The Angelus U41 features a one-minute flying tourbillon, a Grade 5 titanium case and a skeleton movement. The watch is offered in two different colours, blue or orange, reinforcing the contemporary character of the model.
The Swiss brand, Angelus, can trace its lineage to 1891 when two brothers, Albert and Gustav Stolz established their firm in Le Locle. Many horophiles, especially the Panerisiti, will know of the Manufacture because it has supplied movements to Panerai in the past. The Italian brand equipped the Mare Nostrum with an Angelus two-register chronograph (circa 1943). Later, Panerai made the Egiziano for the Egyptian Navy (1956) which featured an Angelus 8-day movement. Sadly, like many Swiss watch brands of the time, Angelus disappeared from view in the late 1970s.
In 2011, Manufacture La Joux-Perret acquired the Angelus brand. With its vast expertise, La Joux-Perret set about reviving the Angelus name, creating new models worthy of the brand’s illustrious nomen.
At the time, there must have been a temptation for Angelus’s management team to revisit the brand’s past and create modern-day reinterpretations of former classics. However, in 2015, Angelus unveiled the U10 Tourbillon Lumière. This inaugural model, made under the new regime, was a love it or loathe it composition which incorporated seven panes of sapphire crystal. Irrespective of whether an onlooker liked the U10 or not, it signalled a new direction for the illustrious company.
Since releasing the U10, the brand has created a number of models endowed with a tourbillon. However, where these subsequent models differ is that they employ a skeleton design, incorporating dual-beam bridges. These watches are infused with numerous technical delights. For example, the construction method shares much in common with lightweight structures used in the fields of aerospace and motorsport, conferring impressive strength. And yet, despite the modernity of these watches, there remains a high quotient of traditional watchmaking craftsmanship, including bevelling and mirror-polishing.
Recently, Angelus has been exploring the use of colour and texture with remarkable success. For example, a few weeks ago, the Swiss marque unveiled the Angelus U23 Carbon Cocktail, eight unique pieces each enriched with judiciously coloured bridges paired with carbon-fibre detail.
Now, the brand has unveiled the Angelus U41, available in two versions, each housed in a 42mm titanium case. The model perpetuates the brand’s penchant for dual-beam bridges and encompasses a choice of blue or orange tones. Despite the impressive specification of this new model, with its Grade 5 titanium case, flying tourbillon and outstanding finishing, its price is remarkably keen at CHF 31,700 (RRP excluding taxes as at 13.9.2020). Each version is limited to just 25 pieces.
The brand’s press release
On the one hand, we have Angelus’ in-depth knowledge in designing and developing complication and skeleton calibres. On the other, the search for a committed style, accompanied by a comfortable and proportionate wearing experience on the wrist. The U41 is a sporty watch, as exemplified by its sculpted rubber strap, notched bezel, titanium case and movement designed in a metallic ‘mesh’ format.
Angelus was seeking to create a light, yet sturdy watch. This pressing need for solidity requires a movement architecture that is capable of withstanding impacts and cushioning shocks without breaking or being deformed. A compromise between flexibility and rigidity. By enclosing all the main elements, including the wheels and the barrel, between two plates, the movement delivers maximum stability.
The A-300 calibre is a skeleton design and was developed as such. In order to strike the perfect balance between structural solidity and openwork detailing, Angelus opted for a ‘dual-beamed’ plates and bridges design. The void that separates the two arms from these supporting elements is studded with jewels that accommodate the wheel axes. All of these components are treated with black ADLC to add contrast and texture.
Angelus movements frequently exhibit 90-hour autonomy, enabled by a balance oscillation speed of 3 Hz. For the A-300 calibre, the frequency has been set at 4 Hz for 60 hours of power reserve. This higher frequency safeguards the accuracy of the movement during impacts, and thus reduces its power reserve. This compromise is a natural continuation of the technical choices Angelus has made for the U41.
The U41 comes in two versions: one dressed in orange hues, and another in a range of blues illuminated by flashes of yellow on the minutes hand and minute circle. White Super-LumiNova coats the hours and minutes hands. The rubber straps work beautifully with the dominant colours.
Despite its technical intensity and sporty feel, the U41 remains reasonably sized: a 42 mm diameter case with a thickness of 10 mm. Angelus sought the perfect harmony between substance and form: the U41 delivers.