You may not remember the name but you’ll definitely know the face; the Inversion Principle by Fonderie 47 is back, this time in gorgeous Red Gold.
I first came across Fonderie 47 back at the start of 2013 when the company launched its inaugural timepiece; the Inversion Principle in White Gold. Although there wasn’t much fanfare surrounding the launch (i.e. none at all) due to Fonderie 47’s tiny marketing budget, the watch became somewhat of an overnight sensation online thanks to its incredible complexity, unusual design and unique choice of materials.
Now I’m sure those of you who are not familiar with Fonderie 47 story are probably wondering right about now what the heck is so unique about white gold? And you would be right, in watchmaking at least, the answer is absolutely nothing. However, what I am referring to is another material incorporated into the design of the Inversion Principle; transformed steel from a destroyed AK47 assault rifle.
You see a major goal of Fonderie 47’s founder – entrepreneur and philanthropist Peter Thum – is to reduce the number of destabilizing assault weapons in Africa, specifically the notorious AK 47. In part he is seeking to do this by buying up and destroying as many of these guns as he can get his hands on, and then re-purposing these materials into pieces of wearable art, such as the stunning Inversion Principle.
The bigger picture here though of course is about raising global awareness of this issue. As Peter told me last year when we met at Baselworld, the goal was to make a product that would get people talking, something that was expensive and outrageous and that would appeal to people with influence who could lend support to his cause in a meaningful way. Suffice to say, he’s succeeded.
The Inversion Principle
The Inversion Principle is simply breathtaking. Designed by Adrian Glessing and produced by David Candaux/Du Val Des Bois, it really is a timepiece unlike anything else on the market. Hours are displayed via the instantaneous jumping hour indication shown at 12 o’clock, which is controlled by a quick-set pusher, whilst the minutes are tracked on a 240° retrograde display arcing across the bottom half of the dial.
Between the two indications sits a three-minute flying tourbillon, spinning at a much slower rate than your standard one-minute tourbillon, allowing the viewer to fully appreciate its complex construction at his or her leisure. There are three second-hands, equally spaced 120° apart around the tourbillon cage, however only one is ever visible at given point in time, with the other two hidden beneath the gold rifle-sight inspired frame set into the sapphire crystal.
Completing the look are two power reserve indicators, each responsible for keeping track of the impressive six-day power reserve. The first is shown laterally through a small, sapphire window on the left-side of the case, whilst the other is only revealed when you turn the watch over to admire the beautifully finished movement. At the bottom you will notice that the ratchet wheel has been capped by the aforementioned dark plate of transformed steel from a destroyed AK47. The plate is in the form of the Fonderie 47 symbol and rotates as the watch is wound.
Presented in a 42mm case the Inversion Principle in Red Gold is offered in a limited edition of just 10 pieces and can be yours for US$195,000.
You may be surprised to know that Thum has expanded his focus to combatting gun violence in the USA as well, founding the jewellery company Liberty United – based on a similar concept to Fonderie 47 – with his wife, actress Cara Buono.
You can check out all the details here.
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