Watchmaker Vianney Halter has produced some pretty stylish timepieces, but his latest is a bit of a departure, both in style and concept. The sci-fi fan has built a domed tourbillon watch called Deep Space, modeled after the “Star Trek” space station Deep Space 9.
The tourbillon — a watchmaking component designed to counter the effect of gravity on a watch’s movement to keep more accurate time — sits bang in the center of the dial, proudly on display, while the blue hour and minute hands (the shorter hand is for hours) curve around it like the spires of Deep Space 9.
The tourbillon itself rotates on three axes. First, in the center, the tourbillon itself spins at a rate of once every 40 seconds. The second axis is the entire tourbillon shaft, spinning once every 6 minutes. Finally, the entire mechanism rotates horizontally 360 degrees every half hour.
The rest of the watch’s movement is hidden away behind a black plate, giving the tourbillon the illusion of floating in space.
At 1.8 inches in diameter, it’s pretty chunky, but the weight is offset by the light titanium case and tourbillon components. The domed crystal is sapphire, and the watch boasts a rather large 55-hour power reserve.
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Even though Deep Space is functionally a watch, it seems to be more an article of display: there are no numerals on the dial, and reading the hands feels counterintuitive. Additionally, for such a high-end timepiece, it’s really light on the complications; that is, it has none, not even a seconds hand.
It seems Halter has ultimately shed anything but the bare necessities to create not a watch, but a piece of horological art. At around $195,000 a pop for one of the 100 limited-edition watches, which are yet to be produced, you’d certainly hope so.
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