Sartory-Billard Introduces the SB06-12 and SB06-24 Bespoke Flying Tourbillon Timepieces

A Flying Tourbillon – Sartory-Billard’s first in-house movement.

Sartory-Billard – the French independent timepiece brand – has recently launched the SB06-12 and SB06-24 Flying Tourbillon timepieces. This is their first in-house calibre.

In Sartory-Billard’s own words:

“Sartory-Billard, renowned for its exquisite bespoke craftsmanship, proudly unveils the SB06-12 and SB06-24 Flying Tourbillon Watches. This release is not just a watch, but a symbol of the brand’s evolution to offer more high complications to our customers. The SBTV01 caliber developed and crafted by Comblemine upon Sartory-Billard’s request and design is a unique and captivating project turned reality in the world of watches.”

Sartory-Billard:

Sartory-Billard was founded by Armand Billard in 2015. They are a French independent and bespoke timepiece brand located in Oeting, France. Oeting is a French village or commune in the north-eastern region of France, close to Germany. Its population is slightly more than 2000 people. Since their founding, they have earned a stellar reputation for their bespoke customization option.

In their own words:

“Sartory-Billard, established in 2015 by Armand Billard, stands out in the luxury watchmaking industry for its commitment to bespoke craftsmanship and personalization. The company’s ethos is rooted in the belief that each timepiece should be as unique as its wearer, offering an extensive range of customization options. With a focus on combining traditional watchmaking techniques with modern design, Sartory-Billard caters to a discerning clientele that values individuality and quality. The brand’s dedication to innovation and customer-driven design has earned it a distinct place in the world of luxury watches.”

Armand Billard:

Armand Billard is the founder and owner of Sartory-Billard, and the man responsible for leading Sartory-Billard to where it is today.

In their own words:

“A former independent designer and director of his own design agency, Armand Billard began his adventure in watchmaking in 2015. His goal was to bring his own vision to the world of watchmaking, while opening new doors for the creativity of his customers. After selling his design agency, Armand immersed himself in his new profession, steeping himself in the techniques of watchmaking, which were totally unknown to him up to then.”

In his own words:

“I truly believe that everybody has a creative part inside himself, but sometimes it’s difficult to express and I will take them by the hand, help them, expand their creativity, and I will make a watch for them.”

Genesis of the Sartory-Billard Flying Tourbillon Project:

CronotempVs Collectors – an exclusive membership by invitation only private watch club, approached Sartory-Billard in summer of 2021 for a flying tourbillon timepiece for its members. Rather than select standard movements available in the marketplace, Armand Billard set out to develop one himself, which would become Sartory-Billard’s first in-house movement.

In their own words:

“In the summer of 2021, Sartory-Billard embarked on a pivotal journey in watchmaking when approached by the CronotempVs Watch Club. The club’s request was for a flying tourbillon that would embody the distinctive DNA of Sartory-Billard. What initially seemed like a straightforward selection of a standard movement rapidly transformed into a quest to develop Sartory-Billard’s first in-house movement.”

“This 2.5-year journey saw Armand Billard collaborating closely with the CronotempVs group. Together, they crafted the design, developed the movement with the technical experts and watchmakers at Comblemine, and pushed the boundaries with innovative features like sapphire bridges and intricate details. This process challenged Comblemine, numerous suppliers and part makers to realize a design that was both ambitious and finely detailed.”

“The culmination of these efforts was the delivery of a limited subscription series of 30 SB06-12 tourbillons to CronotempVs collectors on December 2, 2023. This accomplishment has now enabled Sartory-Billard to introduce a flying tourbillon into its regular collection.”

The Sartory-Billard model for this project came to be known as SB06-12 CT12.

Below is background information on CronotempVs Collectors and Comblemine, two key partners for this project.

CronotempVs Collectors:

Founded by Scaramanga in 2009, CronotempVs Collectors is a Madrid, Spain based exclusive membership by invitation only private watch club.

In CronotempVs own words:

“CronotempVs Collectors is a collectors/enthusiast/amateurs community dedicated to share the passion of horology. CronotempVs Collectors works hand in hand to create projects with some of the most important historic brands and independents that uphold the highest traditional horological values. Our international quorum includes; Holland, Germany, the United States, Mexico, China, Philippines, Hong Kong, Singapore, Russia, Belgium, Portugal, Switzerland, Canada, Spain.”

“Amongst others, those brands have already collaborated with us are; A. Lange & Söhne, Audemars Piguet, Breguet, Cartier “Haute Horlogerie”, D. Dornbüth & Sohn, Frank Muller, Habring², IWC, Jaeger LeCoultre, Montblanc “Nicolas Rieussec”, Piaget, RESSENCE, Speake-Marin, Ulysse Nardin, URWERK, WEMPE “Chronometerwerke”.

Comblemine:

Founded in June 2014 in St-Sulpice in Val-de-Travers, Switzerland, and majority owned by the renown independent watchmaker – Kari Voutilainen – “Comblemine SA is an independent company active in the creation of dials and the design of watchmaking projects.”

In Comblemine’s own words:

“Comblemine SA combines the know-how of traditional dial makers with machining, surface treatment, decoration, galvanizing and watch assembly services for small to medium-sized series.”

“This unique specificity allows us unique flexibility and responsiveness and offers our customers the guarantee of high-precision, centralized work at the cutting edge of excellence.”

Design of the SB06-12 and SB06-24:

Sartory-Billard’s SB06 is available in two versions: 12-hour format and 24-hour format.

12-hour format: This version is the more classical of the two. The tourbillon cage is located at 6 o’clock. Timekeeping is displayed by hour and minute hands circling the classical round dial. “The SB06-12 model echoes the classic watch aesthetic with a Havana tremblage dial, complemented by rose gold hands, marrying the tradition of timekeeping with the sophistication of modern design.”

24-hour format: This format is available in two versions – Le Jour and La Nuit. On both, the tourbillon cage is located at 6 o’clock.

Le Jour“is a single-hand design that exclusively displays the hours, providing a more poetic approach to timekeeping. Each hour is subdivided with five markers, each representing a span of 10 minutes.”

La Nuit “model has an additional minute hand and a minute track that goes around the aventurine dial.”

The SB06-24 version has a “unique 24-hour mechanism”.  Furthermore, “With an additional gear module fitted under the dial of the SB06-24 reference, the hour hand runs two times slower and therefore makes only one unique rotation per day. To read the time on the scale, use the sun symbol for daytime hours, and the moon symbol for nighttime hours. Each symbol covers a twelve hour period in a continuous loop. On the ‘La Nuit’ version use the minute hand to read the minutes as usual.”

Dials and Hands:

SB06-12: The outer part of the dial – a sapphire disc – has a railroad style minutes track on the outer edge (near the case), and the disc displays the numerals 2, 4, 8, 10 and 12. 1, 3, 9 and 11 are represented by a baton hour marker situated on the top part of an arrow. The hour markers at 5 and 7 are partially cut out due to the tourbillon cage. And there is no numeral at 6 due to the tourbillon cage. The inner part of the dial (minus the part of the tourbillon cage) is finished in tremblage. “Sartory Billard” is prominently displayed between the centre of the dial and 12 o’clock.

The hour and minute hands, crafted in rose gold, are “manufactured out of 2 parts for the SB06-12, one sandblasted and the other polished, they are unique in every way.”

SB06-24:

La Jour: On a sapphire disc which encircles the outer part of the dial, beginning at approximately where 9 o’clock would be, numerals 6, 7, (both in a smaller font size), 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6, (the latter two in a smaller font size) ending at approximately where 3 o’clock would be – complete an arc over the top part of the dial. Below this arc of numerals, on the sapphire disc itself, there is unique minutes track, where each of the hour’s five markers represent ten minutes. The tourbillon cage is situated at 6 o’clock. The inner part of the dial is finished in a guilloche pattern. “Sartory Billard” is prominently displayed between the centre of the dial and 12 o’clock. “Le Jour & la nuit” is displayed on the lower left of the tourbillon cage, and “Tourbillon volant” on the lower right of the tourbillon cage.

La Nuit: This version has a similar aesthetic as the La Jour, except that the outer edge of the dial – on the sapphire disc – has a railroad style minutes track (but different from the SB06-12), and an additional minute hand, both of which “goes around the aventurine dial.”

“The center dial of the watch showcases a unique moon with an extraordinary story of craftsmanship. The engraving is based on altimeter measurements from NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter with a scale factor for diameter at 1:155 million and for height at 1:70 million. The topography of the moon is reproduced to a depth of 200 µm with a total engraving of 445 µm depth on a convex-shaped dial surface showcasing an incredible level of detail and dedication to authenticity.”

“The SB06-24 features a 5 parts hour hand with a central sandblasted part, two spears, the sun made of solid gold and the moon filled in with luminova. The design and properties of these hands ensure legibility even in poorly lit conditions.”

Sartory-Billard offers a range of bespoke personalisation options for the SB06-12 and SB06-24 dials. These include “options like tremblage, machine or hand Guilloche by Comblemine, stone from Groh & Ripp, and craftsman art like maki-e etc.”  Furtheremore, “Numbers are pad printed on a sapphire disc floating above the minute dial and can be adapted to different font styles like Bréguet, Roman, Indian Arabic etc.”

Groh & Ripp is a German family-owned company that specialises in a variety of high-quality gemstones, beginning with their initial purchase, followed by cutting using modern best-practises. All based on their customers’ requirements.

The possibilities for bespoke dial customisation are immense. A collector just has to ask Armand at Sartory-Billard about what they seek and what is possible and begin a journey of customization.

Movement:

The SB06-12 and SB06-24 are both powered by manual-winding calibre SBTV01, Sartory-Billard’s first in-house calibre.

On the SB06-12, its functions are hours and minutes displayed conventionally and a flying tourbillon at 6 o’clock.

On the SB06-24 La Jour, its functions are hour and minutes – displayed by either the daytime hour hand (sun symbol) or nighttime hour hand (moon symbol) and a flying tourbillon at 6 o’clock.

On the SB06-24 La Nuit, its functions are the same as the La Jour, except there is an additional minute hand.

Calibre SBTV01 has a total diameter of 32.6mm. It comprises 209 parts, 19 jewels, beats at a frequency of 3Hz, and has a power reserve of 96 hours or 4 days.

Calibre SBTV01 is visible caseback side.

In their own words:

“At the heart of these timepieces is Sartory-Billard’s first in-house movement, the SBTV01.”

“It features an almost invisible top bridge crafted from sapphire that requires skill in handling, revealing detail and giving light and depth to the movement and its unique customisable guilloché base plate. Together with the two arched bridges this movement design allows a maximum of visibility. Embracing the essence of true “Haute Horlogerie,” every component, even those unseen without disassembly, undergoes meticulous finishings like black polished screws, polished chatons, sinked holes and columns. The bevelling and inward angles of the arched bridges and tourbillon cage are executed by none other than Philippe Narbel. An absolute reference in high-end movement finishings. The upper bridge can be engraved upon customer’s request with a quote, a name, a date etc.”

Manufactor SA – based in L’Abbaye, Switzerland and led by Philipe Narbel – specialises in movement assembly and finishing.

“At its core, the SB06 boasts a formidable Flying Tourbillon SBTV01 caliber with a manual winding mechanism bolstering a 96-hour power reserve and beating at 3Hz. Enough to last for up to four days.”

“As is customary in “haute horlogerie,” the meticulous assembly of each SBTV01 movement rests solely in the hands of a singular watchmaker – from the initial individual parts to the final regulation and testing at the workshop.”

“The movement offers a unique customisable base plate, that can be sandblasted, circular grained or guilloche in a wide arrays of colors.”

Case and Strap:

The case of the SB06-12 and SB06-24 are available in platinum, gold, tantalum, steel, or titanium. It has a case diameter of 41mm, lug-to-lug distance of 47mm, and a height (metal) of 9.5mm. The lug width is 21mm. On both the dial and caseback side, there is a double domed sapphire crystal with anti-reflective treatment. This timepiece is water resistant upto 50 meters.

Voutilainen & Cattin SA – a company co-founded by Kari Voutilainen, with Jéreôme Crevoiser as CEO – is responsible for crafting these cases.

“Each piece boasts a 41mm diameter with the thinnest possible construction for optimal proportions. The metal case is 9.5mm only and the curved and short lugs are designed to suit various wrist sizes. The double domed sapphire glass on the case back enhances the movement’s visibility while adding elegance and visually making the watch considerably thinner.”

Sartory-Billard has chosen renown French brand Scarlett Paris to provide bespoke straps for the SB06-12 and SB06-24 timepiece.

“The strap is completely bespoke in leather type, color, and size. As with all those involved in the creation of this timepiece, Scarlett Paris is a household name amongst discerning collectors around the globe.”

Concluding Thoughts:

How many mainstream or independent timepiece brands allow you to customise a timepiece? Let alone a grand complication? Yes, it is possible, but typically customization is limited to customers who have decades old relationships with them and possess a significant collection and purchase history to go with it. Sartory-Billard is offering collectors a bespoke experience with a grand complication timepiece. One where there is personal communication with Armand Billard himself.

In all likelihood, the collector seeking to acquire a Sartory-Billard SB06-12 or SB06-24 timepiece is not purchasing his or her first timepiece, nor their first grand-complication. This is an experienced collector, having tasted a diverse range of timepieces from renown mainstream and independent brands. Nevertheless, he or she is acquiring a timepiece that is truly exceptional.

Today there is greater transparency in the horology industry, and numerous brands – whether mainstream, independent or microbrand – have access to a network of specialist suppliers and movements workshops etc. But to be able to use this network to create a world class timepiece such as the SB06-12 and SB06-24 is akin to a world class maestro conducting an orchestra. Armand has done just this. He sought inspiration from the CronotempVs Collectors project and his network of world-class suppliers to design a flying-tourbillon timepiece. And he then introduced the SB06 as part of his own collection. And in not one, but three versions: SB06-12, SB06-24 La Jour and SB06-24 La Nuit. This launch has catapulted Sartory-Billard much higher in the industry. Now, in addition to bespoke dials, they are a creator of a grand complication. The world of horology is all the better for it. For Armand and for Sartory-Billard, the sky is the limit for them.

Availability:

SB06-12: €88,000 (excluding VAT). SB06-12 is available in titanium or steel.

SB06-24: €96,000 (excluding VAT). SB06-24 is available in titanium, steel, gold, or platinum.

“Limited to 24 units of SB06-12 or SB06-24 per year. Delivery starts from 8 months, subject to adaption based on bespoke requests for the watch.”

“Sartory-Billard watches are fully customizable based on your choice of materials and details. As we collaborate on the design of your watch, I will provide you with information on the associated budget.”

Website: www.sartory-billard.com

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