Usher flexes his spectacular Purnell watches worth more than $450kZach Blass
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. Too often in the realm of celebrity watch spotting we are subject to the usual suspects: Rolex, Patek Phillipe, Audemars Piguet, and Richard Mille. There is nothing wrong with that, as we all admire and desire watches from those brands. But it is far more interesting to see a more niche watch on the wrist of someone in the limelight and recently I was made aware of R&B superstar Usher’s love for Purnell watches.
What is really interesting is that his collection of Purnell watches is completely organic. Usher is not a paid ambassador of the brand and therefore acquired these pieces on his own volition. I can’t say I blame him, as Purnell has made their name by introducing some incredible tourbillon watches to the marketplace – notably holding the record of the fastest rotating double triple-axis tourbillon in the world.
Both Purnell watches Usher has been spotted wearing are a part of the Purnell Escape II Forged Carbon Escape collection – he owns the watch in both yellow and green. As its name suggests, the case is made of forged carbon and measures 48mm in diameter and 19mm thick. Despite this hefty size, the carbon case means the watch remains lightweight at a total of just over 50 grams. Towards the top of the sapphire crystal, at the 12′ position, is an openworked sub dial ring that displays the hours and minutes with hands and hour markers filled with lacquer. Beneath the hours and minutes, you can see the two visible barrel covers engraved. Between each there are six mainsprings assembled in four barrels aligned in parallel – the four are superimposed within two barrels. To the left of the upper sub dial expressing the hours and minutes is a power reserve scale, also filled with a matching lacquer colour, which, in the case of Usher’s watches are either yellow or green throughout.
The 3 ATM water-resistant case has a bold presence and form, with a gap in the carbon case between the lugs to allow the wearer to better see the tourbillons from varying angles while worn. But the stars of the show here are the record-holding double triple-axis tourbillons found in each watch. This is what makes the hand-winding caliber CP03, co-developed by venerated watchmaker Eric Coudray, so horologically intriguing. The caliber CP03 has 386 components and a whopping 67 jewels within the movement. It has a power reserve of 32 hours, which may seem short considering the number of mainsprings and barrels. But a lot of energy goes into the high-velocity titanium spherion cages, which, according to Purnell, rotate at eight seconds for the inner cage, 16 seconds for the secondary cage, and 30 seconds for the outer cage.
Considering the highly unique case, one piece sapphire crystal, and caliber, it should be no surprise that the watch is expensive – fortunately for Usher he can afford not just one, but two of these crazy cool watches. Paired with either a rubber or leather strap, the Purnell Escape II Forged Carbon has a base price of CHF 430,000.
Check out the shots below to see more of Usher flexing his Purnell watches.