Friday, September 25, 2015

KERBEDANZ Quintum Minute Repeater

The two KERBEDANZ minute repeaters, the mother of all horological complications, have just been acquired by a collector. These two pieces also have animations. They represent a distillate of extreme horological arts.

La Fabrique du Temps and Concepto, two movement manufacturers among the most sought-after by the various haute horlogerie brands, worked on the extraordinary KRB-05, the KERBEDANZ caliber inhabiting the two Quintums. It's a 29-jewel movement, manually wound, with Côtes de Genève decoration. It boasts a power reserve of one hundred hours, and beats at 21,600 vph using an escapement wheel and pallets made of silicon.

These two unique timepieces were shown to a few select people at Baselworld. They have just found a buyer. They will nevertheless remain a part of the history of the Neuchâtel watch brand KERBEDANZ as an exclusive witness to the company's claimed and mastered skills, the harmonious marriage between two histories going back centuries: the history of Switzerland's watchmaking regions with their micromechanical expertise, and that of a veritable dynasty that has practiced the quintessential métiers d'arts connected to the ancient tradition of jewelry, namely engraving, enameling and miniature sculpting for generation upon generation.
The 45-millimeter satin-polished case and the double-layered dials of the two Quintums are in massive 18-karat rose gold. The case is immediately identifiable from the original positioning of the winding crown in the northeast, that is, at 1:30 o'clock, which is in itself a symbol. A bas relief with a miniature sculpture on enamel was exclusively conceived, made, hand-sculpted and decorated by KERBEDANZ.

It is in harmony with the symbolism depicted on this model, which is drawn from ancient Chinese culture and represents the Five Elements as seen from Earth: Water is in the north, represented by a turtle entwined with a serpent in black; Metal is in the west and is represented by the Celestial Tiger in white; Fire is in the south, represented by the Chinese phoenix or Vermillion Bird, in red; Wood is in the east and is represented by a dragon in blue-green or turquoise; finally, Earth is in the center and is represented by the unicorn or Qi-Lin, a kind of chimera in yellow. The Five Elements are omnipresent in the composition of the sky, the constellations, and in Chinese astrology.

And while the hammers strike the gongs and replace the visual hourly indications by acoustic signals –this is the mechanical idea behind the minute repeater –an animation is suddenly set in motion: One of the paws of the Qi-Lin begins to  move, followed by the wings of the Vermillion Bird, while the turtle entwined with the serpent starts to move back and forth.  The ballet performed by the two Quintums is above all playful, but it does draw its fantastical skills from the alchemy of the micromechanical sciences taken to an extreme level.

Technical details
Caliber KRB-05, tourbillon, minute repeater with animations, hand-wound mechanical movement, designed, manufactured and decorated by KERBEDANZ, La Fabrique du Temps and Concepto
29 jewels, 21,600 vph, power reserve 100 hours
Silicon escapement wheel and pallets, with côtes de Genève decoration

Case and strap
5N pink gold, satin polished, diameter of 45 millimeters
Designed and manufactured by KERBEDANZ
Antireflective sapphire crystal on dial and case back
Crown in the north east (at 1:30 o'clock)
Alligator mississippiensis leather strap, double folding clasp with KERBEDANZ personalization in 18-karat rose gold

Full gold
Bas relief with miniatures on enamel
Double layer dial
Exclusively conceived, made, hand-sculpted and decorated by KERBEDANZ
Animations on the dial with the movement of one of the Qi-Lin's paws, the wing beat of the Vermillion Bird and by the oscillations of the turtle entwined with the serpent

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