Haute Timepieces: HD3 Bi-Axial Tourbillon Black Pearl Watch

One of the final steps in purchasing a Bi-Axial Black Pearl is giving HD3 your name so that they can engrave it on the back of the watch preceded by the title “Captain.” Based on the earlier Bi-Axial and Vulcania models, HD3’s Fabrice Gonet design of the Black Pearl version of the Bi-Axial Tourbillon complication watch is meant as an homage to pirate lore and their lack of respect for the establishment’s rules. This is in contrast to the Vulcania model’s homage to Jules Verne and the science fiction community’s frequent disregard for nature’s rules. A deliciously complex timepiece creation, the Bi-Axial Tourbillon Black Pearl watch is certainly for the well-to-do gentleman who has no need for the established rules of luxury watches, or design rules imposed most any watch for that matter.

HD3 has created one of the most satisfying means of “telling time differently” with the extremely complex BNB Concept made manually wound mechanical movement in this watch. The timepiece is based on a large exposed tourbillion that spins on two axes. It peers at you through its canon porthole-like opening at 9 o’clock on the square shaped dial. A wonderful rendition of the hours is expressed via a vertically mounted cylinder with red text on black and is displayed digitally. Minutes are expressed on a more traditional dial that looks like a nautical chadburn lever. Next to it is a sextant style power reserve indicator (maximum of 80 hours of power for the movement before rewinding). A square crystal covered window at 3 o’clock indicates the date. The rear of the watch case is covered with a transparent sapphire crystal for a full view into the beautifully crafted mechanical movement.

The original “Captain Jack” was Captain Calico Jack (aka John Rackham) circa 1700 who invented the most enduring of pirate symbols, the “Jolly Roger” – the skull with two crossed swords underneath in white against a foreboding black flag. The symbol is reproduced on the side of the Black Pearl watch (whose name refers to a famous pirate vessel) on the opposite side of large gear style crown (with a segment that is modeled after an anchor crank from old ships). Once again on the rear of the watch, placed in the sapphire crystal is a compass style skull symbol. In addition to its connection to the world of pirates, skull images are increasingly popular in haute masculine luxury goods.

PVD black and polished titanium makes up most of the intricate square watch case with anodized aluminum making up much of the dial (due to its low weight, high strength, and consistent finishing). There are also black gold finished segments on the dial for added luxury. Despite the clear intent to be unorthodox in HD3’s manner of displaying the time on the Black Pearl, the watch is actually very convenient to read (once you get the hang of it). Like all HD3 Bi-Axial watches, the Black Pearl will be available as limited edition of just 11 pieces and priced at $445,000 each. For more information, click here.

Ariel Adams is the Haute Living Watch Editor and also publishes the luxury watch review site aBlogtoRead.com.


Captions for image points:
1. Vertical digital hour indicator cylinder
2. Large square-shaped titanium case with PVD black segments
3. Minute indicator dial with chadburn style hand
4. Power reserve indicator for movement
5. Visible double axis tourbillon escapement
6. Date indicator window
7. Comes with, leather, alligator and rubber straps

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