Purnell watches is a relatively young brand with a clear vision. Founded in 2006 by Jonathan Purnell and inspired by his grand-father Cecil, a watchmaker with a strong fascination for tourbillons, the company produces nothing but tourbillons. And that sets the bar high, of course. The Tourbillon is probably the best-known horological complication and the combination of complexity and visibility fascinates all of us.
Purnell Watches took the challenge seriously and already developed 13 exclusive manufacture tourbillon calibers before they started working with watchmaker Eric Coudray to develop the foundation of the Escape I collection in 2017 and the Escape II in 2019. The Escape series have become the hallmark of Purnell and is really pushing the boundaries in tourbillon technology.
The essence and ultimate achievement here is the "Spherion", the worlds fastest triple axis tourbillon. Apart from being a feast for the eye, the technical marvel and complexity can hardly be over-estimated. First of all, a traditional tourbillon is consuming a lot of energy. Let alone a watch that has two triple Axis Spherion tourbillons, each containing of 3 cages that rotate in different speeds (8, 16 and 30 seconds). 6 mainsprings, mounted in 4 barrels aligned in parallel, are needed to keep the movement work and provide 32 hours of power reserve, indicated via an Ingenious Suspended Mobile Cone Mainspring sensor.
At the same time a differential linking the two tourbillons improves the watch performance, and has Purnell managed to reduce weight of the Spherion "to the max". The total weight of the 3-cage titanium construction is 0.79562 grams, which is less that the weight of a standard paperclip. The total movement weight is only 15.7 grams. How about that?
It will be no surprise that the Escape II is not a small watch. The case, made in forged carbon or black DLC grade 5 titanium, is 48x19mm and is open-worked at 6, allowing you an optimal view on the ingenious masterwork subtly from a different angle, just like specific drivers watches. A smart and creative move that emphasizes what this watch is all about: a horological tour de force that has firmly established the Spherion as the worlds fastest triple-axis tourbillon, and Purnell Watches as the explorer of new boundaries where the tourbillon as we know it is only a starting point.
The Escape II comes in editions of 20 per reference, and is priced at CHF 425,000.