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Perrelet Turbine Diver
The symbolism of a name
When I ponder the word, “Turbine”, I think of strength, power, movement and aquatic propulsion. Indeed it is the latter which is particularly relevant for this timepiece. This watch was born to live beneath the waves.
The upper rotor is reminiscent of a submarine propellor and bestows a unique appearance for this latest diver’s watch bearing a historical name.
The Perrelet nomen can trace its origins to its founder, Abraham-Louis Perrelet and the formation of his company in 1777. However, despite the history and tradition at the epicentre of the company’s paradigm, this watch is a very modern affair.
A diver’s watch has to be strong to withstand the pressure of the underwater forces bearing down upon it. Water ingress or breakage would be catastrophic for a diver’s timepiece being used for its intended purpose. The aforementioned symbolism behind the naming of this watch is congruent with its water resistance of 300 metres. This watch is designed for subaquatic exploration yet proffers a stylish appearance suitable for the person with sartorial savvy, firmly located on terra firma.
The watch is available in two colour options, black or blue. It is the latter version with a blue dial to which I am drawn. This variant, supplied with co-ordinating strap, reinforces the oceanic persona of the watch.
An 11-blade upper rotor spins with alacrity, disclosing the Superluminova surface beneath. It reminds me of staring at the wheel of a high performance car, with powerful red brake callipers and discs being disclosed as the revolving spokes move and reveal.
Some will look at the upper rotor and enquire whether it imparts energy to the mainspring. Sadly, this is not the case, however, for good reason. The rotor would not be able to spin as freely if connected to the spring barrel. On balance, I think Perrelet have made the right call, as to lose the visual drama of the upper turbine would have been a price too high.
The hour and minute hands are lancine shaped with Superluminova applied to their centres. A lithe, yellow central seconds hand points to the relevant integer with marksman-like accuracy.
The crown at 10 o’clock, equipped with a locking system, operates the inner bezel ring. The 20 minute ascent scale is depicted in yellow with prominent white markings enhancing legibility. The remaining area of the inner bezel is presented in blue, with Arabic numerals used at, “30”, “40” and “50” and simple white batons used in between, marking each 5 minute integer.
Stainless steel suits the character of the watch. It is satin brushed mitigating the risk of attracting attention from famished sharks.
The watch is substantial, measuring 47.50 mm in diameter and has a case height of 14.82 mm. However, this size is welcome as it enhances readability below the ocean surface as well as benefitting those of us who are blighted with short sightedness owing to the onset of middle age.
The blue rubber strap nuzzles the case in seamless union. Its hue provides a welcome departure from black rubber. It was this attribute which caught my attention when viewing a selection of models from the Turbine Diver range.
The crown for adjusting the hands and winding the watch, once the mainspring has become exhausted from non-use, is located at 4 o’clock. It sits flush with the caseband and has a discreet latch to aid use.
The fluted case has four “paws” straddling the bezel on the quarter hours. The design of the bezel reinforces the sturdy character of the timepiece.
Unlike some heavy duty diver’s watches, the Turbine Diver does not have a helium valve. I must admit I have had a change of heart about helium valves. I once wanted to have all the “bells and whistles” on a diver’s watch. However, I was recently in the company of a highly respected watchmaker and he talked about potential problems with helium valves sticking open. This lead me to question, do I need a helium valve when I seldom do more than snorkel? Moreover, this watch has a water resistance of 300 metres, which will meet the needs of 99 percent of potential purchasers. Perrelet has once again hit the mark.
I make no apologies. I have a burning desire to see the movement within any wristwatch. Many diver’s watches have a solid case back, frustrating my need for horological voyeurism. The Turbine Diver has a screw-in caseback with sapphire crystal to its centre, affording a view of the calibre located within and indulging my horological fetishism.
A key strength of Perrelet is that it belongs to the Festina Group with significant resources at its disposal. A sister-company within the Festina Group is Soprod.
Soprod are a well respected Swiss manufacturer of watch movements. They have created a unique calibre for Perrelet, the self-winding P-331.
The movement is beautifully presented. Côtes de Genève motif adorns the skeletonised rotor. Circular graining appears on the mainplate. The Perrelet logo is repeatedly engraved on the bridges and blued screws reinforce the sense of quality.
The Turbine Diver offers originality and style. It has a profound mechanical integrity which will appeal to those who seek engineering prowess without succumbing to the big budget branding of the usual suspects.
The name Turbine appears on several models within the Perrelet range, but somehow it seems most apt for the Turbine Diver. It has a dynamism and momentum courtesy of the upper rotor, which looks at home beneath the waves as well as on shore.
This is a worthy watch I would be happy to wear.
- Model: Perrelet Turbine Diver
- Reference: A1066/3
- Case: Stainless steel; diameter 47.50 mm; height 14.82 mm; water resistant to 3 bar (30 metres); sapphire crystal to front and caseback.
- Functions: Hours; minutes; central seconds; rotating inner bezel ring.
- Movement: P-331 caliber, self-winding; frequency 28,800 vph (4Hz) ; 25 jewels; power reserve 40 hours.
- Strap: Blue rubber strap on steel pin buckle.