kerbedanz maximus

Kerbedanz Maximus - Circus Maximus

The first time you step in the Coliseum in Rome, you feel a shock: it is imposing, majestic, filled with history and beauty. The same happens when you encounter the Maximus flying Tourbillon.

By Benjamin Teisseire

The brand is renowned for its personalized and unique timepieces with highly decorated dials that mix symbols and allegories. Its timekeepers are so stylized that one sometimes forgets their intrinsic watchmaking quality. Unveiled in March 2017 at Baselworld, the Maximus Flying Tourbillon tackles the Everest of watchmaking, the mother of complications: the tourbillon. With this watch, Kerbedanz sublimates it and magnifies it, through a very delicate work of enlargement highlighted by an unusual sleekness.

The largest wristwatch tourbillon in the world

Enlarging is not simply multiplying the size of the components. Everything needs to be re-invented. Kerbedanz demonstrates here all its watchmaking mastery: development and production of a special balance spring, a rack with a screw for fine adjustment, and a new balance wheel. The titanium tourbillon cage boasts a 27mm diameter - almost double ones usually used throughout the industry - and weighs only 1,35g. It rotates in 6 minutes instead of the regular 60 seconds. Another rarity is the position of the complication, which holds center stage completely. The languid giant offers itself leisurely to the viewer. It creates a never-ending ballet of wheels, levers and escapement with an unprecedented clarity that is truly mesmerizing.

Finest details and Circus Maximus symbolism

But the brand symbolism reveals itself with a plethora of details staged in a production worthy of the legend of Spartacus. The case is a story in itself, fascinatingly complex. Fluted with alternating brushed and polished columns, it evokes the towers of the Coliseum, its bleachers and its internal elevators. The tourbillon bridge is sleek, pure and airy. It highlights the maxi-tourbillon, which seems to be literally floating in the center of the arena. The hand-made beveled and mirror-polished finishing glides through the air like so many gladiators’ weapons, enhanced by artistic savoir-faire.

The dial’s flange starts as close as possible to the bezel, offering the widest possible view. It climbs slightly before plunging towards the center of the dial, representing the bleachers around the arena. The indexes further accentuate the sensation of depth, of plunging in a pit. The Maximus immerses us in its universe.

With polished finishing, every single component of the peripheral matte minutes track is highlighted, giving the impression of being spectators of this perpetual ballet. One dives in it, gets lost.

The sound itself is worthy of the name ‘Maximus’: the low vibration frequency of 18kHz, coupled with the sheer size of the balance wheel, produces a ‘deep’ tick-tock closer to a clock than a watch. It generates a different feeling all together.

Watchmaking excellence

But this masterpiece is more than just an aesthetic feat. Enormous progress has been made with the chronometry, with a declared will to achieve COSC certification in the coming months. With its in-line pallets, the KRB-08 flying tourbillon caliber uses no less than four parallel barrel springs to drive a central wheel mounted on ball-bearings, delivering 48 hours of power reserve to this giant spectacle. 415 components - 73 for the tourbillon cage only - go into making this horological accomplishment. An ingenious winding mechanism in the back of the case charges up the power reserve. The power reserve indicator itself can be seen in the back of the movement through the sapphire display back. The angles of this ‘key’ are fully ergonomic, beveled and polished for perfect comfort of use and pure high watchmaking finish.

An extreme timepiece, yet wearable

No matter how omnipresent the tourbillon is, the dial is surprisingly easy to read. The hours and minutes display is efficient, with its large rose gold, open-worked hands that smoothly follow the ascending curves of the edges of the dial. The Superluminova tips provide the final touch for optimal reading.

The 49mm wide timekeeper is imposing, yet never heavy. It offers an incredible comfort even on even the smaller wrist, thanks to the short plunging lugs. The curves of the lugs follow the smooth lines of the domed sapphire crystal. With its elevated dome, the Maximus will probably not fit under a shirt cuff, but it would almost be a shame to hide it.

This giant flying tourbillon from Kerbedanz could obviously not be called anything other than Maximus. We invite you to go to stand Hall 1.1, L22, and discover for yourself this piece of watchmaking history at Baselworld from March 21st to 26th. This limited edition of 99 pieces comes in black DLC titanium or 18K rose gold.

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Kerbedanz Maximus - Circus Maximus