Inversion Principle is a completely original timepiece designed by Adrian Glessing and developed and produced by David Candaux/Du Val Des Bois exclusively for Fonderie 47.
Revenues from the sale of each timepiece will be used fund the destruction of one thousand assault weapons in Africa, creating a safer environment for aid and development. This is a strategy that Peter Thum already implemented successfully in creating Ethos Water to fund clean water projects in Africa and around the world.
While Inversion Principle is first and foremost a very exclusive haute horlogerie timepiece, subtle elements and mechanisms discreetly feature key attributes of theAK47. Each time piece incorporates a plate on the back made from the transformed steel of a destroyed assault weapon.
Orbiting on high above the movement, the central 3-minute flying tourbillon dominates the three-dimensional dial and mesmerizes the eye. Three second-hands, equally spaced 120° apart around the tourbillon cage, arc sedately across the seconds-scale above the tourbillon and ‘Fonderie 47′:’Sedately’ because tourbillon revolves at just 1/3 of the speed of a traditional one-minute tourbillon.
While only one second-hand is visible at any time − the other two are hidden under the gold rifle-sight inspired frame set into the sapphire crystal − their positions are revealed by blued screws joining the outer tourbillon cage and inner three-arm hub.
A first, or even a second, glance is unlikely to divulge any obvious similarity between jumping hours, retrograde seconds and an AK47; however, avoiding blatantly obvious connections is the aim.
On a more ethereal level however, gun mechanisms snap sharply and precisely into place: as does the instantaneous jumping hour at 12 o’clock as it changes the hour; and the large 240° retrograde seconds hand as it flies back to zero each hour across the bottom of the dial. Each press of the quick-set pusher in the crown advances the jumping hours by one hour.
The long 6-day power reserve has both a lateral indication via a sapphire window set into the left side of the case band and a second indication visible through the display back.
The display back reveals the stunning sunray guilloche pattern radiating out from the ratchet wheel, which is capped by adark plate of transformed steel from a destroyed AK47. The plate is in the form of the Fonderie 47 symbol and rotates as the watch is wound.
The serial number of the destroyed weapon, ’56‑3701F42′ is elegantly hand engraved beside the plate. Inversion Principle is a limited edition of 20 pieces: 10 in white gold and 10 in red gold.
When Fonderie 47 founder Peter Thum first approached watchmaker/movement designer David Candaux, it was with a very ambitious request many said was impossible: Create a completely original and distinctive complicated high-end watch using the best of traditional Swiss watchmaking techniques…and it should incorporate aspects of the AK47 rifle, but without obviously looking like an AK47 style watch.
With a three-minute central flying tourbillon, instantaneous jumping hours and retrograde minutes that snap into place in sharp, precise actions similar to gun mechanisms, and a lateral power reserve indication providing a discreet visual link to the ejection port of an AK47, Candaux delivered all that and more.
Seen through a display back, the back of the movement features a stunning sunray guilloche pattern radiating out from the dark plate of transformed steel from a destroyed AK47 that covers the ratchet wheel. This plate turns when the watch is wound.
An opening to the right of the plate offers access to adjust the power reserve mechanism, while a second small opening near the crown reveals part of the winding mechanism. The second power reserve indicator arcs across the top of the back plate.
Inversion Principle’s three-dimensional indications, rise from the 240° numbers on the flat retrograde minutes ring to the inner inclined minute markers. The blued minute hand has an inclined inner arrow following the angle of the minute marker track.
The three-handed seconds indicator on the tourbillon cage has a retrograde effect complimenting the minutes: The hands disappear after 60 on the right and appear to reappear at 0 on the left. On either side of the jumping hour window, past and future hours can just be discerned through the translucent crystal ring that circumscribes the dial.
Ensuring that the complex indications were both easy and logical to read, and that the case and dial blended harmoniously was the role of Geneva-based watch designer, Adrian Glessing.
Myriad details, from the obvious like the gun-sight inspired bezel cross piece delineating the minutes from the central tourbillon to the subtle, like the tapering indents set into the flowing lugs, which visually minimize the height of the case height and the curve of the tourbillon cage following the curve of the sapphire crystal, all contribute to convey luxury and quality.
Model: Inversion Principle by Fonderie 47
Limited edition of 20 pieces: 10 in 18k white gold, 10 in 18k red gold
Central three-minute flying tourbillon; instantaneous jumping hours; 240° retrograde minutes; central seconds from tourbillon cage; crown pusher quick-set hour adjustment; six-day power reserve with both lateral and back indications; metal from transformed assault weapon.
Jumping hours, 240° retrograde minutes; central seconds on tourbillon cage; lateral power reserve indicator on case band and power reserve indicator on back
Case and strap
Material:18k white gold or 18k red gold
Sapphire crystal traversed by embedded gold bezel bridge framing tourbillon cage
Lateral sapphire window in case band for power reserve indicator
Dimensions: 42mm x 14.6mm
Water resistance: 30m/100’/3ATM
Dial: Translucent glass and sapphire crystal with enameled minutes and seconds
Strap and clasp: hand stitched alligator strap with gold pin buckle matching case. Brown leather with red gold case or black leather with white gold case
Regulator: Central three-minute flying tourbillon
Tourbillon cage: gold counter weight and curved to follow sapphire crystal
Jumping hour: thin mechanism(patented)
Retrograde seconds: mechanism with light aluminum arm and precision regulator
LIGA plate: platform for tourbillon and fixed seconds wheel by Mimotech
Power reserve: six days
Balance frequency: 18,000bph (2.5Hz)
Balance spring: Breguetovercoil and distinctive balance spring stud
Steel plate from transformed AK47 − serial number’56-3701F42′ − in form of the Fonderie 47 symbolon ratchet wheel visible through display back.
Finishing: Sun ray guilloche; hand engraving; hand polished bevels; heat-blued screws and power reserve indicator on back.
Created by: David Candaux/Du Val Des Bois
Designed by: Adrian Glessing
Place of Manufacture: La Vallée de Joux, Switzerland