Switzerland based luxury watch firm Label Noir has just unveiled a custom made Rolex watch equipped with a tourbillon complication. Specially customized for a client, it is the 1st Rolex Tourbillon in watchmaking history.
Rolex is one of the most admired luxury watch brands in the world. But, in horological point of view, the brand does not offer any high complication timepieces in their collection. Regarding this subject, following two questions frequently make rounds in various forums related to horology.
Does Rolex make tourbillon watches? Why doesn’t Rolex make a tourbillon? These questions are also applicable to Minute repeater and perpetual calendars because under Rolex brand you cannot find these watch making complications.
Does a Rolex tourbillon watch exist? Unless historical information has never been revealed before, it seems unlikely that Rolex has ever produced a Tourbillon watch in its past. I believe that Rolex never ventured into the field of high complications such as minute repeaters, perpetual calendars and tourbillons. Recently, I have read somewhere about the existence of a unique Rolex perpetual calendar watch that was actually created by the renowned watch maker Franck Muller by modifying a Rolex Datejust watch.
Most of the major luxury watch manufactures in Switzerland produce tourbillon watches. Even medium, independent and small brands have at least one tourbillon watch model in their catalog. But Rolex never produced a tourbillon watch in its history. I think producing high complication watches are not included in the Rolex business strategy instead; they stick to extensive research and development for improving metallurgy of watch parts and precision of mechanical watch movements of existing watch models.
A Rolex Milgauss with the complication of the Tourbillon!
Who can realize such a dream of a crazy Rolex watch enthusiast? Everyone knows that there is no such possibility exists as per the Rolex catalog. But if you are much passionate to own such an unbelievable timepiece, Label Noir can offer solutions that suitable for you.
Based in Geneva, Label Noir offers customized enhancements for high end luxury watches manufactured by prestigious brands. The personalization of high luxury watches includes custom engravings, adding special figures, insignias, symbols and logos, modifications like changing the position of crowns, fitting sapphire crystal case backs, special coating techniques like Magmatic Moon Coating (MMC) and even modification of movements and functions.
Sometimes back, a crazy customer who wishes to remain anonymous has approached Label Noir to create a Rolex of his dreams, a Rolex watch with tourbillon complication. Label Noir watchmaker Emmanuel Curti has accepted this challenge and it took three months to realize this unique horological masterpiece. And, if you have similar request, waiting time is three months!
This Rolex tourbillon timepiece was unveiled in Geneva at the Swiss Made Restaurant in September 2018. Worthy of becoming a legend, this watch has been entrusted by Label Noir to the most talented watchmakers and above all, the most faithful to the original watchmaking virtues.
This custom made timepiece merges two legends: First there is the Rolex, the brand of brands. Then there is the other legend, the tourbillon, a complication invented by Abraham Louis Breguet that has become the queen of watchmaking highlights.
What enhances the appeal of the challenge and approach is that at no time did Emmanuel Curtis, watchmaker and CEO of Label Noir, imagine replacing the original Milgauss calibre received from his customer with a tourbillon calibre of a size compatible with the space given.
The idea was rather to keep as many original components as possible. Thus it was necessary to rework the watch plate, which still has its factory number. Then, it was necessary to “delicately” tear off the heart of the watch, its birth escapement (the balance-spring pair) in order to implant the “tourbillon cage”, its new regulating organ.
Obviously, the operation created real challenges in terms of connections. Micromechanical surgery coupled with a science of finishings since it was also necessary to open a window in the dial while keeping the indexes and other initial inscriptions.
The ultimate luxury brand Label Noir is a signature entirely dedicated to personalization. It is part of the TwentyFirst Luxury Group (Concept Stores Nous, Hadoro), headed by Emmanuel Collomb. It is therefore already used to dealing with all kinds of requests for the transformation of watches. Its entrepreneurial foundation is the result of the specialized know-how of the excellent watch co-contracting industry.
Basic model in steel, Milgauss, all-steel bezel (not ceramic). On the Rolex calibre reference
3131, 51 components have been removed, 2 components modified and 94 components added. From 28,000 vibrations per hour, the frequency has been changed to 21,600, from 4 to 3 hertz. The thickness of the case has been preserved, including the dial and hands. The flying tourbillon is installed on a ball-bearing. It makes one turn in 1 minute. To date, it is the only Rolex Tourbillon watch known.