What if you could harness the raw power and spectacle of a thunderbolt within a watch?
Meteorological science tells us that when cold and warm currents meet, all manner of dramatic weather ensues: storms, freak atmospheric conditions and even tornadoes… So when two very different master watchmakers come together – one a legendary innovator from the Vallée de Joux known for his unorthodox, jaw-dropping complications, the other a famed perfectionist and acclaimed pillar of traditional craft based in Môtiers – look out for lightning on the horizon.
The LM Thunderdome, jointly signed by watchmaking legends Eric Coudray and Kari Voutilainen, is the world’s fastest triple-axis regulating mechanism with 3 axes revolving in record-breaking 8 seconds, 12 seconds and 20 seconds. It also features a unique combination of Potter escapement, hemispherical balance and helical hairspring. The pronounced arch of the sapphire crystal dome allows Eric Coudray’s opus to sit fully above the dial plate, visible from all sides.
Rising above a sea of blue guillochage is a rotating spherical mass of gears, pinions and cages. Somehow, from this chaos of motion, order is extracted. Time is indicated on an inclined dial of stretched lacquer, proving that even the wildest horological whirlwinds can be tamed into the logic of hours and minutes.
As difficult as it may be to tear your eyes from the dial-side spectacle, the reverse of the LM Thunderdome engine is equally rewarding. The manual-winding, triple-barrel movement may have been technically conceived by Eric Coudray, but its aesthetics are fully Kari Voutilainen. Countless sessions passed between the two watchmakers until the untrammelled dynamism of Coudray’s engine design took on classically elegant forms. Smoothly rounded bridges, incorporating sharp hand-bevelled internal angles and mirrored curves suggest a deep, unyielding calm that anchors the turbulent maelstrom on the other side.