New: Delma 1924 Tourbillon

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Another of BCP Tourbillons is realised in the new Delma 1924 Tourbillon, celebrating the 100th anniversary of the Delma maison.

Press Release details with commentary in italics.

New: Delma 1924 Tourbillon

The Delma 1924 Tourbillon is a limited edition of 100 pieces. The watch is available on a souscription basis from 16 January to 16 March 2024 at a pre-order price of CHF 9,900 / USD 9,900. Thereafter, remaining pieces will go on general sale at authorized Delma retailera priced at CHF 12,500 / USD 13,900.

Commentary

The king of reasonably priced Swiss made tourbillons, Olivier Mory of BCP Tourbillons has struck yet again. This time working with the somewhat lesser known 100 year old brand of Delma. The maison has been in existence over the last century, uninterrupted and have always been family owned. The brothers Aldof and Albert Gilomen founded the company in 1924, under the company name A&A operating with watches bearing the brand names of Delma, Thuya, Midland and Gil. The ownership has been passed from one family to another till 1966 where Ulrich Wüthrich assumed control of the company and renamed it Delma. In 1996, Ulrich handed the reins of the company to his son-in-law, Fred Leibundgut, the present day Chairmand and CEO. Delma remains family operated by Fred and his son Andreas.

The movement is christened as the caliber DT100.01. The movement is claimed by Delma to have been a proprietary design which they worked with Olivier. BCP has supplied tourbillon movements to other maisons, including Ba111od for their Chapter 4, Louis Erard for their second Triptyth with Alain Silberstein, and Yema Yatchinggraph Tourbillon Maregraphe. While we are uncertain how much the movements have in common, it would be our informed guess that they are more alike than different. Probably reworked by Olivier to meet specific needs of each maison.

Delma has also chosen to reveal their component suppliers, a philosophy we have seen practiced by MB&F and Czapek. The regulating organ is made by Atokalpa, a company owned by Parmigiani and one of the leading producers of escapements. Movement finishing is done by Ora Temps and CV Décor, while the transmission and mechanism is by Tavadec. Even the mainspring supplier is named as Générale Ressorts and the shock absorbers the rather ubiquitous KIF Praechoc. We welcome this open and honest disclosure of working partners, unlike many other maisons who either prefer to keep mum, or say they make everything themselves.

The watch looks rather handsome, with a tonneau shaped case with a raised and sloped bezel. The case sides also feature crown guards. Finishing on the stainless steel case is satin brushed, highlighted by a high polished beveled edge between the upper surfaces and the case band. The steel bracelet is a 3 link design with a wide center link flanked by two offset smaller links. The watch is delivered with both this bracelet and a black calf strap.

Release Details

A centenary celebration. A high-complication.

Eager to mark its 100th anniversary, DELMA has created a timepiece befitting such an important milestone. The DELMA 1924 Tourbillon, appropriately limited to 100 pieces, is endowed with the much-coveted gravity-defying mechanism patented by legendary watchmaker Abraham-Louis Breguet back in 1801. The genius watchmaker recognized that gravity can adversely influence the behavior of the regulating organ within a timepiece; his solution was the tourbillon.

The DELMA 1924 tourbillon positions the escapement and regulating organ within a cage that revolves 360° every 60 seconds. As this cage rotates, any positional errors are negated. A hand affixed to the cage also serves to indicate the running seconds.

A proprietary Swiss movement

Although the watch brand wanted the DELMA 1924 Tourbillon to be keenly priced, it would not countenance the idea of sourcing the movement from a faraway land. Quite simply, it had to be Swiss. Moreover, the company did not want to select an off-the-peg caliber but sought something special, a proprietary movement encompassing its own design ideas. Indeed, it was important that this limited-edition watch be a postdated classic, imbued with the brand’s DNA and respectful of its rich heritage.

DELMA designed the tourbillon movement, drawing on the development and engineering expertise of Olivier Mory, Co-founder of BCP Tourbillons. Olivier, based in La Chaux-de-Fonds, has much experience working on tourbillons. Furthermore, Delma has liaised with several specialist firms from the region, to procure the components for its 100% Swiss Made movement. One example is Atokalpa, a leading producer of escapements and regulating organs and a firm trusted by some of the most prestigious watch brands in the world. 

The list below details the source of each component:

  • Movement finishing – Ora Temps, Delémont and CV Décor, Le Locle
  • Geartrain – Gimmel Rouages, Villiers
  • Escapement and regulating organ – Atokalpa, Alle
  • Transmission and mechanism – Tavadec, Tavannes
  • Screws and shock absorber- KIF Parechoc, Le Brassus
  • Barrel – Générale Ressorts, Bienne

The tourbillon sits at the heart of the Caliber DT100.01, a hand-wound movement that has a prodigious power reserve of 105 hours. Unlike most watches, which feature an index-regulated balance, the DELMA 1924 Tourbillon is equipped with a variable-inertia balance, delivering superior precision. The balance is fitted with a shock absorption system supplied by KIF, and the movement is shock-protected up to 5000 G. In addition, the Caliber DT100.01 comprises non-magnetic components such as the alloy hairspring and Glucydur balance wheel, hence it can withstand magnetic fields up to 2000 gauss.

Consistent with fine watchmaking, the movement is beautifully decorated. The baseplate is adorned with perlage, while the bridges, visible via the exhibition caseback, are embellished with Côtes de Genève and golden text. A sprinkling of blue screws subscribes to watchmaking tradition, while the movement is ruthenium-treated and dressed in a contemporary dark gray finish.

The Caliber DT100.01 may be the company’s first proprietary movement, but it certainly won’t be its last. In fact, it provides a foretaste of what’s to come – a move towards making additional proprietary movements, embracing innovation and, becoming increasingly independent.

Habillage

Having created an impressive movement, the specification of the habillage (dial, case, and bracelet) needed to be of comparable quality.

The dial of the DELMA 1924 Tourbillon is executed in sable black and features a grained finish. The hour and minute hands are palladium, nickel-plated, and lined with white Super-LumiNova® BGW9. They are teamed with matching applied hour markers to provide a harmonious look.

The 41mm case is formed of 316L stainless steel. All surfaces of the case are brushed, save for the beveled edges spanning the top and sides of the case, which are highly polished. The crown nestles between the shoulders of a crown protector and is equipped with an attractive grip that facilitates easy manipulation.

Fitted with a stainless-steel bracelet featuring a deployant clasp, the DELMA 1924 Tourbillon is supplied in a sumptuous presentation box containing an additional black Italian leather strap. Quick-release spring bars allow the wearer to switch to the strap, or vice-versa, without requiring the use of tools.

Irrespective of whether the watch is worn on a bracelet or strap, it always looks eminently handsome. Its luxurious housing, endowed with various subtle touches, sits in concert with the adjacent display. The dial is rich in nuanced detail, notably legible, and affords sight of the tourbillon cage, escapement, and regulating organ performing a spellbinding dance. The DELMA 1924 Tourbillon celebrates 100 years of history; a tradition of Swiss craftsmanship and independence, attributes the brand intends to develop further in the future.

Delma 1924 Tourbillon Specifications

Model: Delma 1924 Tourbillon

Reference number: 41601.770.6.031

Case: Stainless steel 316L, diameter 41 mm, height 14 mm, lug size 22 mm, lug-to-lug size 47.5 mm, water resistant to 20 ATM (200 meters); sapphire crystal with AR coating front and rear, satin-brushed surfaces throughout, save for the highly polished beveled edge, positioned between the upper surfaces and the caseband

Dial & hands: Sable black dial with grained finish and snailed minute track; applied lozenge-shaped indexes with white Super-LumiNova® BGW9; applied upper bridge with inverted V-shaped bar with thermally blued screws and polished circlet, endowed with black seconds’ track; palladium, nickel-plated hour and minute hands with white Super-LumiNova® BGW9 

Movement: Caliber DT100.01, hand-wound movement; frequency 21,600 vph (3 Hz); 19 jewels; power reserve 105 hours; KIF shock absorbers, shock resistance to 5000 G; anti-magnetic resistance to 2000 Gauss; variable inertia balance; Atokalpa AK222 escapement; alloy hairspring and Glucydur balance wheel; ruthenium treated baseplate and bridges, baseplate decorated with perlage, bridges with Côtes de Genève, all edges beveled and polished; blued and polished screws; regulated in 6 positions to average daily rate -4/+6

Functions: hours, minutes, tourbillon fitted with small seconds indication

Strap: Stainless steel bracelet with deployant clasp and black Italian calf leather strap with buckle. Bracelet and strap with quick-release spring bars. 

Limited edition: 100 pieces

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