Presenting the Cabestan Saturnera, with a 3D spinning Saturn. Because even 3D Moon is getting boring. So how did this idea come about?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 Technical Specifications
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
Manual finishing of all components: beveling, polishing, drawing and circular finishing
3D sphere representing the Saturn phase, correction with a stylus
Hours, minutes, seconds and power reserve displayed on three engraved rotary drums, colored markings in Super Luminova
Saturn Phase in 3D,
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
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