From conversations with many people in the watch industry it is apparent that serious collectors are still interested in purchasing watches by established brands. Timepieces manufactured by Patek Philippe, Vacheron Constantin and Jaeger LeCoultre still hold mass appeal. Essentially this is down to their classical appearance and delicate proportions. In contrast there are more Avant-Garde brands like MB & F, Urwerk, DeBethune, MCT and Rebellion all fighting for a share of this market. In a recent conversation with Maximilian Büsser (owner of MB & F) he informed that most of his time at Baselword would involve meetings with retailers and collectors. He also stated that 50% of the company’s annual watch sales would be secured at this event.
Back in late December I published my Highlights From 2013 featuring my 10 top ten watches of the year. These types of lists are always challenging because of the sheer abundance of great timepieces on the market. For that reason I had to make a choice between Rebellion’s T-1000 Gotham and the 540 Magnum Tourbillon. After an enormous amount of deliberation I opted for the 540 Magnum Tourbillon, simply because it was constructed from forged carbon. In my opinion this wonderful lightweight textured material enhances the overall design of any timepiece.
It is fair to say that Rebellion have gained a solid reputation as a fine watchmaker within a very short space of time. I am a huge admirer of the brand and am always delighted when they unveil a new model. The T-1000 Time Machine measures 46.7mm x 46.9mm x 19.5mm, which is slightly smaller than the T-1000 Gotham and the 540 Magnum Tourbillon. Nevertheless this is still a sizable watch that will only appeal to a small minority of people. I can imagine this timepiece would feel comfortable and lightweight on the wrist. Ultimately this is down to the sophisticated case design and use of high performance Grade 5 titanium used in manufacture.
My first impression of the T-1000 Time Machine was how much it resembled the Cabestan Terra Luna. The dial has the same fantastic three-dimensional quality, which perfectly exposes the complicated mechanical movement. Renowned product designer Eric Giroud has devised the overall concept of the timepiece. His has previously collaborated with MB & F, RJ Romain Jerome, Harry Winston and Peter Speake Marin. Even though his radical and innovative designs won’t appeal to more conservative tastes, I think they are magnificent.
To power the watch, Rebellion has developed the highly accomplished Caliber Reb T-1000. This phenomenal movement comprises 36-Jewels (14 ceramic and 22 rubies) and oscillates at a frequency of 18,000 vibrations per hour. Each of the 693 components have been meticulously assembled and finished by hand. Functionally the T-1000 Time Machine features hours and minutes (displayed on two vertical rotating barrels). It also has a patented manual winding system (composed of six mainsprings wound by two chains) and a staggering power reserve of 1000 + hours.
The T-1000 Time Machine has a hand sewn black alligator strap with matching double folding buckle. Prices range from CHF 120,000 – CHF 125,000 (approximately $136,272 – $141,950).