Vangarde Tempo Theorie – Who??? What???

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by D Constant on August 23, 2012

in Exclusive Watch Reviews, Latest Reviews, Vangarde, Watch News

The Vangarde Tempo Theorie Skeleton Watch

Written by D Constant

It’s great when you stumble over something this good looking and interesting, Don’t you agree?

For those in the know I’m sure this is not news, But I stumbled over this lesser known French watchmaker and their inaugural watch the Tempo Theorie, Well I was scouring our facebook page (shameless plug… yes I know) and on looking for new friends I came across Vangarde and this lovely skeleton timepiece and had to share it with you all.

Well, first off a little about the company or person behind this great looking watch. Vangarde is an independent French artist and designer now watchmaker.  The aim is to specialise in producing original and exclusive hand made watches for the watch connoisseur. Well that’s what they say, and looking at their first offering, the Vangarde Tempo Theorie, it’s hard to disagree.

Vangarde designs the watches and oversees and controls the entire watch making process, the actual watchmakers are a handful of selected high end Swiss watchmakers. It is this partnership that gives us a French designed, Swiss built and made timepiece in the Tempo Theorie which is limited to 88 pieces. oh here is the link to Vangardes’ website.

As we have not yet had the pleasure of getting hold of one of the Vangarde Tempo Theorie Watches to undertake a hands on review, not for the want of trying I may add, well we have not tried that hard, hoping that this article may persuade them to hand on over…. Here is the Vangarde Press Release Information about the Timepiece with a few photos edited and inserted by us here at The Watch Review Site.

Tempo Théorie: The show of time…

After two years of planning, countless designs, prototypes, trials, tests and difficult decisions, Vangarde is proud to present its first watch: the Tempo Théorie, a limited edition with just eighty-eight numbered copies.

The original creative idea behind this design was to transform the conventional way of displaying the time, with the hand pointing on a layered scale, in a complex and poetic architectural display.

Telling time …

The Tempo Théorie draws you into a complex equation involving the relationship between energy (the mainspring) movement (rotation around an axis) and shape (visual composition of the hands).

The hour and minute hands overlap, intersect and are juxtaposed, while the sub-dial hands complete the kinetic design making the overall effect even more complex. All these combinations form a polymorphic structure that is like a moving work of art, set in motion by the mechanical energy of a spring. Its stunning visual effect sparks one’s curiosity, while remaining perfectly easy to read.

With this first design, Vangarde wanted to create a watch that makes you want to keep looking again and again, going beyond a mere time-piece by allowing you to witness an artistic composition created by the passage of time.

Developing the hands was a long and difficult process, because what was required was not a static design, like ordinary hands, but a kinetic design which would take into account their rotational movement, so that they would align in the most evocative way possible through the hundreds of permutations created by the design.

The superluminova was inserted inside of the hands in a different configuration to make it easier to distinguish between hours and minutes.

Measuring time …

Once the design of the hands was finally complete, the next challenging task was to create a worthy ‘backdrop’ for them.

A complex, asymmetric skeleton dial was designed to fit the background formed by the calibre V1 and the kinetic patterns produced by the hands.

The positioning of the sub-dials breaks up the typical chronograph layout to produce a more balanced appearance.

The development of the printed elements constituted a graphic design project in itself, with the subtle positioning of figures and text to produce a visually sublime overall effect.

The dials are laser cut, galvanised, then finished in black with white print.

Counting time …

Starting from an ETA Valjoux 7750 ébauche, chosen for its reliability and ease of maintenance, Vangarde developed the Calibre V1.

The Calibre V1 has a bespoke skeletonised tri-compax back-plate and bridge, allowing the minute dial to be positioned at “3” (originally at “12” on the 7750). All critical components such as the balance wheel, balance spring, spring etc have been replaced by state-of-the-art components (certified chronometer).

The movement is assembled with the greatest care, adjusted in five positions. The surfaces are hand-finished withGenevastripes, circular graining, and straight graining.

The gears and the rotor have been redesigned to provide a unique view of the escapement and the self-winding system. A specially designed black ruthenium galvanising process produces the modern look that is expected in high-end contemporary chronographs.

The finely polished finish gives a ‘carbon’ look to the skeleton bridges, perfectly blending tradition and modernity, while the rotor is decorated withGenevastripes. The steel mechanical parts and the escape wheel are finished with straight graining. The dial, too, is finished withGenevawaves, rhodium-plated wheels and straight graining, and all screws are finely polished

Housing the time…

And finally the whole is housed in a 316 L stainless steel case shaped from a solid piece, made up of a single casing with precision machined housing (no housing ring) with a bezel and a screwed base, both polished and fitted with O rings.

The sapphire crystals have been given state of the art anti-reflection treatment in order to minimise unwanted reflection.

The caseband has a brushed, satinised surface which contrasts beautifully with the crown and the push buttons which are polished and decorated in ‘Clous de Paris’ style.

The bracelet is made inFrancein the way traditionally associated with master leather craftsmen. Made from carefully selectedLouisianaalligator skin, it is hand assembled and sewn, then fixed to the casing with stainless steel tubular fixings.

So that it can be easily and safely attached the closing mechanism consists of a butterfly buckle with two push buttons with brushed, polished finishes decorated in ‘Clou de Paris’ style.

Vangarde Tempo Theorie – Technical details  

Movement : CALIBRE V1

Integrated automatic chronograph, chronometer grade.

based on mechanical ébauches ETA Valjoux 7750, Adjusted in five-positions.

Glucydur balance wheel, Anachron balance spring, Nivaflex NM mainspring, Incabloc shock absorber,

29 jewels movement,

48 hour power reserve


Coloured by black ruthenium plating.
Specific tri-compax plate, skeleton design with hand-finished Geneva stripes.
Specific tri-compax bridge skeleton design with hand-finished straight graining.
Automatic-winding bridge, skeleton design with hand-finished circular graining.
Rhodium-plated escape wheel with hand-finished straight graining.
Rhodium-plated steel mechanical parts, with hand-finished straight graining.
Barrel bridge, skeleton design with hand-finished circular graining.
Rotor, skeleton design with hand-finished Geneva stripes and printed balance.
Skeletonised rhodium-plated gear wheels.
Polished srews.

Machined from solid stainless steel 316 L.
Monobloc caseband (machined movement housing) with brushed and satin finish.
Screw-down back-plate and bezel with polished finish
Screw-down crown with ‘Clous de Paris’ finish.
Buttons with ‘Clous de Paris’ finish.
Sapphire bezel with double sided anti-reflective coating (front and back).
Case dimensions: diameter42 mm, width13.9 mm.

Laser cut, galvanised, black finished with white print.

Skeletonised with Superluminova C1 insert (hour and minute hands).

Hand-made fromLouisiana alligator-skin, hand-stitched, black calf leather lining.

316 L stainless steel, double push-button butterfly clasp with polished, satin, ‘Clous de Paris’ finish.

Price : 4,850 euros


Photos and press release provided by Vangarde –



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