If you really want to stand out from your peer group and you have money to burn, then maybe it’s time you take a look at the Winch Vertical Tourbillon from Cabestan. Be warned though, at well over a quarter of a million dollars this level of notoriety doesn’t come cheap.
The Winch Tourbillon Vertical
Although the WTV was officially unveiled a couple of years back the GTE 2013 was really my first opportunity to get up close and personal with one. As you can see in the photos this rather unusual looking piece is all about the angles and cylinders. The goal was to create something completely new and the end result is a case design quite unlike anything I have seen before.
Hours, minutes & seconds are indicated on 3 engraved rotary drums marked with Super Luminova, in addition to the 72-hour power reserve indicator, which is shown on its own separate engraved rotary drum, also marked with Super Luminova. I wouldn’t say reading the time is immediately intuitive but it is certainly very quick and easy to get used to. Rounding out the visual display is the constant force, chain and fusee vertical tourbillon in the bottom right-hand corner.
What I found really surprising however was just how comfortable the WTV is to wear. When you first look at it and your brain sees all those different angles it immediately forms the opinion that it must sit awkwardly on the wrist (at least my brain formed that opinion – involuntarily of course.) However thanks to a flat caseback and ever so slightly curved case, it actually sits quite nicely on the wrist.
That being said it is a bit on the high side, so abandon any notion of subtlety tucking it under your cuff. I imagine though if you’re considering this piece in the first place subtlety is not really high on your list of requirements. Plus, why would you want to hide away such an exotic looking timepiece, especially one that has been designed to allow unfettered viewing of the incredible movement from almost any angle?
And really, it is an incredible movement. Conceived and realized by highly respected Swiss watchmaker Eric Coudray, the Cabestan Calibre CAB EC 101 is comprised of 809 components and is fully assembled and regulated by hand. As I mentioned earlier it features a constant force, chain and fusee vertical tourbillon, which has been regulated in six positions. To be honest I would have liked to have been able to see more of the tourbillon, as for me this simply offers greater viewing pleasure. Given the unique case and movement design of the Winch Tourbillon Vertical however this simply was not an option.
Available in any number of variants your really are spoilt for choice when it comes to choosing one, assuming price is no barrier of course.
The Final Word
For me Cabestan is one of those brands for seasoned collectors who are looking for something really different for their collection, or for those people who have a lot of money and maybe only want to wear one, incredibly distinctive looking timepiece. Either way, as I said at the start, if you’re looking to stand out you can be reasonably confident you’re not going to see too many of your friends or colleagues wearing one. Whether that is a good thing or not is entirely up to you.