Boutique Swiss watchmaker Sartory-Billard has announced its most ambitious watch collection yet with the Sartory-Billard Tourbillon SB06-12 and SB06-24 watches. The boutique company that only produces a small number of watches per year was challenged to create a beautiful and distinctive tourbillon-based timepiece by a private watch collector group called Chronotempvs. The funding helped Sartory-Billard develop a brand-new movement as well as dial components. Much of the development was in collaboration with the various companies and workshops of the esteemed Kari Voutilainen, and the resulting new models are truly stunning to behold. After delivering the exclusive Sartory-Billard watches for the Chronotempvs group, Sartory-Billard will begin to offer its new SB06-12 and SB06-24 watches to the general public, but at a very steady production of about 24 watches per year. Each of the watches can be personalized for specific owners with various colors, case materials, and other decorative features that are available. I met up with Armand Sartory to check out the new watches, so let’s take a closer look.

First, let me explain the difference between the two base models, the Sartory-Billard SB06-12 and SB06-24 Tourbillons. The difference is in the hands with the SB06-12 having a standard 12-hour format, while the SB06-24 has a single hand which makes a full rotation every 24 hours. The hour hand on both models is two-sided with a sun-style end on one side and a night-style hand on the other. The goal is to offer a sort of day/night indicator, which makes a bit more sense on the 24-hour model. As you can see, there is particular emphasis put on the hands, and there are options available that don’t include the two-sided style or the indicator ends. In fact, the traditional two-hand 12-hour models are available with some of the most beautiful hand-made watch hands I’ve ever seen. Produced from two parts and with a carefully hand-polished tip, the hands are inspired by African Maori spear tips and are fantastic (as well as legible) to look at.

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Overall, you can see immense detail in the dials, including the center part, which includes a variety of available decorative features ranging from guilloche engraving to complex patterns, such as the lunar surface dial which I photographed. These dials are also produced by Kari’s Comblemine company, a specialist in this area. Of course, there are other artisan shops and specialists whose work together results in this creation. What I appreciate about companies like Sartory-Billard is that it openly promotes its suppliers and partners, as opposed to some other brands who like to pretend they do everything in-house (a rare and usually unwise feat).

The Sartory-Billard SB06 case is 41mm wide and just 9.5mm thick. It wears on the smaller side thanks to the relatively narrow bezel and the shorter lugs that offer a lug-to-lug distance of 47mm. The case is water resistant to 50 meters and according to Sartory-Billard is available in platinum, gold, steel, tantalum, or titanium. I also want to commend the proper shape and treatment of the sapphire crystal which results in very little dial glare.

Entirely new for the watch and exclusive to Sartory-Billard is the in-house caliber SBTV01 manually-wound tourbillon-based mechanical movement. The 209-part movement features a 3Hz operating flying tourbillon with a long power reserve of 96 hours. In addition to the two types of gearing for the hands, the main distinguishing factor of the movement is the sheer beauty of it. Sapphire crystal bridges help offer a view of the machine guilloche engraved and colored mainplate. It is really one of the most stunning new tourbillon movements on the market and the combination of dimensionality, decoration, and style is enough to make most watch lovers smile immediately. All that I would have wanted as an addition is a power reserve indicator — probably placed on the movement side of the watch.

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According to Sartory-Billard, most of the pieces of the SB06-12 and SB06-24 watches will be produced on order, and as stated above, their capacity is only about two dozen watches per year. What isn’t immediately clear to me is why there is as much of a price difference between the SB06-12 and SB06-24 models when the main difference is just some gearing. The price for Sartory-Billard SB06-12 Tourbillon in steel or titanium is 88,000 Euros, and the price for the SB06-24 in titanium, steel, gold, or platinum is 96,000 Euros. Learn more at the Sartory-Billard website.

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