Day of the Dead, Día De Muertos, is a holiday to remember family and friends who have died, celebrate them, and help them on their spiritual journey. There are altars, prayers, and parades, and tombstone visits. It also has created some pretty amazing iconography, involving marigolds, skulls, and people who think the icons create good luck… which all makes for amazing watch faces, like the one on this Angelus U10 Calavera.
Patrick last wrote about the Angelus U10 in 2015, where he spoke about the brand’s return from the dead. It is fitting, then, that the U10 has returned with the Calavera, the skull of the Day of the Dead on its face. This isn’t the first Day of the Dead watch we’ve ever seen– Mr. Jones Watches may hold that title– but it’s one of the best, if not the best Calavera watch in existence. In fact, they’re only making one. In. the. World.
Using subtle colors and matching the colors in the outboard Tourbillon, make it one of the most tastefully executed colorful watches you can find, if you like purple. If you’re confident enough to wear a watch like this, colors won’t really dissuade you.
This Angelus U10 Calavera retains the same case, the same outboard tourbillon, the same CRT-Tube shaped cushion crystal, with the tourbillon crystal wrapping around the side of the case. It has the same 38 jewel Swiss-made movement, with the power reserve indicator linearly displayed on the movement’s edge, viewable through crystals on the side of the case just above where the strap lug resides. The strap is an alligator leather strap with a large bund style pad underneath the watch case, that has a window in it so you can see the movement from its underside. The case has no less than 7 sapphire crystals.
The Angelus U10 Calavera case is constructed of an annealed BO-998 steel, said to be higher quality than the usual 316L we find. It has a finer, tighter grain, and is less likely to corrode, because it has reportedly fewer impurities.
The dial of the Angelus U10 Calavera is made of concave sapphire, tinted gray. Tiny holes have been drilled at the four cardinal directions and filled with Superluminova. The hands are rhodium plated, and filled with blue lacquer. The walls of the well where the dial sits have been bead-blasted and treated to a black finish. The inside of the vitrine for the Tourbillon is also given the PVD black treatment, so that light focuses on the rotating cage and beating heart of the balance wheel.
The point of the Tourbillon complication is to regulate the watch so that it keeps better time. Originally, tourbillon were conceived for pocket watches that were wildly inaccurate, compared to modern mechanical watches. The addition in a mechanical watch is a little superfluous, but adds considerable beauty. The rotating cage has to be balanced, the cage turns off the power of the mainspring, stopping and starting 300 times a minute, 5 times a second in this 18000vph 2.5 Hz movement. The balance wheel is poised and weighted perfectly, and the cage has to be also balanced, and as light as possible, so as to not sap more energy off the mainspring. It’s a complex complication to construct, and beautifully showcased here from all directions, keeping the movement well-regulated throughout its 90 hours of manual-wound power reserve.
Every surface has been given meticulous attention. To top it off, the seconds hand is a dead-beat seconds. Angelus says they’re deliberately trying to evoke the era of quartz watches. The Angelus U10 Calavera is available as a limited edition of 1 from Angelus-watches.com.
- Brand & Model: Angelus U10 Calavera 0LUAS.B01A.C001F
- Price: $118,500 USD.
- Who we think it might be for: Remember you will die.
- What spoke to me the most about this watch: The beauty of the tourbillon, suspended in space, on display from all directions, with the Calavera sapphire dial.
Tech Specs from Angelus
- Case size: 62.75 mm x 38 mm lug to lug
- Height: 15mm
- Case material: steel
- Crystal: 7 sapphire crystals, including a wraparound 90º crystal.
- Strap: leather and alligator, pin buckle clasp
- Water-resistance: 30M
- Movement:Calibre A100, one-minute flying tourbillon movement, hand-wound
Jewels: 38 Dimensions: 52.10 mm x 30.40 mm Thickness: 7.50 mm Power reserve: 90 h, double barrel Frequency: 2.5Hz / 18,000 vph Tourbillon: 16.25 mm cage diameter, Swiss lever escapement, screwed balance and hairspring with Breguet overcoil Movement decoration: nickel-silver movement, rhodium treated with haute horlogerie finishing: satin-finished main plate with laser engraved pattern, satin-finished bridges with chamfered and polished edges, plate dial side with sunray satin-finish, circular satin-finished wheels, screws with bevelled and mirror-polished heads, two laser-engraved and enamelled ratchets Tourbillon finishing: bead-blasted and satin-finished titanium tourbillon bridge, entire tourbillon cage with hand-chamfered and polished edges and either satin-finished or mirror-polished surfaces