Only Watch 2019: Ateliers de Monaco Tourbillon Oculus 1297


Next up in the world of weird-looking watches is Atelier DeMonaco’s submission for the 2019 OnlyWatch: the Tourbillon – Oculus 1297 watch.  Based on the explosion a volcano makes by the looks of it, the Tourbillon – Oculus 1297 (okay, I’m calling it the Oculus from now on) seems as if it was forged in the pits of hell itself, but it’s actually the result of a very unique process. 

The case is made of a blend of gold, carbon fibre and resin which are then mixed together. These materials are then pressed into a block-shaped roughly like the case of the watch and then heated until they meld together to make one single and unique looking solid. Once cooled, the case is machined away until it is the desired shape and size, in this case (no pun intended) it is 44mm x 13.1 and is ready to use. A titanium core keeps the case rigid.

The dial itself follows the same grey and gold theme as the case of the watch with a dark grey background for the time dial. It’s easy to read as there are only two dauphine hands and they are very wide. At 6 O’clock is the tourbillon which is suspended in place via a sapphire bridge, the automatic movement (calibre DMC-980) which has been developed in-house by Pim Koeslag’s team is highly accurate as well as it has been regulated to within 0-2 seconds per 24 hours. The tourbillon actually has a name as well. They call it the ‘eXtreme Precision 1 minute’ which is a good description to be fair. I guess the name ‘Bert’ wouldn’t have been so apt.

The watch is estimated to sell for between 50,000 and 70,000 Swiss Francs when it goes up for auction on the 9th of November. The money raised from the auction of the watches goes towards research into Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy, an inherited condition that gradually reduces muscle function. In the UK alone the NHS predicts that around 100 boys are born with it each year, and about 2500 people are living with it at any one time. In the USA, the NORD (National Organization for Rare Diseases) predicts that 1 in every 3500 boys born will have DMD, and there is currently no cure.

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