The ArtyA Curvy Purity Tourbillon is a great example of artisanal sapphire watchmakingFergus Nash
- The ArtyA Curvy Purity Tourbillon embraces symmetrical and whimsical design.
- The Purity Tourbillon movement boasts a huge 17mm tourbillon cage that beats at 4Hz.
- Close inspection of the openwork movement reveals a lot of hand-finished detail.
Although it remains quite a niche genre for the wealthy elite, the list of sapphire-cased watches is quickly growing. The abundance is tamed by each release usually being a limited edition, however it does beg the question how long it will take for budget options to arrive. The new ArtyA Curvy Purity Tourbillon is certainly not a budget option, but rather a shining example of how versatile sapphire watches can be. It doesn’t quite have the flashiness of their colour-changing NanoSaphir Chameleon or the water resistance of the AquaSaphir, but you probably won’t be caring too much about function with a watch like this on your wrist.
The first thing you need before purchasing a sapphire watch is incredibly important, and that’s a little bit of whimsy. Some people will go on about the mystical significance of sapphire as a crystal, while others may rant about its difficulty in machining, however a watch like this needs to spark joy. Just as a see-through Swatch Jellyfish (currently produced as the Swatch Clearly Gent) will have kids showing off in the playground, people will want to see your watch because it’s a novelty, and not because of its material. That’s not to say that the other points aren’t also true, but the ArtyA Curvy Purity Tourbillon will be best enjoyed through childish eyes.
ArtyA have been an absolute force when it comes to material experimentation, using watchmaking as an artistic medium for all kinds of concepts. In comparison to some of their earlier projects, such as a watch case struck by lightning, the ArtyA Curvy Purity Tourbillon is surprisingly tame. Where its artistry comes in is mainly the shape of the case, which embraces vertical symmetry as much as possible. The tonneau shape embodies some art deco sensibilities, although the clear sapphire transports that century-old style into the future. The 12 o’clock crown may just be a result of the movement’s reorientation from previous Purity models, but it adds to that sense of antiquity and symmetry.
High-luxury watches with conceptual cases and lavish movements tend to sacrifice wearability for their appearance, however the ArtyA Curvy Purity Tourbillon doesn’t stray too far from practicality. The diameter bulges out to a moderate 38.5mm, and the 43mm case length should sit pretty well on most wrists. The lugs are short and sharply clipped, which also helps the effect of the strap flowing straight down over your wrist’s edges. Unfortunately ArtyA have not published the watch’s thickness, but it looks to be a reasonable amount of chunky. The main thing which affects the Curvy Purity Tourbillon’s size is the skeletonised movement, filling out the watch’s presence from top to bottom.
The Purity Tourbillon movement has featured in a fair few of ArtyA’s models in previous years, and its current generation boasts a gigantic tourbillon cage. At 17mm wide, the dancing balance and rotating cage make for a dominant feature, way more obvious than most tourbillon watches. The skeletonisation of the movement accents this further by removing any surrounding distractions, and simply suspending the tourbillon with a few dark-grey struts. It’s almost as if the whole thing is floating, carried by the components above like a hot air balloon. The dial is minimal but useable, with two dauphine hands above an openworked frame. Behind it sit the twin mainspring barrels, providing a power reserve of 72 hours at 28,800 vibrations per hour. That’s also a higher beat rate than most tourbillons, allowing the bigger cage to have a smoother rotation. That technology is a speciality of Télôs, an innovative Swiss movement manufacturer with whom ArtyA collaborated for the Purity Tourbillon.
Close inspection of the ArtyA Curvy Purity Tourbillon reveals a variety of finishes, all expertly applied. Satin brushing and sandblasted surfaces are accented by tiny diamond-polished sides and hand-beveled edges. As much as the watch is outwardly exuberant, loupe examination will be a rewarding experience too. That makes up for the lack of colour in the watch, with only grey accents and metallic tones to work with within the transparent case. ArtyA have not published the measurements for the lug width, however if you do want to spice things up with a colourful strap, I imagine the watch would actually be quite versatile thanks to traditional spring bars. The provided recycled leather strap has quite a beautiful alligator pattern to it, but its dressiness might not serve the watch’s personality in every context.
The ArtyA Curvy Purity Tourbillon pricing and availability
The AtryA Curvy Purity Tourbillon is limited to just 13 pieces, and you can enquire about it through ArtyA’s website. Price: US$152,000
|Model||Curvy Purity Tourbillon|
|Case Dimensions||38.5mm (W) x 43mm (LTL)|
|Water Resistance||30 metres|
|Strap||Black recycled leather|
|Movement||Purity Tourbillon, developed by Télôs|
|Power Reserve||72 hours|
|Functions||Hours, minutes, tourbillon|
|Availability||Limited to 13 pieces|