool bridge.

Ulysses
Ulysses

Gorgeous watch. The lens is distracting though.

Dangeruss
Dangeruss

Woah - that's wild! It has some really interesting design solutions, perhaps not the best ones for a wristwatch, but as a coffee table device at about 2x this size, it would be neat.

Mr. Champ
Mr. Champ

This watch is for Russians and Arabs with too much money. What a terrible watch.

C.J.
C.J.

I've watched the video about 7 or 8 times now. The watch is indescribably captivating.

Ivan Y
Ivan Y

@Ariel - you're welcome!

@ Kris C - I'm well aware of overabundance of wealth in Moscow; my point was that intended audience is someone with a seven-figure bank account or more.

Kris C
Kris C

Russian millionaire? Moscow alone is reported to have over 50 Billionaires as residents, so trust that this will sell very efficiently.

The stars were aligned in making and releasing this watch at this time. No pun intended.

admin
admin

Thanks for the additional info Ivan - good stuff.

gougy
gougy

This Watch is like a beautiful skulpture. Congrats to all the owners.

admin
admin

Yea, they did a good job with the video. I agree.

Trackbacks

  1. [...] The movement of the LM1 is where MB&F wants you to focus most of your attention. The design of the movement was conceived by master watch movement architect Jean-François Mojon and his team. He worked closely with MB&F to bring to life the idea of having a large prominent balance wheel inspired by the golden-age of pocket watches. The balance wheel not only looks unique but is large being 14mm wide and running at the hypnotic rate of 18,000 bph. This slower rate allows you to really see it moving more clearly and appreciate the movement of the wheel on your wrist at all time. The balance wheel and escapement mechanism are mounted on two arches and use a Breguet overcoil and special regulation screws unique to the LM1 watch. While a different concept all together, the case and balance wheel design of the LM1 remind me of Bernhard Lederer's Gagarin Tourbillon watch. [...]