[Only Watch] BLU Gagarin Flying Tourbillon

At first glance, the piece presented by BLU (Bernhard Lederer Universe) is not linked to the theme of Only Watch, that is Monaco and childhood.
In the final analysis, the Gagarin Tourbillon is dedicated to the first human spatial flight, and therefore to the conquest of space. Cosmos exploration is a colossal project. A utopic and childish one to many people, for example, I will quote one sentence by Pierre Desproges:«Moon-landing: technical process consisting of dropping morons off on a childish dream». Despite the respect I have for Desproges, and noting the explosion of ecological stakes and overpopulation, we become aware of the weakness of our planetary skiff. Spatial conquest becomes a far more pressing necessity than it was during the Cold War era.
Guided by a childhood dream and a vital urgency, the «race for Space» theme finally has many things in common with Only Watch (in the same vein, the HM4 Panda from MB&F)…

The first Cosmonaut to come back alive, Yuri Gagarin, will also remain the first to have crossed the last geographical frontier, in 1961 (there are still time frontiers, but they belong to quantum physics). The launching of Vostok rocket (yes, like the Russian watches) took place on the 12 April 1961. To celebrate the 50th anniversary, BLU produced 50 commemorative watches.

BLU is a very special universe, exclusive technologies, with the especially famous «triple» Tourbillon MT3.
Lederer, a German watch restorer, remains under-publicized despite the quality of his work.

For this «Gagarin» Only Watch, he comes back with a little more of a classic caliber than the MT3’s, the display is central and features the hours and minutes in a classical way, at a frequency of 28800 v/h, with 80h of power reserve. A far less conservative feature is the Tourbillon: fitted on a «master» disc, the Tourbillon «1 minute» (rotation on itself) also completes a revolution around the dial in 108 minutes, the duration of Gagarin’s orbital flight.
Technically, it is quite exceptional, but others produce things in a similar spirit: Ulysse Nardin, Breguet or Piaget for example. Where it becomes very impressive (as usual with BLU), is esthetically.
The visual purity is perfect, in that it enhances the technique in the best possible way. The «tool watch» spirit is glorified. The Tourbillion’s bridge is designed like an engineering structure, slender as the arch of a modern «Cantilever» bridge. The sides of the cage are hollowed into the shape of the letters spelling the name «VOSTOK». The map of the World as well as the hands are gilded, we are very much in the universe of luxury. The planisphere is finely engraved after the Earth’s reliefs. It is reminiscent of the TV news of the 50’s-60’s, as well as of the beautiful maps published in the pictorials of the same period.
The magnifying lens that can be manually moved around the crystal (making it possible to observe the Tourbillon in detail), mimics the shape of the access door to the Soviet space capsule.
The work accomplished on the crystal and the platinum case is adapted to the set.
The case is slim, the crystal markedly domed, which perfectly enhance the orbital flight of the Tourbillon.
Surprisingly, the watch is produced as a 42mm, but its presence is such that its size seems to be more like a 45mm. A single regret: the use of Cyrillic characters would have paid a far greater tribute to the Russian teams who put Gagarin into orbit 327km above the Earth.

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Click here for high quality pictures of the BLU Gagarin Flying Tourbillon.

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Therefore, BLU offers a surprising timepiece to Only Watch, not to say «Ufologic».
Surprising because of its theme: if the feats of the Astronauts were more than harnessed (Omega «Mission», for example), those of the Cosmonauts remained for far too long theprivilege of the «Poljots», through tributes paid to the Great Russian Spatial Adventure in a sometimes dubious way.
Exceptional considering its utterly groundbreaking complication: the 108 minutes planetary rotation will probably remain the only one of its kind.
Remarkable finally by its design, because it is a purely horological timepiece featuring a «Tool watch» look.
And deep down, who, during his childhood, never dreamed to take a trip into Space?

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