CHELYS

PUSHING THE BOUNDARIES OF HOROLOGICAL SCULPTURE

CHELYS
 

STONEMASONRY LENT TO ART

CONTINUING THE DISCOURSE OF CHRONOMETER SINGING WITH THE SPIRIT OF THE SEAS, WINCH DESIGN AND THOMAS MERCER HAVE PARTNERED WITH THE MASTERS OF MARMOR HOTAVLJE TO CREATE THEIR FIRST TIME SCULPTURE IN STONE.

 

The word Chelys derives from the Latin form of the original Ancient Greek χέλυς (tortoise) which describes a musical instrument made of a shell, its convex form resembling that of this fine chronometer. According to the fable of his Homeric Hymn, Hermes found a tortoise near the threshold of his mother’s house and decided to hollow out the shell to make the soundbox of a seven-stringed instrument, thus inventing the first lyre of the Ancient Greeks.

 

MYTHOLOGICAL INSTRUMENT

The sinuous and sophisticated lines of the Chelys are carved out of ivory onyx, a semiprecious white natural stone with immaculate crystalline background and evocative waves undulating through its structure. Named after the Ancient Greek word “ὄνυξ” (nail), legend says that one day Cupid clipped the godly nails of Venus with an arrow-head while she was sleeping, and the Parcae (the three daughters of Zeus) transmuted them into stone, so that no part of the divine body could ever be destroyed. Rare and precious, it has been considered a luxury staple since ancient times. this sculpture is crafted through a meticulous process using traditional hand stonemasonry, impeccably executed by Marmor Hotavlje’s skilled artisans.

 

DESIGN AND UNIQUE FEATURES

LEGENDARY SOUND (MELODY)

With a case inspired by a mythological musical instrument, the movement had to mirror it in greatness, and its melody no exception. Like every Thomas Mercer mechanism, the new calibre TM8004 sports the sine-qua-non specifications of a marine timekeeper including the special spring detent escapement. Also known as the “chronometer escapement”, the spring detent is distinguished by its rare one impulse per oscillation, resulting in its individual – and very appropriate for the occasion – sound, featuring one loud and one soft beat. The movement is housed in a tube case made of extra-white crystal, offering an all-around view of the inner workings which can be admired in their entirety. The elegant open-work dial magnifies the intricacies of the multi-complicated movement and its stone setting pairs perfectly with the onyx body. The hands are steel-made, hand-finished with bluing technique.

MATERIAL

Ivory Onyx

.

 

FINISHING

Hand polished

.

DIAL

Ivory Onyx
Fully skeletonised
Blued steel hands

.

 

GLASSES

Extra-white crystal

.

 

Mechanism

CALIBRE TM0804

The mechanism features a fusee-and-chain transmission system that acts in a similar way to a gearbox, constantly changing gears to provide a consistent level of torque and stabilising the movement’s frequency. Ticking at the rate of 14,400 vibrations per hour, the spring detent escapement is visible above the dial and works in close conjunction with a balance wheel of ovalising type that is unique to Thomas Mercer.

 

POWER RESERVE

8 days

 

ESCAPEMENT

Spring Detent with fusee-and-chain drive.

 

MAIN FUNCTIONS

Hour, Minute, Second, Power Reserve

 

DIMENSIONS

Height 186 mm
Width 180 mm
Depth 100 mm

 
 

Technical Data

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CALIBRE TM0804

The mechanism features a fusee-and-chain transmission system that acts in a similar way to a gearbox, constantly changing gears to provide a consistent level of torque and stabilising the movement’s frequency. Ticking at the rate of 14,400 vibrations per hour, the spring detent escapement is visible above the dial and works in close conjunction with a balance wheel of ovalising type that is unique to Thomas Mercer.

 

“With the Chelys, Andrew Winch shows his unique talent as an artist by first imagining a superb onyx sculpture – already a work of art per se – and then inspiredly fusing it with a chronometer movement to elevate it even further, to the ultimate status of horological sculpture.”

Tomaž Selak

OBSERVATORY

GRAND COMPLICATION

Legacy

Black

Legacy

SHACKLETON EPIC

SPECIAL PIECES

BRITTANICA OW 2015