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Introducing the Fonderie 47 Inversion Principle Tourbillon, Destroying 1,000 Assault Rifles At A Time

Watch lovers are a lot like stargazers. They're always looking to discover something new. They know the order of things, the brightest players, and what to expect from them. While we desire surprise, we don't expect to constantly find it. It is in this sense that La Vallee de Joux sometimes resembles the universe more so than usual. It's quiet, cold and seemingly harmonious. But, every once in a while, things stir up, and spectacular, brief occurrences come out of the Swiss tundra. Such is the story of Fonderie 47 and its Inversion Principle Tourbillon. Before sharing the watch, let's share the unique story behind Fonderie 47 and its chosen watchmaker.

Fonderie 47 is an initiative led by businessman and humanitarian Peter Thum. The company's initial aim was to reduce the amount of AK-47 rifles in Africa by turning them into jewelry and accessories. Since its onset, it has expanded to reducing all rogue assault rifles and other weapons around the world, and no longer only by turning them into jewelry and accessories, but by also turning them into watches.

This is where watchmaker David Candaux enters the picture. David grew up in a house that was blocks away from Patek Philippe. His father was a watchmaker. Upon starting his own manufacture, David turned his family's barn in La Vallee de Joux into a small but pristine watchmaking factory in which he sought to perfect his craft. And it was there that he combined efforts with designer Adrian Glessing in order to create the Inversion Principle Tourbillon.

The Inversion Principle is an original manufacture and design that stems almost entirely (excluding a Breguet overcoil and the like) from a tiny production in the valley. The fake watch verges on both classical and original lines. First there is a 42 mm red-gold case. It's beveled and polished to magnificence. The sides of the lugs are carved away, giving the case a specifically sculptured feel. The bezel is high in an effort to really accentuate the three-dimensional look of the dial. Cutting across the sapphire crystal from 10 o'clock to 2 o'clock is a red-gold connector that outlines the tourbillon (this is meant to mimic the shape of an AK-47's sight when aiming down its barrel). The dial has retrograde minutes running around the bottom circumference and a jump hour indicator at noon. The flying tourbillon is centered and high on a pedestal. Its three hands have a three minute rotation, giving the seconds a retrograde effect as well.

The details on the dial are rather artisanal. The blued screws and numerals are evident. The minutes and seconds are enameled. The retrograde seconds mechanism is of light aluminum with a precision regulator. The retrograde indicator shows five minute markings on one side and minute markings on the other. There's a lot of detail without any clutter. On the side of the case at 9 o'clock there's a power reserve indicator wheel with 6 markers ?because the fake watch has a six day power reserve.

Flipping it over reveals the F47-001 under a plate with wonderful Geneva stripes bursting from a black (but finely dressaged) ratchet wheel. The black barrel cover comes directly from the barrel of an AK-47. There's also a second power reserve indicator at noon.

This is very intricate and unique work coming from a very important place. Candaux is not a worldwide phenomenon in watchmaking ?we've never covered him before ?and yet here is his first truly bespoke commercial piece ?and it's virtually flawless. Pieces like these are impressive not only because of the prowess that they take to achieve, but also because of the story ?a company going to La Vallee de Joux for a project and producing exquisite and original manufacture.

Peter Thum's Fonderie 47 will produce only 10 of these pieces in red gold. Ten have been produced in white gold. The price was initially advertised at $350,000, but has since changed to $195,000. Thum no longer wishes to work with distributors and retail partners, in an effort to drive down the cost. He urges potential clients and collectors to inquire directly to Fonderie 47.

Each Inversion Principle Tourbillon that is sold will destroy 1,000 assault rifles. To this day and through their various works, Fonderie 47 has destroyed over 30,000 assault rifles.

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