March 25, 2019
by Rob Nudds
Okay, Angelus, you have my attention. This skeletonized, jagged-black effort is ticking a lot of boxes for me right off the bat. But is the Angelus U50 Diver Tourbillon Black Edition watch really all that? It certainly came to the right place if it was looking for an easy ride.
Full disclosure: I love dive watches and double crowns. I don’t want to. I never asked to be this way. Some of our community would regard my tastes as youthful or unrefined because I spend more time talking about utilitarian tool watches than I do waxing lyrical over the precious-metal masterpieces of the finest, most respected watchmakers in the world. But here’s why I love that sector of the market: It’s generally more accessible and designed for real people to use in real-world situations. I would love a Patek Philippe but it would not be the constant companion to me that a good solid dive/tool watch would be on a daily basis. For that reason, I believe there’s a great deal of refinement necessary for designers to create an appealing tool. These designs do not drop out of the air fully formed, even if your brand name does sound like it fell from heaven.
Model: U50 Diver Tourbillon Black Edition
Dimensions: 46mm × 12.47mm
Water Resistance: 300 meters
Case Material: Grade 5 titanium
Crystal/Lens: Sapphire crystal
Power Reserve: 55 hours
Strap/Bracelet: Material black-rubber embossed with Angelus logo and fastened by a pin buckle in DLC-coated grade 5 titanium
Price & Availability: CHF 30’750 before tax, limited to 25 pieces
This watch is powered by the caliber A-300, which is a mechanical hand-wound movement that boasts a one-minute flying tourbillon. This movement was developed from the ground up as a skeletonized piece, rather than simply modifying an exciting movement. It has 23 jewels, an operating speed of 28,800vph, and a power reserve of 55 hours. The bridges and plates are decorated with snailing and chamfering and coated with black DLC. The wheels bear Angelus’ signature six-spoke design.
The case of the Angelus U50 Diver Tourbillon Black Edition is grade 5 titanium with a black DLC coating. It is 46mm-wide and 12.47mm-thick. Both crowns are screw-down and signed with a deeply engraved Angelus logo. A box-shaped sapphire with anti-reflective coating on both sides provides excellent legibility and secures water resistance down to 300 meters.
The Angelus U50 Diver Tourbillon Black Edition confuses me. I really, really dig the aesthetic, and as I explained, I am all-in on the category this watch is supposed to be part of, but its high-level mechanics mean it feels half in, half out of the dive watch category. Weirdly, unlike many high-end, experimental “divers,” the Angelus U50 would actually pass the ISO6425, thanks to luminous hands, markers, and running indicator, as well as a 60-minute uni-directional timing bezel set by way of the second of the two screw-down crowns. I’m a little skeptical as to how one is supposed to identify which of those luminous markers is the one you should be reading your submersion time by, but I’m sure this would be more apparent during a hands-on review (which will, hopefully, come to pass). There’s even a helium valve at 9 o’clock securing this watch for use during saturation dives down to 300m. With just 25 pieces available, even the rather hefty price tag of CHF 30,750 shouldn’t be enough to dissuade a lucky few to dive in on this one. Learn more at angelus-watches.com.