Cabestan Triple Axis Tourbillon Full Sapphire Watch
At Baselword 2015, Cabestan showed off its Triple Axis Tourbillon watch. The Cabestan Triple Axis Tourbillon watch is significant for a number of reasons. It was, and I believe still is, the fastest-rotating triple-axis tourbillon watch in existence. Plus, it was the first watch that was designed from the ground up by Cabestan’s master watchmaker Eric Coudray. As you can see from our hands-on of the original Triple Axis Tourbillon watch, it is a beast of a watch, with many interesting little details and a completely mesmerizing triple-axis tourbillon. For 2017, Cabestan is back with the Cabestan Triple Axis Tourbillon Full Sapphire watch, a new version that features a full sapphire case.
Watches with full sapphire cases are something of a trend these days. Hublot, for example, has put out a couple of all sapphire watches in the past year or so. There’s the Big Bang Unico Sapphire watch, the MP-05 LaFerrari Sapphire watch, and of course, the newest Big Bang UNICO Magic Sapphire watch that was also just announced for 2017.
Sapphire is an interesting choice for a case material with an equal share of advantages and disadvantages. As we all know, sapphire is incredibly tough and scratch-resistant, which means a watch with a sapphire case is unlikely to show the usual signs of wear like nicks and scratches. Plus, it is transparent, and that means owners will be afforded a full view of the movement within, which is always welcome. On the flip side, sapphire makes the watch very heavy, but perhaps more importantly, sapphire can crack if subjected to a hard enough knock. “You cannot have your cake and eat it too,” it would seem.
The new Cabestan Triple Axis Tourbillon Full Sapphire watch makes a strong argument for the benefit of an all-sapphire construction because of its wonderfully complex Caliber CAB0017 movement. The sapphire case allows owners to admire the movement from all angles, and there is indeed a lot to see. First of all, the triple axis tourbillon spins at a very rapid rate. The quickest axis completes a revolution in just 17 seconds, while the second quickest takes 19 seconds. The slowest axis takes 60 seconds to complete a revolution. Without videos to show you, suffice it to say that it is a highly animated movement. And at any given moment you might glance at it, it always seems like there is something happening.
Even without the tourbillon, the Caliber CAB0017 is a visually arresting movement. It consists of 978 components and is expertly finished by hand. And we haven’t even got to its chain-and-fusée constant force mechanism, a hallmark of Cabestan, which consists of over 350 links and 234 rivets. The sapphire case allows a full view of the movement within, and clearly, there are a whole lot of things to look at.
According to Cabestan, the team took over 2,000 hours of work to realize this piece, and from first impressions, at least, it looks like it was all worth it. A movement as technically complex and visually interesting as the Caliber CAB0017 shouldn’t be kept obscured, so an all-sapphire case makes sense. The Cabestan Triple Axis Tourbillon Full Sapphire watch will be limited to just 50 pieces and it is priced at 265,000 CHF. cabestan.ch