An iconic watch which defines an entire era of contemporary independent watchmaking, the Deep Space Tourbillon from Vianney Halter is a timepiece of spectacular design and mesmerising animated mechanical motion, and one of the most incredible, technically sophisticated and desirable pieces of artisanal haute horology ever created. A piece of exaggerated yet alluring dimensions, there truly is nothing else quite like it and it’s little wonder, as it defies convention in every regard.
In its 46mm case of 18kt pink gold the Deep Space Tourbillon is a watch of pronounced proportions and profound complexity, and with an enormous dome of sapphire glass and its space-age aesthetics, it has an extroverted personality which is impossible to ignore. With a display dominated by a moving spectacle of mechanical gymnastics as Halter’s magnificent triple axis tourbillon twists and turns in the centre of the watch, it is singularly beautiful and utterly fascinating too.
Inspired by the watchmaker’s lifelong love of classic science fiction, and as a committed ‘Trekkie’ too, the Deep Space Tourbillon is a realisation of all of those childhood influences reimagined and recreated into a visceral, free-spirited masterpiece; the work of an artist and genius innovator which sits like a miniaturised space station on the wrist.
Beneath the massive sapphire dome, time is displayed in hours and minutes by the two blued titanium indicators which arc and crane inwards as they rotate around the periphery of the dial, emanating from behind the matte silver dial ring and reaching into the void in the middle of the watch. Here in the darkness, the mechanical centrepiece of the triple axis tourbillon is breathtaking and spellbinding, actually appearing to float in space as it rotates, revolves and gyrates, seemingly in isolation from the rest of the watch. A closer study reveals the sheer complexity and exquisite beauty of this mesmerising piece of micro-engineering, as each axis spins at its own speed, with the balance and escapement centremost revolving every forty seconds, the outer carriage moving around the face every six minutes and the entire assembly turning over on itself through a complete 360ª rotation every thirty minutes, it is absolutely hypnotising.
The rounded case is manufactured in 18Kt pink gold, which has been finished with a satin brushed grain. Integrated strap bars mean that the strap nestles up to the case, but with sufficient articulation so that the watch sits on the wrist in perfect comfort, and despite its size, the Deep Space Tourbillon is surprisingly accommodating on even the slender feminine wrist.
On the underside the caseback is a solid cover which is screwed down and features the engraved silhouette of a communications dish. Inside the VH 113 manual winding movement has been developed in house by the watchmaker, and boasts an impressive power reserve of 55 hours beating at a frequency of 21’600 vib/h.
Now approaching the end of its production, Vianney Halter’s Deep Space Tourbillon is unquestionably one of the most distinctive, eccentric and fascinating watches of the 21st century and one which epitomises the creative hands and imagination of one of watchmaking’s most exceptional and talented masters.