Cabestan SPECIALLY FOR THE EVENT
An extremely rare, collectible and highly unusual limited-edition tourbillon and fusee titanium wristwatch of Cabestan, the Swiss independent watch brand, established in 2003. Limited edition launched in 2010. Case in titanium, anatomically curved trapezoidal shape, 48 x 41 mm, 17mm thick, 5 shaped sapphire crystals including sapphire caseback, two crowns to wind watch and set time. Open-worked dial, indicators on drums. Caliber EC101.2, hand-wound, transverse scheme with gears, tourbillon and barrel mounted vertically, fusee and chain transmission, power reserve up to 72 hours. Functions – digital indications of time in hours, minutes, seconds and power reserve on rotating drums. Black leather strap, Cabestan titanium double folding clasp. Limited edition of 135 pieces.
The idea of the Cabestan watch with a vertical layout of the movement, a tourbillon, a fusee and an unusual winding and time setting system with a capstan (hence the origin of the name of the watch and the brand) belongs to Jean-François Ruchonnet, founder of the virtual imaging company DMC Group, as well as a notable designer and inventor.
The design of the watch was inspired by a yacht theme, and the capstan (winch), a technical device used on ships to tension cables, gave the name to the brand in the old French spelling of this term. The attractive features of the watch concept were the combination of the historical fusee and chain mechanism, which has existed since the dawn of mechanical watchmaking; the tourbillon, which is installed vertically along with all the functional parts of a caliber; and the charm inherent in watches created by an independent watchmaker, which here was expressed in an unusual form of caliber and case – both of which are extremely difficult to manufacture – and obviously fine hand finishing.
Ruchonnet’s initial partner in the Crealux company, which he founded to realise Cabestan and various other projects, was Andreas Stricker. They entrusted the technical development of the project to celebrated independent watchmaker Vianney Halter. The first prototype of the Winch Tourbillon Vertical was shown in 2007. However, Vianney Halter abandoned production of the watch. This saw Eric Coudray, a former watchmaker of Jaeger-LeCoultre who became famous as the master who made the spherical biaxial tourbillon of the Jaeger-LeCoultre Gyrotourbillon watch rotate, join the project. Eric Coudray and his team were based in Valle de Joux to produce limited editions for Cabestan. The first examples are believed to have appeared in 2008.
The attractive features of the watch concept were the combination of the historical fusee and chain mechanism and the tourbillon, which is installed vertically along with all the functional parts of a caliber.
However, the difficulties encountered in developing this project forced Jean-François Ruchonnet to sell the Crealux company to a new owner, Timothy Bovard, who transformed the business into Cabestan Watches. Under his leadership, the company continued to produce the original Winch Tourbillon Vertical, and also started new developments. In 2010, a modernised version of the Winch Tourbillon Vertical with a trapezoidal case was presented, which made it possible to install sapphire crystals (in the original Winch Tourbillon Vertical, the U-profile crystals were plastic). In addition, the original winding and time setting ‘winch’ system was replaced by two crowns, while the caliber’s vertical layout, fusee and chain transmission, vertical tourbillon and indication on drums were retained. The new watch was called the Trapezium.
In 2013, a new team took over the company with at its head, a new CEO and owner, Lionel Betoux, who expanded the collection with the new Eric Coudra-developed Luna Nera (launched in 2013, apparently developed under the leadership of the previous owner) and the Triple Axis Tourbillon (2015) models.
As stated, all Cabestan watches were produced in limited editions or as unique pieces. However, if we bear in mind their extremely rare emergence on the market (for example, we found a single Cabestan Trapezium, in a different version to the present example, that surfaced at Sotheby’s), according to our estimate, most of the limited editions were made in very small numbers and sold out completely. It certainly adds to the attractiveness of each example that appears on the market.
The present Cabestan Trapezium Titanium would appear to be a fine purchase for the collector thanks to its unique design, excellent and extremely elaborate hand finishing of the case, dials and movement, as well as its rare and spectacular design, created by Jean-François Ruchonnet 20 years ago. It is an extremely rare, collectible and highly unusual wristwatch, the creation of which is directly related to Vianney Halter and Eric Coudray, the world-famous independent watchmakers. It is definitely one of the more iconic watches of modern haute horlogerie and a symbol of the independent watchmakers’ motion.
|Case||Openworked brushed titanium case, with pop-out time setting crown in the top right corner & pop-out winding crown in the top left corner, sapphire caseback|
|Strap||Black Alligator strap with a titanium butterfly buckle|
|Dial||Openworked dial with a digital display in the top right corner, true seconds tourbillon in the lower right corner & and digital power rerserve indication in the top left corner|
|Movement||Ruthenium & rhodium plated hand-wound movement, with a fusée & chain winding system & a vertical Tourbillon complication|
|D=||40 x 47 mm|
|Case:||Very good, small signs of wear|
|Strap:||Very good, small signs of wear|
|Movement:||Very good, all functions working properly|
|Amplitude (Dial on top/Lift angle 52):||Approx 180°|
|Accuracy (Dial on top):||Approx +6 sec/day|
The idea for the Cabestan watch, with a vertically arranged movement, a tourbillon, a fusee, and an unusual winding and time-setting system using a capstan (hence the name of the watch and the brand), came from Jean-François Ruchonnet, founder of the virtual imaging company DMC Group and a renowned designer and inventor.