An openworked architecture graces a colourful series of eight unique pieces that draw on an ultra-technical carbon-titanium case and an impactful flying tourbillon movement. The most visible and most powerful components of these U23 pieces are dressed in colours reminiscent of eight cocktails, straight from the Angelus shaker.
Following on from its U21 and U22 models, Angelus is presenting another variation based on its skeletonised flying tourbillon movement. The Angelus A-250 calibre has once again been suspended within a case made from titanium and CTP (Carbon Thin Ply): a hard and lightweight carbon composite.
Following on from its U21 and U22 models, Angelus is presenting another variation based on its skeletonised flying tourbillon movement. The Angelus A-250 calibre has once again been suspended within a case made from titanium and CTP (Carbon Thin Ply): a hard and lightweight carbon composite. The U23 takes the spirit of exclusiveness and dynamic aesthetics to its pinnacle. This series of eight unique pieces features skeletonised PVD-treated titanium bridges, with each model showcasing a different colour.
The absence of a dial and the use of a sapphire crystal dome set directly onto the carbon fiber case allow full visual access to the movement from both the top and sides, accentuating the three-dimensionality of the movement’s architecture.
Packing a punch
The U23 pieces make a tremendous impact. Materials, shapes and structures are arranged to create a sporty, technical and finely honed timepiece. Measuring 42 mm in diameter and 10.3 mm thick, the case mixes titanium lugs with a CTP case back and middle. Maximum lightness and rigidity, with ultra scratch-resistant titanium, provides physical protection for the most exposed areas. The solid, conventional-looking metal and the technical appearance of the carbon fibre inject the U23 with visual energy. Meanwhile coloured bridges, hovering above the CTP main plate, put these pieces in a class of their own.
Geometric, openworked and crafted from titanium, these graphically designed bridges are coloured using the PVD technique in one of eight shades that also grace the minute circle. Each shade identifies a unique piece named after a cocktail. These eight combinations – strong, sour, creamy, light, bitter or sweet – are the ingredients that make the U23 models unique. Angelus presents an eclectic menu with classics and rarities sitting side by side to cater to a range of tastes. U23 Negroni is orange, like the blend of Gin and Vermouth. U23 Cosmopolitan adopts the shade of blueberry Vodka. U23 Ocean View startles in Curaçao blue and U23 Tequila Sunrise recreates the orange, pink and blue layers formed by citrus fruit juice and grenadine with the idyllic sea in the background.
The coloured bridges are screwed into the main plate, which is also made from CTP. Carbon Thin Ply draws on the ultralight and ultra-rigid properties of carbon fibre. Sheets of carbon are piled into several hundreds of successive layers per block of material. Each layer is orientated differently to create a multi-hatched network that is particularly solid given the density of the layers. Angelus has chosen to use the highest quality of this material: 150 g/m² CTP. In addition, the CTP is solidified using a technical resin fired at a high temperature and high pressure. In this way, its extreme hardness adds to the fibre's structural properties. CTP is made into blocks and cut from a solid piece using numerical control machines, just like a metal. Its nature, presentation and machining process ensure optimal structural integrity and unique qualities that enhance the watch mechanism and wearing comfort. This is because CTP is lightweight, comfortable, soft to the touch, anti-allergenic, fully dermo-compatible, and non-magnetic.
The Angelus A-250 calibre at the heart of the U23 models plays an essential aesthetic role. Its very simple, legible, vertical structure creates an axis that lends visual organisation. An openworked barrel at 12 o'clock with a 90-hour power reserve; a flying tourbillon at 6 o'clock for enhanced timekeeping; a gear train between the two to ensure transmission – these functional organs are anchored to three titanium bridges, giving the U23 its unique personality. Thanks to these bridges, the movement floats above the CTP main plate, as if suspended on stilts. The fact that the main plate is crafted from carbon is a technical feat in its own right. The rigidity of the material makes this possible; conversely, this same resistance makes it difficult to pierce. All the holes made in the high-tech bodywork are therefore set with solid-gold chatons that hold the jewels. This is a classic technique that has been adapted to a different context and to an extreme level of technical performance to protect the CTP main plate.
The U23, therefore, centres around an aerial principle. To continue this spirit, the tourbillon of the Angelus A-250 calibre is a flying version with no upper bridge. It appears to float freely, with a large window cut away from the main plate in the background. This allows light to enter and to illuminate the rotating regulating organ. In this rigorously adjusted movement, the arms of the tourbillon carriage mirror the bridges and all the wheels of the movement. All of these components are openworked lengthways, which means they look lighter, as well as weighing less. Crafted from technical materials and laid bare component by component, the U23 reveals impressive lightness and graphic power, both to the eye and on the wrist.
To further increase visibility into the top of the three-dimensional movement, this model features a unique design element. The case is fashioned without a bezel and instead uses a sapphire crystal dome, which also allows a sideways view onto the movement.
The highly engineered movement further features beam-type titanium bridges which are skeletonized to reduce weight and offer a better view of the watch's inner workings.
The tourbillon’s steel cage is hand chamfered and polished with flat surfaces either mirror-polished or satin-finished.
The variable inertia balance wheel is regulated by four gold weights around its perimeter. In the quest for high performance, the rim of the balance wheel has been milled to maximize aerodynamics and reduce air resistance. The highly engineered movement further features beam-type titanium bridges which are skeletonized to reduce weight and offer a better view of the watch's inner workings The titanium mainspring barrel bridge is supported by slim pillars set directly into the carbon fiber main plate. All wheels throughout the entire gear train have a specially developed six-spoke design, again in the quest for maximum rigidity for minimum mass.
All of the rubies, which actually act as low-friction bearings, are fitted into solid gold chatons that are embedded in the carbon fiber main plate.
The heart of the U23 Tourbillon is the flying tourbillon
The carbon fiber used in the U23 Tourbillon is very specific, offering the essential characteristics necessary for use in a haute horlogerie timepiece, with tolerances in the micron range. They are not decorative elements, but 100% functional.
The heart of the U23 Tourbillon is the flying tourbillon. The tourbillon is “flying", which means that it does not require an upper supporting bridge. This helps to maximize the three-dimensionality of the movement and allows maximum appreciation of the technical and aesthetical refinements throughout the movement.
Central hours and minutes, haute horlogerie manufacture movement with NPT carbon-fiber main plate
|Jewels:||18, set in solid gold chatons|
|Power reserve:||90 h|
|Frequency:||21,600 vph / 3 Hz|
|Tourbillon cage:||steel, hand-chamfered and hand-polished|
|Movement finishing:||haute horlogerie, all steel component with hand-chamfered and hand-polished edges, flat surfaces mirror-polished or satin-finished. Satin finished with chamfered and polished titanium bridges.|
|Material:||NPT carbon-fiber and titanium|
|Height:||10.30 mm including sapphire crystals|
|Crystals:||Sapphire crystal dome with anti-reflective coating on inside surface|
|Water resistance||30 m / 100’/ 3 atm|
|Material:||NPT carbon-fiber dial is actually the movement's main plate|
|Hour and minute markings:||printed spokes on outer chapter ring|
|Hour and minute hands:||rhodium-treated with black SuperLumiNova|
|Strap:||stealth black alligator leather with titanium insert|
|Buckle:||Titanium pin buckle engraved with Angelus logo|