The art of ultra skeletonisation, devised by Hysek, initially focused on combining a tourbillon with skeletoning: outstanding examples include the Verdict Skeleton Double Tourbillon and IO Skeleton Tourbillon lines, in 2014.
However, the foundations of the art were first laid by the Furtif collection. As early as 2008, a first Skeleton Tourbillon model revealed the central themes of what was to become one of Hysek’s style hallmarks: displaying the entire anatomy of its manufacture calibres, creating the impression of a movement driven by little more than a few gears. Rather than laying bare an existing movement, the idea was to start from scratch and devise a calibre destined from the outset to be revealed in full.
Today, the Furtif Skeleton Tourbillon has been reborn, with a new version pushing the boundaries of the concept still further. It’s one of the delightful paradoxes of the Hysek manufacture, and at the same time its great strength: each timepiece is designed to be a crowning achievement – and yet a few years later, it is redesigned and made still better.
The Furtif features a 44mm square case and bevelled sapphire crystals – hence its name, evocative of fluidity and furtive, fleeting lines. The housing comprises a satin titanium case set between the two sapphire crystals, held in place by a titanium and gold superstructure with characteristic swivel lugs. The use of titanium ensures the complex assembly remains lightweight – and is a fitting showcase for the HW15 manufacture calibre.
The Furtif Skeleton Tourbillon presented at Baselworld 2016 includes a number of Hysek developments, taken to extremes never before achieved. Only the barest essentials of the movement are left, with each of the remaining components reduced to its simplest expression.
The Furtif Skeleton Tourbillon therefore boasts everything required by fine watchmaking, and nothing superfluous: a gear train for hours and minutes, a barrel with a48-hour power reserve, and an escapement in the form of a flying tourbillon. These last two components are positioned at 5 and 11 o’clock respectively, locations favoured by Hysek for the resulting aesthetic balance of the watch face.
And that face is none other than the movement itself, set between two sapphire crystals. These crystals are excruciatingly difficult to machine, due to the bevelled edges on each side, and must be drilled through to be secured to the case. This exercise is all the more delicate because of their thickness, adopted by Hysek so as to offer a curved profile that fits snugly on the wrist.
Indeed, the Furtif Skeleton Tourbillon turns out to be complex on many different levels. The case alone comprises 28 components, all hand-finished in accordance with one of two options (rose gold or anthracite PVD), both offering aesthetic harmony with the deep anthracite grey of the movement bridges.
The movement in question boasts 172 components, individually designed and skeletonised to ensure they exude quintessential balance, both functionally and visually. The bevelling, in particular on the many angles, is an outstanding feat of fine watchmaking finishing.
The rotating parts, gear train and tourbillon wheel feature a rose gold finish, creating a constant interplay with the light passing through the case. To further enhance this effect, the rear sapphire crystal has received fine metallic sunburst detailing, naturally reflecting light throughout the entire movement. The overall effect is that of a Furtif Skeleton Tourbillon calibre – suspended in mid-air.
The Furtif Skeleton Tourbillon will be produced in a very exclusive collection of just thirty watches, each sporting a black alligator strap, firmly secured to the case with Hysek’s proprietary swivel lugs.
Hysek Calibre HW15
Manual winding mechanical movement
Skeleton flying tourbillon
Hour & minute
Frequency 28’800 VpH
Size: L44mm x H 51mm x W14mm
Square case in rose gold and titanium treated black PVD
Square bevelled sapphire glass with anti-reflection treatment, screwed on the case
Sapphire crystal back with metalized sunburst decoration
Water resistance 30 meters
Hysek fold-over buckle
Limited edition of 30 pieces