Rebellion 540 Magnum Tourbillon, A Sapphire Crystal Case That Pushes The Art To Extreme Limits.

t took 47,600 minutes of diamond grinding, that is 99 business days, to extract the eight elements that make up the case of the 540 Magnum Tourbillon from specially cut sapphire blocks. It was a mad idea that took the magic of transparence to new heights. Sometimes, the value of the container competes with the value of the gem it contains. The independent Swiss watch brand, Rebellion Timepieces has given the queen of all watch complications, the tourbillon caliber REB T-14, the most incredible rectangular watch case ever made. It all began with a mad challenge uttered in a defiant and passionate tone of voice. Some master watchmakers are plainly and simply masochistic. When taking up the insurmountable challenge announced by Rebellion, David Candaux had no idea what to expect. The task facing him was to make a case of sapphire crystal imagined by the designer Eric Giroud, which would already be complex enough as it is when made of steel, gold, titanium, or carbon. Armed with all the confidence of a true pioneer, somewhere between unawareness of danger and the wish not to disappoint anyone, he produced something that qualifies as a world premiere.

The 47,600 minutes that were required to machine and polish the extraordinary case do not include the hours and hours devoted to conceiving and verifying whether it would be feasible at all, one step after the other. It was a titanic job made possible by simulation using a computer and an advanced 3D software especially reprogrammed for the task at hand. Take the moorings that usually disappear into the mass of steel, gold or titanium: Here, they suddenly reveal themselves as very esthetic beauty marks. Because the sapphire crystal allows us to see everything. It involved reinventing, reshaping everything, from the tip of the smallest screw, to the most inaccessible panel reachable by human tools, right down to the gasket that maintains water-resistance, which had to be made of transparent silicon. “We had to put a lot of thought into finding each and every way to avoid changing the esthetics of the watch while managing to assemble all the elements and making sure all the connecting elements were invisible,” says David Candaux on completing the job.

The rectangular architecture of the REB T-14, with a double spring barrel, immediately catches the eye due to the large size of the tourbillon cage. Here, the mechanism devised by the brilliant watchmaker and physicist Abraham-Louis Breguet (1747-1823) has been interpreted in a most original manner, with finishing and subtleties that testify to an extreme mastery of horological complications. With its 540 tenths of a millimeter circumference and a diameter of 17.2 millimeters (hence the name of the collection, 540 Magnum) the tourbillon pervades the entire dial from its magnesium cage, like a kinetic crater topping an active volcano. Another thing to note is the world’s smallest chain, to give legroom to the regulating ten-day power reserve indicator with conical gears. It’s a little reminder of the world of mechanical sports.

In order to optimize the visual impact of this piece, which is destined to be visually undressed, the mainplate was made of carbon fiber. The high-tech materials used, like the special aluminum alloy, provide the mechanism with the necessary rigidity and lightness. They also offer some dark and racy views composed of subtle interplay of shadows and light. Synergies that are now exposed to the fullest extent, in mysterious watch style thanks to the total transparency of the sapphire crystal.

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Technical Specifications

Features and functions: 

  • Openwork dial showcasing movement
  • 14-day power reserve
  • Black-carbon Super-LumiNova tipped central hours and minutes
  • Black-carbon Super-LumiNova tipped skeletonize retrograde seconds hand at 6 o´clock
  • Chain-driven, arrowhead power reserve indicator at 9 o´clock
  • Roller-borne precision power reserve indicator at 7 o´clock
  • 17.2mm 60-second tourbillon escapement at 4 o´clock, crenelated
  • Two relief-engraved mainspring barrels in series at 9 o´clock and 12 o´clock
  • Dial and Hands: 
  • Central skeletonize hour and minute hands
  • Double-braced ARCAP hour markers
  • Chain-driven, arrowhead power reserve indicator at 9 o´clock
  • Skeletonize titanium bridges
  • Movement (REB T-14):
  • Movement dimensions: 36.7mm x 36.7mm x 9mm
  • 490 components
  • Materials include: Titanium and carbon fiber
  • Tourbillon cage in special aluminum alloy
  • Tourbillon diameter: 17.2mm
  • Three-quarter back plate in carbon fiber
  • Two relief engraved mainspring barrels in series (each barrel engraved with inspirational words, Barrel 1: “Passion”, “Speed” “Rebel”. Barrel 2: “Extreme” “Victory” “Glory”).
  • 10-day regulating power reserve
  • Double-braced titanium bridges
  • Movement back engraved with “Rebellion 540 Magnum”; 38 Jewels
  • Case and strap:
  • Modular construction
  • Case materials: Sapphire crystal
  • Sapphire crystals: Compound curves, beveled edges, anti-reflection treatment on both faces; case band window; display back
  • Dimensions: 46mm x 56.7mm x 19.6mm
  • Water resistance: 30m
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