wo spaceships battle it out beneath a sapphire crystal dome, facing off eighteen times an hour: the upper spacecraft completes a clockwise rotation every five minutes, whilst the lower vessel turns in the opposite direction, completing a counter-clockwise revolution every ten minutes. Meanwhile, two constantly revolving space stations stage a powerful defense against the effects of gravity.
To ensure they can float freely in space, the craft weigh barely 0.5 grammes each and are made entirely from titanium, with a hybrid ceramic colour finish applied by hand. Their movement can be measured in terms of the speed of light – almost 300,000 kilometres per second. The depths of space have been reproduced by inserting a floating flange between the cylinder and the sapphire crystal dome.
The mechanism devised by Jean-Marie Schaller is entirely original. Initially deemed impossible, its development required more than three years of research. Given the complexity of the technology involved, the possibility of a successful outcome was even called into doubt after a year’s research. Today, this construction is one of the most sophisticated in the field and requires the best possible care devoted by a handful of exceptional watchmakers.
The movement comprises two oscillators, each equipped with a differential mechanism to provide greater precision. Each watch has over 470 components and six ceramic ball bearings to ensure perfect rotation and balance of all revolving parts (the spaceships, the tourbillon cages, and the centre of the titanium gold frame).
- Spaceship 1, Spaceship 2
Even the winding and time-setting mechanisms stand apart from other timepieces: a function selector integrated in the caseback toggles between the two.
To complement the deep space effect, cutting-edge technology endows the dial with light-absorbing properties, achieved by laser nano-structuring on a titanium base that creates wells to capture the light.