The Revelation R03 Chronographe RS. Polarizing glasses, optical engineering, and 3D nanostructures – don’t you just love Haute Horlogerie?
2012 has been a fine year for watches which have concealment characteristics. The Maîtres du Temps Chapter Three Reveal retained its dial harmony by hiding its second time zone and day/night indicators bringing them to light on demand via a clever pusher on the crown. The Konstantin Chaykin Mystery watch had a concealed and compacted caliber, resulting in a transparent dial and floating hands, micro-deception at its finest. The Revelation R03 Chronographe RS is a watch with two personas, one which displays a somber, almost ordinary black dial and one which features no dial at all, but which offers a splendid look-see through to the caliber. This split personality occurs simply by rotating the bezel by 90 degrees – Simply? Of course such a dramatic conversion is anything but simple – but then Revelation are, in watch making terms, vanguards of technical achievement.
To create such a system required the know-how of some highly skilled technicians at the Centre Suisse d’Electronique et de Microtechnique. Revelation have showcased similar technology in their R01, but for the R03, they have re-designed it so that operation is via the notched bezel. The disappearance and reappearance of the movement has at the centre of its trickery two “polarizing glasses” placed one above the other, each made up of 3D slivers which are so tiny that individually they would almost be nonentities – but grouped together they do, in fact, behave like little shutters which change from horizontal to vertical positions to either block light or allow it through to the movement – brilliant. It’s a World First, and not-surprisingly Revelation is rather chuffed with it.
The CH01 caliber which can be glimpsed on demand is a skeletonised and hand-decorated automatic chronograph developed by Dubois Dépraz with bespoke designing so that the movement, case and the “Revelation System” integrate and work with each other. The case, measuring 45mm across and made from steel is naturally complex comprising of 112 components – it has to be, to incorporate the bezel-operated technology – but it is as admirable as it is impressive with its unexpected angles and chiseled-out notches which make up its manly, sculpted form. Behind the technology is a plain, readable and usable chronograph with a deeply recessed dial, neat counters, broad hands and stubby markers.
The thoroughly astounding Revelation R03 Chronographe RS comes presented on a Barenia leather strap.