And now for something completely different

The appearance of the Perrelet Turbine 1047/2 is as cool as Bryan Ferry climbing out of an air-conditioned car in perfect sartorial attire. Angus Davies gets “hands-on” and reviews this watch with an intriguing dial.

Perrelet Turbine 1047/2

When I held the black timepiece from Perrelet in my hands for the first time, I immediately thought of the title of a Monty Python film. Not because there is anything comical about the watch, on the contrary it harnesses accomplished horological prowess, but, because it proffers individual, blue sky thinking.

I often handle watches, visit retailers, receive press releases, tour production facilities and attend exhibitions. I lose my heart on repeated occasions, like a teenage girl viewing boy bands on modern day chart show. However, the focus of my affection invariably has an escapement and ticks to a metronomic beat.

The only aspect of looking at watches virtually every waking minute, is that it is rare to see something completely different. Yet, Perrelet have crept up on my blindside and placed a watch in my hands which is unlike anything I have written about before. The watch has been in my possession for a few days and I continue to scrutinise it with loupe in hand.

The modernity of the watch appears to be at odds with the historical Perrelet name which dates back to 1777, but signals an intent to engage with a new audience.

Abraham-Louis Perrelet was attributed with the invention of the automatic wristwatch back in 1777. However, the company has risen to prominence since 2004 when it was acquired by Spanish entrepreneur Miguel Rodriguez.

Senor Rodriguez is no stranger to the world of watchmaking. He also owns Soprod, the maker of movements for several well-known brands, as well as other companies which form the Festina Group.

It is thanks to the extensive resources available from its sister companies that Perrelet can produce this watch with its many notable qualities and yet at a remarkably competitive price point.

The dial

Black hands on a black dial, may not be the most legible combination in the range, but it is as cool as Bryan Ferry climbing out of an air-conditioned car in perfect sartorial attire.

Perrelet Turbine 1047/2

It only takes nano seconds to notice the black Turbine, a rotor, fitted to the dial side of the watch. The Turbine consists of 12 titanium blades, fan-shaped sections emanating from a central hub, similar in appearance to the rotor blades of a jet engine.

I found the Turbine slightly hypnotic, reminding me of the python, Kaa, in Disney’s film Jungle Book. As the blades rotate, I can hear the charming serpent, soliciting the prospect of slumber. The secret is look, don’t stare.

The chapter ring, floats above the rotating Turbine, stationary and affixed to the inside of the case. Arabic numerals are used to depict, “15”, “30”, “45” and “60”, whilst a series of large and small indices indicate minutes.

The hour and minute hands are Lancine shaped. They have a clean character with minimal obscuring of the Turbine beneath. The second hand is simple, unfussy and as svelte as a supermodel in a sauna.

The case

The case is constructed of stainless steel with DLC coating. It bestows a neoteric character and reminds me of a Stealth fighter jet with its black finish.

A remarkable thing about this watch is that it looks smaller than it really is. The watch measures 44 mm in diameter. I can generally look at a watch and judge its dimensions by eye to an accuracy of +/- 1 mm, thanks to years of drooling at timepieces. I was so convinced that the case was smaller than the specified width, I felt the need to measure it.

The watch is 44 mm in diameter. The reason it appears smaller is the shy crown. It nuzzles into the case wall, virtually flush.

A small pivoting latch hinges from the centre line of the crown, providing a means for the wearer to then pull it out from the case wall and make adjustments in the customary fashion.

The watch has conventional lugs but they engage with a black rubber strap which reinforces the contemporary persona of the watch. I particularly like the stainless steel folding clasp which has again been treated with DLC coating.

The movement

The movement P-181 is self-winding and made by sister company, Soprod. A sapphire caseback affords a view of the movement.

Perrelet Turbine 1047/2

The aforementioned Turbine does not impart energy to the spring, it is purely aesthetic. This is because the speed of the Turbine would be lost if connected to the movement.

A conventional rotor features above the movement. I use the word, “conventional”, guardedly as it is pleasingly presented, partly skeletonized and featuring the brand’s logo to its centre.

The bridges beneath the rotor are adorned with Côtes de Genève motif. Blue coloured screws, rubies and gold coloured balance provide a palette of colours to delight any fan of horology.

Perlage features on the plate, attesting to the quality finishing of the product.

Conclusion

I like the Perrelet Turbine 1047/2 because it is a breath of fresh air. The originality of the design garners interest from both experts and non-experts alike.

I accept the styling may not be to everyone’s taste, but I find its design language engaging and a perfect means of attracting prospective purchasers to the brand.

I confess to preferring some of the more traditional offerings from Perrelet, but they would not necessarily cause tongues to wag as feverishly as the Turbine.

The movement is well finished and the 3-year warranty should rest assure buyers that this is a quality product.

The strength of Perrelet is their access to the various skills and trades within their parent group and by default the value for money they can deliver the potential purchaser.

Having seen the details of the recently launched Alternance 10 Calibre, which is beautifully finished, I would watch this brand closely as it continues to create fine timepieces and becomes increasingly popular with shrewd buyers around the globe.

Technical specification

  • Model: Perrelet Turbine 1047/2
  • Reference: 1047/2
  • Case: Stainless steel with DLC coating; diameter 44.00 mm; height 13.00 mm; water resistant to 5 bar (50 metres); sapphire crystal to front and solid case back.
  • Functions: Hours; minutes; central seconds.
  • Movement: Calibre P-181, self-winding; frequency 28,800 vph (4 Hz); 21 jewels; power reserve 42 hours.
  • Strap: Black rubber strap on stainless steel folding clasp with DLC coating.

Related Links