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Rare Watches: Cabestan Saturnera piece unique

by Peter Chong on June 10, 2015

Presenting the Cabestan Saturnera, with a 3D spinning Saturn. Because even 3D Moon is getting boring. So how did this idea come about?

 

The Cabestan Saturnera in rose gold. The numerals are Arabic characters, and on the barrel, instead of the usual brand name "Cabestan" writes the name of the owner in Arabic.

The Cabestan Saturnera in rose gold. The numerals are Arabic characters, and on the barrel, instead of the usual brand name “Cabestan” writes the name of the owner in Arabic.

 

We were privy to the creation process, possibly the world’s first accurate Saturn phase display in a wrist watch. It all began one afternoon at the Cabestan offices, when the Lionel Bertoux, CEO and Owner of Cabestan was chatting with Jorge Gonzales, the Sales Director.

 

Cabestan Saturnera, case in 5N pink gold. Piece unique with Saturn phase.

Cabestan Saturnera, case in 5N pink gold. Piece unique with Saturn phase.

 

Jorge had a client on the phone. The client already owns a piece unique Cabestan Winch Tourbillon Vertical. He liked the then new Luna Nera but felt that a moonphase, even a 3 dimensional one was too common and getting boring. They were in deep discussion and Lionel had Eric Coudray, the master watchmaker and genius behind the Cabestan movements on the phone on the other end.

Now Lionel is French and Jorge is Spanish and the only common language between them is English. And Eric Coudray only speaks French and a smattering of English. It went something like this:

Lionel (on the phone with Eric): il veut quelque chose qui tourne (He wants something which turns)

Jorge (on the phone with the client): they are talking about Saturn

Client: Yes! Yes! Saturn. I want it! Saturn! Cool!

Jorge (ends call with Client) and turns to Lionel: He said ok, he wants Saturn.

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Lionel (surprised): Um, what? Saturn?

Lionel (recovers from his shock for a moment and speaks to Eric on the phone):Ernm, maestro, he wants Saturn

Eric: Hmm…Interesting. Let me think about it.

 

Cabestan Saturnera. Piece unique in rose gold.

Cabestan Saturnera. Piece unique in rose gold.

 

The rest, as they say, is history. Eric came back the following days with a proposal to do a rotating Saturn to show its phases. The base would be the Cabestan Luna Nera in a rose gold case.  A three dimensional image of Saturn, with its rings in animation, would take the place of the moon in the Luna Nera. The difficulty is that Saturn makes one revolution in 10 hours 47 mins. This is a rather fast rotation compared to our Earth’s moon which makes one revolution in 29.5 days.

 

The movement CAB EC 102S is modified from the EC 102L which is the regular production Luna Nera with 3 D moonphase display.

The movement CAB EC 102S is modified from the EC 102L which is the regular production Luna Nera with 3 D moonphase display. Note that this is a Collector owned piece, worn and loved. As is our custom, we do not make any attempts to clean the watch to hide the marks of usage and of the timepiece being loved.

 

 

Making the sphere turn faster technically is not too difficult, just additional wheels in the train, calculated to give the correct rotation is all that is needed. The difficulty comes in two fold: firstly to find the space within the movement to house the additional train components. And secondly, a sphere spinning faster than the original design would require more power.

Eric had to rethink and redesign the movement to accommodate. Modifications were made to the movement and it was tested, and found to be satisfactory. The new movement is now the Caliber CAB EC 102S instead of the CAB EC 102L, carrying 944 components instead of 939. It is quite amazing that the power reserve remains the same at 72 hours.

Read also:   Review of SIHH 2014 and the top 5 most impressive watches

 

The 3 dimensional sphere and rings representing Saturn. The sphere makes one revolution every 10 hours 47 minutes. It does so in 9 incremental steps every 12 hours.

The 3 dimensional sphere and rings representing Saturn. The sphere makes one revolution every 10 hours 47 minutes. It does so in 9 incremental steps every 12 hours. The inclusions in the Jasper Kalahari stone used in the sphere makes it look like the spots on Saturn, and the agate ring is quite a realistic representation of the planet’s famous rings.

 

Also interesting is the construction of the Saturn. The planet itself is made from a dessert stone called Jasper. This particular piece is from the Kalahari Dessert. And to it, is attached a disc with a hole in the middle, like a donut the representation of Saturn’s rings. This is done with a transparent layer made of sapphire and to the sapphire is attached a agate ring. And to make this Saturn pop out visually on the watch, Cabestan crafted a background of Adventurine which looks like a night sky with stars in the background. We felt this is rather well thought off, and a nice touch to a unique timepiece.

 

Cabestan Saturnera, showing the Saturn, the fusee and chain and the vertical tourbillon.

Cabestan Saturnera, showing the Saturn, the fusee and chain and the vertical tourbillon.

 

 

Cabestan Saturnera Technical Specifications

Movement

Caliber CAB EC 102S, manually wound with Swiss lever escapement,

Total of 944 components fully assembled and regulated by hand

Tourbillon regulated at 6 positions

Frequency: 21 600 bph,  Breguet-style overcoil, Geneva stud

Power reserve: 72 hours

Balance amplitude: 240°

Vertical system of wheels are nickel-plated, plates and bridges are in maillechort and rhodium-plated

Stainless steel chain 160 mm long composed of 235 links and 156 rivets,

Time-setting and winding with individual crowns

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Manual finishing of all components: beveling, polishing, drawing and circular finishing

3D sphere representing the Saturn phase, correction with a stylus

 

Display

Hours, minutes, seconds and power reserve displayed on three engraved rotary drums, colored markings in Super Luminova

Saturn Phase in 3D,

 

Saturn Planet

Makes one complete rotation in 10 hours 47 minutes as the real planet, The Saturn phase is updated 9 times every 12 hours

Material  :Planet: Jasper Kalahari

Saturn’s bands: agate

Transparent support for Satun’s bands : Sapphire

Sky : blue Aventurine

 

Case

In house made case in brushed and polished in 5N pink gold

Two sapphire crystals hand-fitted to each case

Three functional capstans: rewinding, time setting and 3D-Saturn setting

 

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