Conveying the remembrance of time and imbued with dreams and an aura of mystery, meteorite fragments symbolise the ephemeral nature of time and humankind’s vision of eternity. Badollet has chosen to integrate this highly symbolic material within the Tourbillon Stellaire. The BAD1630 movement that drives this Instrument of Time is distinguished by its baseplate entirely made from meteorite and by the upper bridge of the tourbillon carriage set with extra-terrestrial olivines. This use of extra-terrestrial materials is unprecedented in the design of watch movements.
This mechanical hand-wound movement, endowed with a 120-hour power reserve displayed on the caseback, indicates the hours and minutes by means of central hands, as well as a tourbillon that is visible through the openworked dial at 6 o’clock. Revealing the symbolic power of the infinitely small, the carriage of the flying tourbillon carrying the Badollet logo and weighing less than one gram is set in a free-spirited and random manner with various shapes of extra-terrestrial olivines, also extracted from meteorite fragments. The 44 mm-diameter case in 150 palladium-coated white gold of the Tourbillon Stellaire is fitted with a sapphire crystal caseback enabling one to admire the back of the exceptional movement as well as its power reserve. Water-resistant to 30 metres, this stunning model features a glareproofed sapphire crystal protecting an openworked dial with Roman numeral hour circle, revealing the various parts of the movement and its meteorite baseplate.
The caseback also provides a glimpse of the finely openworked and hand-drawn bridges, depicting galactic circles.
Produced in an edition that is limited by its very nature, the Tourbillon Stellaire comes fitted with a genuine crocodile leather strap, complete with a folding clasp in 150 palladium-coated white gold.
These extracts from extra-terrestrial matter, originating from the depths of the universe, have always exercised a powerful fascination over human beings, evoking the mysteries of the creation of the world. Believed to have formed four billion years ago, at the same time as the solar system, meteorites constitute an incredible source of potential knowledge, carrying within them memories of what the solar system was like before the planets were formed.
The Cape York meteorite
The baseplate of the BAD1630 movement was created from the Cape York meteorite, named after the place where it landed, in Melville bay to the west of Greenland. It is thought to have dropped form the sky 10,000 years ago, even before Greenland was inhabited. This meteorite, discovered during a perilous expedition headed by English explorer Sir John Ross in 1818, was particularly important in the daily life of the Inuits, who used it to make arrow heads, harpoons and knives.
Badollet has chosen to set the tourbillon carriage, not with the usual precious stones, but with sidereal gems: olivines, detected in the dust halos surrounding young stars, as well as in the dust coma of the Hale-Bopp comet. Earth-bound olivines, found in great abundance in volcanic rocks, are used in making jewellery.
While extra-terrestrial or “heavenly” olivines feature much the same composition as their much younger earthly sisters, they can nonetheless be identified by scientific analyses.
Badollet holds an official certificate certifying the “nonearthly” origin of the olivines used to adorn its Tourbillon Stellaire.
Hundreds of millions of stars rotate around a common centre of gravity, thereby forming a galaxy. “Galactic circles”, represented by the bridges of the BAD1630 movement powering the Tourbillon Stellaire, is the name given to describe the path described by these stars as they pursue their rotation.
The Tourbillon Stellaire, a genuine watchmaking challenge Badollet’s choice of meteorite for the baseplate of its BAD1630 movement was not determined merely by its symbolic value, but also viewed as a chance to rise to a technical challenge. Meteorite is a material that is particularly hard to fashion, not only because its structure is extremely uneven, but also because it tends to become magnetically charged during machining. Badollet therefore had to develop some exceptional processes in order to accomplish the apparently impossible.
A unique timepiece
The Cape York meteorite is an octahedric type meteorite made up of more than 91% iron and having been exposed to cosmic rays for an estimated 93 million years. This high iron content is liable to modify the colour of the Tourbillon Stellaire movement, yet without affecting its smooth operation. This distinctive feature reinforces the unique nature of each timepiece, since none of them will look identical as time goes by.
Movement – BAD1630. Tourbillon type mechanical movement with Swiss lever escapement. Manual winding. Standard central analogue display of the hours and minutes. Baseplate made from meteorite material, upper bridges of the tourbilon carriage set with olivines, and bridges representing galactic circles. Tourbillon carriage visible at 6 o’clock on the dial side, with personalised Badollet bridge. Suspended-type tourbillon (without bars) performing one full rotation in one minute. Cage pivoting without ball-bearing mechanism. Power-reserve indication (IRM) on the caseback (bridge side). Number of lignes – 13 ¼. Frequency – 21,600 vph (3Hz). Power reserve – Approx. 120 hours.
Case – Back and bezel in 150 palladium-coated white god. Sapphire case middle. Sapphire crystal, glareproofed on both sides, ultra-hard treatment. Crown in 150 palladium-coated white gold, water-resistant when the crown is pulled out. External diameter – 44 m. Inter-horn width – 24 mm. Water-resistant to 30 metres.
Hands – Hours: Leap-type, rhodium-plated. Minutes : Leaf-type, rhodium-plated.
Strap – Saddle-stitched, entirely hand-sewn Black Safari alligator mississipiensis leather.
Clasp/Buckle – Folding clasp, 150 palladium-coated white gold.