You spin me right round, baby, right round like a record – The new Perrelet Turbine Pilot models are a sight to behold
Editor’s note: This is a Mind, Body & Soul review of the four new Perrelet Turbine Pilot models. These short form reviews, or Mind (stats), Body (design features) & Soul (what’s special) reviews as we like to call them, are meant for those who are in a rush and wish to get their watch fix fast. For our standard reviews, please head to our detailed review section here.
What is it: The four new Perrelet Turbine Pilot models
Why: Because the under-appreciated house that invented the self-winding watch — albeit pocket watches using the concept of oscillating weights — roughly 250 years ago can frankly do anything. And who else makes automatic watches using a patented Double Rotor and Turbine technology?!
When released: October 2020
Where: Global release, in Australia the dealers are Wamada Jewellery Sydney and The Independent Collective Sydney
Who is it for: For someone who truly appreciates horology and doesn’t cower under the burden of what’s popular but rather charts his own way. Combined with an impressive legacy (though not very well known) enthused with a bit of life owing to different colours, the feature of a patented design that’s unique, and an in-house movement, the new Perrelet Turbine Pilot models are anything but uninspiring.
First Impression: A bit messy, too bold, too much happening
Second Impression: Mechanical wonders in their own rights, there is much more to these timepieces that just some funky looking dial.
How does it do: All it needs is Jean-Claude Biver behind it, and that will turn things around to garner respect worthy of this brand’s legacy. I love ‘em. The use of electric red, blue and yellow adds a bit of funk to the dial. And of course, how can one not be amazed by the spinning turbine blades on the dial.
Missing: Suffers from ‘high — in my opinion justified — recommended retail price vs selling price on ADs difference’ syndrome. For instance on Jomashop a version is selling for 64% off. The brand also needs more marketing and recognition. And though as much as I love these, the case diameter of 48mm is simply too huge for a lot of guys, including myself, and I feel they should have released a smaller diameter version of this. Just look at the new Tudor BB58 Blue; in 39mm, it’s causing a storm that raging through the months long wait-lists. Different strokes for different folks but going by rent market trends, a small size would be better, at least in my honest opinion. They also need a simpler, plainer strap as well; there is already too much going on here within the dial and on the case surface, and adding a lug/strap design that’s non-conventional kind of makes it akin to ‘too many cooks…’
Out of the four new models, the blue version is our favourite as it’s also got matching blue hour markers, and we’ll be looking at the specifications of this version here. That said, the specs pretty much read the same for the entire collection, barring the white markers in the red/yellow/beige versions.
The new Perrelet Turbine Pilot Electric Blue reference Ref. A1095/2 features an automatic winding in-house calibre P-331-MH. This COSC-certified 26.2mm diameter and 3.85mm thick (oscillating weight included) movement comprises of 25 rubies and 92 components, beats at the frequency of 4Hz (28,800 Vph), and offers a 42-hour power reserve. Featuring their patented Turbine technology, the movement showcases the open-worked and rhodium-plated oscillating weight with Perrelet logo. The movement itself is also fairly decorated with the rhodium plated main plate featuring circular grain patterns, and the bridges being rhodium plated and sandblasted.
The movement also allows to separately showcase the turbine technology, that roughly a decade ago when these turbine watches were first introduced, used to be a part of the movement itself. Now used in Perrelet’s pilot’s watches, what this essentially means is that they have taken their turbine tech and mixed it with the concept of the circular slide rule. The latter is a set of aviation slide rules that are essentially analogue calculation tools and used to — now there are computers for this stuff — act as a vital support instrument for pilots before and during flight. Equipped with a series of concentric discs with different graduated scales, aviation slide rules perform various conversions of measures with great speed.
The movement is encased inside a 48mm diameter and 13.48mm thick black PVD coated stainless steel case with a fluted case band and an integrated crown at 9’o clock for time setting alongside a 3’o clock that is used to activate the internal bi-directional rotating ring. Both the top and the back of the case are covered with a sapphire crystal, and the timepieces are water-resistant to 50m (5 ATM).
The dials of the new Perrelet Turbine Pilot models depict the functions of central hours, minutes and seconds, along with the above mentioned bi-directional rotating ring with circular slide rule on a black under-dial with electric blue stripes.
The dial of course also features the 12 black anodised aluminium turbine blades with five tungsten counterweights on the case back (for all versions).
For a busy watch dial, I am pleased to note that the legibility is pretty good owing to the:
- Bold, applied Arabic numerals 3-6-9-12 and indexes on the inside of the sapphire glass
- Minute disc with the first 15 minutes highlighted in electric blue
- Central luminescent electric blue hour and minute hands
- Central seconds hand with electric blue tip
- All numeral and hands are in-filled with luminescent material
Completing the look is the bi-material black alligator pattern leather and rubber strap, with a black PVD stainless steel folding clasp and the Perrelet logo.
It’s been six years since the launch of this collection, and it is safe to say that the brand has found a niche that’s worth collecting, a pilot’s watch with a turbine technology.
On the dial of these new models the 12 black anodised aluminium blades when in motion provided for an incredible hypnotic optical effect and flashes of colour. As the blades complete their rotations, a second dial placed below the turbine and decorated with electric blue — or red, yellow or beige stripes – materialises.
The English pop band called Dead or Alive had a famous track called You Spin Me Round (Like a Record). Reminiscent of this track, the essence of the timepieces lies in the use of turbines on the dial face.
To find out more about the new Perrelet Turbine Pilot models recommended retailing for €5’980.00 and other Perrelet timepieces, please head to their website here. All images unless otherwise stated are © Courtesy @2020 – Perrelet.