Prior to visiting Baselworld I had not really envisioned the actual scale of the event. Although I relentlessly put in fourteen-hour days I didn’t cover anywhere near as much ground as I wanted to. Realistically I feel I would have needed at least another week to comprehensively cover all the brands I admire. Even that probably wouldn’t have done them the justice they deserve. For that reason I had to be very selective and just concentrate on watchmakers I had dealt with previously. A perfect example of this is luxury Swiss watchmaker Cabestan.
For a long time I have been a huge admirer of Cabestan and their wonderful range of timepieces. Compared to other luxury brands like Richard Mille, MB & F, and Urwerk they have never achieved the same level of commercial success. Personally this does surprise me because their designs are definitely as sophisticated. Maybe it’s because their marketing strategy isn’t as effective. At this level strong levels of communication are integral to the survival of independent watchmakers. Finding a suitable retailer partner is also essential when developing a sustainable product.
Previously I have written numerous articles about Cabestan but I have never actually tried on any of their timepieces. Fortunately a few weeks ago at Baselworld this all changed with the unveiling of their new Triple Axis Tourbillon. Even though I had arranged a meeting in advance with owner Lionel Betoux and Marketing Director Carine Mason the schedule seemed to disappear out of the window. Unbelievably a few journalists had descended on the booth at the same time and all wanted to get a wrist shot of this watch. For that reason I only had access to the timepiece for a few minutes. Generally for a watch of this size (50.25 mm x 45.50 mm x 22.30 mm) I found it comfortable to wear and didn’t experience any friction from the lugs. Primarily this is down to the ergonomic case design and choice of luxurious 18-karat rose gold in production.
Visually the Triple Axis Tourbillon has all the brilliance you would expect from a high-end watchmaker like Cabestan. The design of the watch is inspired by sailing boats and completely hand made. I absolutely love the façade, which is entirely constructed from sapphire crystal and exposes the accomplished mechanical movement. In some ways the timepiece has a more traditional appearance than the Luna Nera and Trapezium because it has a conventional dial. Other sensational features include architecturally formed case sides (with sapphire windows) and a majestic three dimensional tourbillon carriage located at 12 o’clock. Overall the composition is phenomenal and the attention to detail unsurpassed.
At the heart of the watch is an incredibly accomplished manual winding movement created by Eric Coudray. The Caliber CAB EC 17 is Fusée-and-Chain driven and oscillates at a frequency of 21,600 vibrations per hour. Amazingly this highly complicated mechanism contains 1044 individually handcrafted components. The Triple Axis Tourbillon features hours, minutes and seconds. This exquisite timepiece also has a power reserve of 50-hours and is water resistant to a depth of 30 metres.
The Triple Axis Tourbillon has a stylish alligator strap and comes with a handmade presentation box. Priced for the discerning: 250,000 CHF (approximately $255,545).
For more information about Cabestan visit the company’s website: http://www.cabestan.ch