Giberg Niura Flying Tourbillon: Elegant Style And Serious Substance
by Martin Green
Meeting Andreas Altmann, the soft-spoken owner of Swiss boutique brand Giberg, turned out to be one of my highlights of Baselworld 2018 – and even though Giberg is a small, new brand you’ve probably never heard of, I think that (like me) you will be very surprised.
Why? Because Altmann first introduced me to Ahton, a dragon crafted from five kilograms of gold and set with 7,739 brilliant cut diamonds, which took five years to create.
And then Altmann placed a Niura Flying Tourbillon in my hands.
Giberg Niura Flying Tourbillon: unapologetically feminine, yet transcending gender
Generally, it is the men’s watches that take center stage at Baselworld. Of course, there are also ladies watches launched there as well each year, but only very few make a significant lasting impact – especially for me (as I won’t be wearing them).
But the Giberg Niura Flying Tourbillon is different. In fact, it is so different that I named it my “best of show” in the Quill & Pad Baselworld 2018 round table and was joined in this opinion by my extremely-hard-to-please colleague, Ian Skellern.
What happened that two guys who usually don’t cast as much as a second glance at women’s watches came to decide that an overtly diamond-set watch was the best thing they saw at Baselworld (And, mind you, this was not due to a lack of other impressive watches introduced at the fair.)
What makes the Niura Flying Tourbillon so different is that it is first of all unapologetically feminine and doesn’t take any cues from anything that already exists.
The design is luxuriously stylish and strong at the same time, not to mention very clever. The movement is housed in a 35 mm case crafted in 5N red gold and set with diamonds. The lugs – if you can call them that – extend from the center of the case, down to where the strap begins.
The long lugs are each articulated at three points so that the watch comfortably wraps perfectly around wrists of all sizes.
Elegance and substance
With many watches for women – even many good and great ones – this is where the article would just about come to an end. All that’s lacking is noting how many diamonds are encrusted on the watch (in the case of the ruby version above, this is 2,157, weighing a total of 8.7 carats!). Normally that would be about it.
However, the Niura Flying Tourbillon is quite different, as its movement is just as much a work of art as its case.
Named Trilevis 6118, it is a manual-wind, double barrel movement with a flying tourbillon – and the word “flying” is one you can take almost literally as the movement is skeletonized to the extreme, though that is obvious only in some of the versions.
This movement was developed by independent German watchmaker Christian Klings exclusively for Giberg, making this the only Klings movement not actually manufactured by him and the only one available in serial production, however modest that 50-piece series might be. See more about this independent watchmaker in First Christian Klings Watch Ever Offered On Secondary Market Comes To Auction In Christie’s June 21, 2017 Sale Of ‘Rare Watches And American Icons’ In New York City.
Klings has really integrated the elegant world of Altmann in the design of this caliber while retaining the practicality and functionality that every good movement needs to have alongside a distinct wow factor.
Caliber Trilevis 6118 doesn’t make any concessions to either practicality or functionality with its elegant bridges that secure the mainspring barrels offering a 72-hour power reserve. They are even highlighted, as is the flying tourbillon, by a golden rim set with brilliant-cut diamonds.
The movement is not a subcontracted part of the Niura, but an intricate element contributing to the soul of this watch.
The extreme expertise needed to create a masterpiece like the Niura didn’t come out of nowhere.
As founder of Altmann Casting, a firm with considerable experience in crafting and casting objects from precious metals now run by his children, Altmann had a great base from which to build his watch brand.
What makes the Niura Flying Tourbillon so special is that here we finally have a watch for women making absolutely no concessions, combining a clever functional design, elegant appearance, and a very sophisticated – not to mention complicated – movement in a single creation.
The result is a seemingly effortless synergy with not a detail out of place.
All of that combined is in the world of watches – especially watches for women – still a rarity.
For more information, please visit www.giberg.com/giberg-haute-horlogerie.
Quick Facts Giberg Niura Fying Tourbillon
Case: 35 mm in red or white gold, with the diameter of the entire structure covering the 47 × 97 mm, set with 2,156 diamonds (8.7 carats) and 76 rubies
Movement: manual wind Caliber Trivelis 6118, double spring barrel, one-minute flying tourbillon, 21,600 vph/3 Hz frequency, 72-hour power reserve
Functions: hours, minutes
Limitation: 50 movements total
Price: on request