The Escape IIS Treasure, the latest addition to Purnell’s Double Spherion Escape collection, is the first-ever grand complication designed for women. The Escape IIS Treasure is a powerful timekeeper driven by the force of Purnell’s ground-breaking double-Spherion movement, designed and developed by Purnell in collaboration with master watchmaker Eric Coudray.
To adapt what is today the world’s fastest triple-axis tourbillon to a feminine wrist without giving up any of its power, Purnell redesigned its Escape II, the world’s first double Spherion movement. What is more, Purnell added to its exceptional new timepiece, a feature that is a world premiere: a pair of tourbillon cages set with gemstones.
This extraordinary feat of nanotechnology combined with precision gem-setting know-how has never before been achieved in watchmaking history. As such, the Escape IIS Treasure is a nod to the gem-set timekeepers worn by women in the 17th century, and an exercise in high style that marries the elegance of a precious wristwatch with the technical prowess packed inside Purnell’s double-Spherion mechanism, alive in a perpetual dance of diamonds.
The new Escape IIS Treasure collection offers a choice of four new versions, each customizable upon request. Each version comes with a skeletonized movement, a 32-hour power reserve, and a 44mm case made smaller for a feminine wrist. Two versions, the Treasure Diamond and the Treasure Rainbow are set with diamonds or “rainbow” gemstones on their tourbillon cages, while two more versions also feature a case and dial fully set with baguette-cut diamonds or “rainbow” gemstones. Across this collection, the sparkle of gemstones enhances the visual spectacle of the double Spherions visible through a custom-crafted monobloc sapphire glass, setting a new standard for grand complications for women.
A New Addition to Purnell’s Double Spherion Family
Specialized in gravity-defying tourbillons since it was founded in 2006, Purnell introduced its “Spherion” – a triple-axis tourbillon – in 2017 in the Escape I model. That Spherion construction, designed by Purnell in collaboration with Eric Coudray, featured a triple-axis tourbillon mechanism rotating at higher velocities than any existing triple-axis tourbillon. Its movement relied on the Potter Escapement which Eric Coudray modified in part by adding “internal teeth” to its escapement wheel, to improve performance and reduce energy consumption. Purnell’s Spherion became then the world’s fastest triple-axis tourbillon.
With its own sophisticated, female collector-base in mind, Purnell has designed the Escape IIS Treasure as the quintessence of the spectacular, powered by its highvelocity Spherions that come alive in a mesmerizing dance inside their gem-set tourbillon cages. For the first time in watchmaking history, the Escape IIS Treasure features tourbillon cages with arms set with gemstones. The task of gem-setting the tiny arms raised its own set of challenges. First, the surface on the arms of the tourbillon cages had to be increased to create enough space to set 152 brilliant-cut gemstones on each outer cage.
For that, Purnell redesigned the tourbillon cages with a wider arm architecture without compromising either the precision or the function of the Spherions, or reducing the 32-hour power reserve. In its feminine iteration, the new model had to be imminently wearable. For that, the case size of the Escape IIS Treasure – the “S” standing for “small” – was reduced to 44mm, down from the 48mm of the Escape II, its predecessor. Next, the overall weight of the cages was re-balanced, given the added weight of the diamonds.
The weight of the movement was maintained at just 15.7 grams with each Spherion weighing a mere 0.831 grams. Finally, gem-setting on the robust titanium for the cages posed a significant challenge, yet it was one that Purnell overcame by calling upon the skills of its talented gem-setting artisans using extreme precision to apply special technique adapted to titanium.
With the Escape IIS Treasure, Purnell has tapped into a centuries-old tradition of gem-set timekeepers to bring a new collection of technically-advanced timepieces to a very special client: that style-conscious woman who appreciates the way gemstones enhance the beauty of a grand complication.
For more information, visit purnellwatches.com