Masterpieces of Time

Introducing the Doppelgänger NGC-42

Controlled by a flying tourbillon and a Random Impulse Controller, the Double Orbital Indicators move like celestial bodies and orbit a central Core Unit in a three-dimensional ecliptic. Share

The NGC-42 takes its name from the New General Catalogue of Nebulae and Clusters of Stars (NGC), which was started in the 1880s. It is largely based on Wilhelm Herschel’s observations of the skies and is still the standard work today. It represents Doppelgänger’s aim of uniting past, present and future.

The numeral 42 will be familiar to readers of “The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy” by Douglas Adams. This represents the view of the three founders of Doppelgänger that complex engineering and high-end watchmaking ultimately should actually be fun. Double Orbital Indicators move like celestial bodies, orbiting a central dial unit in a three-dimensional ecliptic. Their surene, quiet movement is controlled by a flying Tourbillon and a Random Impulse Controller.

The Double Orbital Indicators display the time in ascending order: The wide Orbital Indicator shows the hour and the fine Orbital Indicator the minutes. The hours are read in the centre scale of the Indication Unit, the minutes on the side scales. These scales are non-linear near the event horizons, i.e. at the rising and setting of the Orbital Indicators. On its orbit, the minute Indicator passes above the hour Indicator.

Introducing the Doppelgänger NGC-42

Four invisible steel micro-chains control these different orbital planes and the different speeds of the two pairs of Double Orbital Indicators. One Indicator is visible while its Doppelgänger orbits the dark side of the Indication Unit. Only when reaching the event horizon, the setting and the rising Doppelgänger are both visible for a short moment. This is made possible by a Doppelgänger patent.

The one-minute Tourbillon of the NGC-42 is a flying Tourbillon, mounted on the main plate without a bridge and protected by two Incabloc™ shock absorbers. The NGC-42 Tourbillon is made of 53 parts and the whole cage including the balance still weighs only 0.47 grams. Its extra-flat construction has a total height of only 4mm.

The Tourbillon delivers the precise time through a movable gear wheel to the Random Impulse Controller. When this gear wheel has moved to the end of its sector, it releases power from the mainsprings and allows the Orbital Indicators to move forward, until it swings back. The Random Impulse Controller in this way allows the Indication Unit it to catch up with the Tourbillon, but never to outpace it. How long this process takes depends on the position of the Indicators and the energy stored in the mainsprings.

Consequently, the Orbital Indicators move at different intervals, but still keep precise time. This creates the fascinating effect that the exact time is produced by an irregular and seemingly random process. The Random Impulse Controller is a unique construction, a mechanism exclusive to the NGC-42.

Introducing the Doppelgänger NGC-42

Near the Event horizon, time and space become relative to each other, compressed even. The nature of space and time in its purest form. Once an indicator passes the event horizon, it slowly and mysteriously disappears. This phenomenon is happening once every hour for the minute indicators and once every 12 hours for all indicators simultaneously. Hence for a split second, the watch is practically empty of any indication. No time, only space. For a moment, time seems to come to a halt.

The Exosphere Case protects all three units with its spacecraft inspired design by Gerold Rubenbauer, one of the founders of Doppelgänger and a designer who worked on futuristic spacecraft designs for animation movies. The crystal is a particularly complex curved design which allows a full view of the rising and setting Double Orbital Indicators at their event horizons: At this moment, for a short time, the two Double Orbital Indicators for the hours or the minutes are both visible at the same time, thanks to a patented invention by Heinz Fladl, another founder of Doppelgänger.

The manufacturing of the curved watch crystal is particularly complex and takes several weeks, whilst this may be the first time such a complex crystal has been used in a wristwatch.

Guide Price: 176,100 CHF

Technical Specifications


  • Total components: 446
  • Jewels: 66 rubies
  • Additional bearings: 15 ball bearings, 1 differential gear train
  • A/h: 21’00 A/h (2.5 Hz)
  • Power Reserve: 100 hours
    5 Main Spring Barrels: 2 for the tourbillon and 3 for the Indication Unit
    Hand wound via true conical gear wheels
  • Indication: Hours and minutes via double orbital indicatory, seconds via tourbillon
  • Movement Dimensions:
    39.7 x 33.78 mm / 39.7 x 50.54 mm including Event Horizon Indicators
    Height: 10.34 mm / 11.48 mm including Double Orbital Indicators
  • Tourbillon: 53 components
  • Height: 4 mm
  • Weight: 0.47 g
  • Random Impulse Controller: Consisting of 12 components


  • Exosphere Case: 20 components
  • Dimensions: 56 x 49 mm
  • Height: 16 mm
  • Water resistance tested to 3 bar
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