Horage’s affordable tourbillon is returning with a new design
The new Lensman 1.1 Tourbillon is part of this year’s Lensman releases, including a new photography-inspired Lensman 2.
For those who have not heard of Horage, it’s an independent watchmaker based in Biel/Bienne and founded in 2009. It runs on the same basis as many other crowdfunded watchmaking firms, but with an advantage: it has its own in-house movement production. The K1 movement was the basis for its earlier watches, and subsequent models feature new movements.
But Horage is best known as the maker of the world’s most affordable Swiss-made tourbillon in the market right now. The Tourbillon 1 was launched in 2021 at just CHF 6,990 with add-ons (such as a CHF 300 COSC certification) and 160 different options for 260 pieces, so you could have a unique tourbillon at a sub-CHF 10,000 price. Following that, the Lensman 1 Tourbillon was introduced at CHF 8,390.
That’s remarkable, considering the next most affordable Swiss-made tourbillon is from TAG Heuer. An independent watchmaker producing its own tourbillon movement at a lower price point than one of the biggest watchmakers in the market seems impossible to contemplate. Now, Horage is set to launch two photography-inspired timepieces in two weeks. This might be an interesting alternative for those considering a Leica timepiece.
The Lensman 2 Exposure
If you’ve dabbled with photography or are a professional photographer, you’ll know that finding the right exposure can be a challenge. This is especially true if you’re a purist and use a non-digital camera. Here’s where the Horage Lensman 2 Exposure will be a bonus. The bidirectional rotatable bezel of the watch acts as an exposure calculator to recommend the shutter speed and aperture you should use for your camera based on the ISO setting and lighting conditions. The 39mm by 39mm flattened cushion case has extremely short lugs, making it very easy for anyone to wear.
But the Lensman 2 Exposure is not only for photographers. The watch is also a dual time zone model, powered by the brand’s K2 movement with a GMT module added to it. The COSC-certified, self-winding movement has a three-day power reserve and incorporates a silicon escapement for amagnetism and performance.
The Lensman 2 Exposure has a rounded inner case in hard anodised aluminium and a polished Grade 5 titanium exoskeleton that highlights its dynamic design (and kind of recalls the look of vintage cameras). Landon Stirling and David Sharp from Horage explain that the hard anodisation penetrates deeper than standard PVD treatments, and actually harden the material so it’s more durable. The large titanium bezel is laser-cut with grooves that remind one of a camera focus ring, and has ISO and aperture markings. An inner bezel indicates the shutter speeds and lighting conditions.
A black minute track with 12 hour indexes is set inside the inner bezel, with a 24-hour marking on the sector-style dial. The second time zone is indicated by an additional lollipop-style hour hand. Two versions of the watch exist, one with a silver dial and yellow hour hand, and the second with a yellow dial and silver hour hand.
The silver dial is a special edition dedicated to photographer Brian Griffin (no relation to Family Guy) with an engraved quote indicated on the caseback. It also has some subtle upgrades, such as a platinum rotor compared with a rhodium-coated tungsten on on the yellow. The special edition will also include a set of 4 prints from the photographer for those who enjoy fine photography works. Naturally, it’s slightly pricier.
The Lensman 1.1 Tourbillon
Along with the Lensman 2 Exposure, Horage is also introducing the Lensman 1.1, a follow-up to the Lensman 1, which was its first tourbillon watch. The manually wound flying tourbillon watch features a titanium cage with silicon escapement and is COSC-certified. The K-TOU movement developed by Horage has a five-day power reserve, which is very impressive for its pricing and quality. There are some improvements over the original Lensman 1’s movement, such as an improved winding clutch so it’s clearer when the movement is fully wound.
The watch is housed in a 41mm titanium case with a grooved bezel that’s fixed. On the sides of the case, aperture details are engraved. The dial features a domed sapphire with a magnifying lens over the tourbillon to emphasise its visibility. The dial is in black with an outer minute track, grooved hour ring, and a matte black inner display. The indexes are applied and coloured with red Super-LumiNova, with the tourbillon at 6 o’clock.
On the caseback, the K-TOU movement’s mainplate is designed in a grid-like pattern that’s partially cut out to expose the gear train, barrel spring, and elements of the tourbillon. It creates a very unique design that feeds one’s curiosity and makes you wish you could peer into the movement to see what else is hidden within.
Pricing and Orders
All three models will be available for pre-orders from 8pm SGT on June 6 (2pm in Central European Time). The standard edition Lensman 2 is priced at CHF 5,450 (~S$8,131.95), the Brian Griffin model at CHF 6,450 (~S$9,624.05), and the Lensman 1.1 at CHF 8,990, which is still the most affordable for a Swiss-made tourbillon.
There are also box sets available for the Lensman 2 and Lensman 1.1 watches, which are CHF 14,050 for the standard editions and CHF 15,050 for the set with the Brian Griffin model. The latter comes with a set of four signed photographs that you can pick.
Horage is available in Singapore and Malaysia through Red Army Watches. Visit any of its boutiques to discover more about these watches.
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