Wearables

Fonderie 47 Inversion Principle turns weapons into watches

Fonderie 47 Inversion Principl...
The Fonderie 47 Inversion Principle showing the side power reserve indicator
The Fonderie 47 Inversion Principle showing the side power reserve indicator
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The three-minute flying tourbillon movement
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The three-minute flying tourbillon movement
Fonderie 47’s Inversion Principle in red gold
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Fonderie 47’s Inversion Principle in red gold
The Fonderie 47 Inversion Principle showing the side power reserve indicator
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The Fonderie 47 Inversion Principle showing the side power reserve indicator
The reverse of the the Fonderie 47 Inversion Principle
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The reverse of the the Fonderie 47 Inversion Principle
The Fonderie 47 Inversion Principle's crown
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The Fonderie 47 Inversion Principle's crown
The Fonderie 47 Inversion Principle in white gold
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The Fonderie 47 Inversion Principle in white gold
The Fonderie 47 Inversion Principle uses steel from an AK-47
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The Fonderie 47 Inversion Principle uses steel from an AK-47
The Fonderie 47 Inversion Principle has a six-day power reserve
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The Fonderie 47 Inversion Principle has a six-day power reserve
The Fonderie 47 Inversion Principle moves like a firearm
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The Fonderie 47 Inversion Principle moves like a firearm
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The Bible talks about beating swords into plowshares, but what about Kalashnikovs into timepieces? Swiss watchmaker Fonderie 47’s Inversion Principle has done just that with a luxury watch made in part from the steel of a deactivated AK-47 assault rifle and subtle design cues from the firearm. According to the company, part of the watch’s price goes toward helping to disarm and aid Africa.

The Fonderie 47 (its name derived from the French for “foundry” and AK-47) Inversion Principle was designed by Adrian Glessing and created by David Candaux/Du Val Des Bois for manufacture in La Vallée de Joux, Switzerland. In its design, Fonderie 47 avoided any obvious firearm-related design cues in favor of a more subtle approach with the most obvious clue being the abstract gold frame over the sapphire crystal inspired by an AK-47 gunsight. Instead, the design is based on how a gun mechanism moves rather than looks.

The Inversion Principle’s most eye-catching point is that is has no conventional hands. As an alternative, there’s a three-minute flying tourbillon movement in the center of the dial with a gold counter weight and curved to follow sapphire crystal, which turns three second hands spaced 120° apart around the tourbillon cage.

The three-minute flying tourbillon movement
The three-minute flying tourbillon movement

These hands turn at only one-third the speed of a normal second hand, so one minute is marked of on only a third the translucent glass dial. As each hand records a minute, it passes out of sight and is immediately replaced by the next at the start of the arc. In addition, a large minute hand pointer records the minutes across 240° of the bottom of the dial, and the hours appear as numerals in a window at the 12 o’clock position.

The “gun” part of the whole motif is in how the 38-jewel Caliber F47-001 movement with a Breguet overcoil works. Firearm mechanisms tend to snap instantly from one position to another and while the tourbillon and second hand have a sedate feel, the hours snap into place in an all-or-nothing movement and the retrograde minute hand snaps back at the end of each hour like a pistol cocking. This is further reflected in the quick-set mechanism, where a press of the crown triggers a ratchet to make the hours jump forward one by one.

The watch also has two six-day power reserve indicators. One on the reverse looks quite conventional, but there’s a second quick-glance meter behind the sapphire crystal window on the side of the case that looks like the spent-cartridge ejector on an AK-47.

The reverse of the the Fonderie 47 Inversion Principle
The reverse of the the Fonderie 47 Inversion Principle

Meanwhile, on the back of the watch, is a dark plate at the base of the sunray guilloche pattern. This rotating plate is made from the steel from a destroyed AK-47 and bears not only the Fonderie 47 logo, but the serial number “56-3701F42,” which is that of the rifle the steel came from.

The Inversion Principle comes in a choice of 18k white gold or 18k red gold case measuring 42 mm x 14.6 mm and is water resistant to 30 m (100 ft, 3 ATM). It comes with with a hand-stitched alligator strap with matching gold pin buckle, or a brown or black leather strap to match the red gold case white gold case respectively.

Fonderie 47’s Inversion Principle in red gold
Fonderie 47’s Inversion Principle in red gold

With millions of assault weapons in Africa, Fonderie 47 says that it created the Inversion Principle expressly to combat the problem with part of the proceeds from sale of the upmarket watch going toward the destruction of assault rifles in Africa. According to Fonderie 47, over 30,000 AK-47s have been destroyed to date.

"Inversion Principle had to reflect the finest Swiss watchmaking traditions, our principles and our mission, and be truly innovative all at the same time," says Fonderie 47 founder Peter Thum. "That was no easy task, but thanks to a great team, I think we well and truly achieved that aim.”

The Inversion Principle is available in a limited edition of 20 pieces with 10 of each case. The price is US$195,000.

Source: Fonderie 47

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7 comments
TheSplund
I doubt if I could ever tell the time quickly with it but it does look very pretty - shame about the cost.
Threesixty
A fascinating watch that presses many buttons. Surely one would want a snippet of steel from a fully active AK47? I guess a thousand watches can be made from the steel contained in one fully automatic assault weapon (non-deactivated). Looks like only 20x10 units will be made. If the watches are only made from the front sight, the extractor, and a bit of cartridge...who cares! The watch is an expensive statement.
Jesse Nelson
So what you're telling me is that this guy made a $200K watch out of a little bit of steel from a rifle that cost maybe $50 to make.... Yeah I really not digging this high minded crap. Also... it's all well and good that they destroyed 30K rifles... there was only about 100 MILLION of the original AK-47. Not to mention all the new model ones that are rolling off the assembly line daily...
But that being said... it is a nice watch. But much like the original AK I prefer something that's functional. Not something that's all flash.
kellory
This completely missing the target. Anyone with an interest in weapons, would be offended by the complete disregard for them, this watch represents. As a strong proponent for the Second Amendment, I would find this watch to be both ostentatious and offensive. I read, this is about removing guns from Africa, but anti- gunners never stop trying to take away other people's guns, so I don't think it will stop there. Understand fully, that without guns in the hands of the citizens, it is just "the Bill of Suggestions". This watch IS a statement, it's just the wrong statement to accept.
yawood
@kellory
Typical American bulls***. Arming everyone is NOT the way to stop violence or to keep people safe. You only need to read the papers for yet another gun slaying in America to know that. I don't know when you will realize that the 2nd Amendment is not your friend but has forced American society down a path of violence from which there seems to be no escape. Anything (like making a watch out of an AK47) that takes a gun out of circulation is a win for commonsense.
jmatus
The watch also has two six-day power reserve.
How do you RELOAD it?
kellory
@yawood, I would suggest you learn something of history. The code duelo, originated in Ireland and expanded to England long before the United States. An armed society is a very polite one.http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/amex/duel/sfeature/rulesofdueling.html Second, there are NO gun slayings, gun shootings, gun murders, nor are there any such things as "assault rifles". (Made up term by reporters). Guns are just tools. Men are dangerous. In fact, there are far more killings by hammers and clubs, than ALL gun deaths in America. (Learn the facts). What are commonly (and mistakenly) called assault rifles, are semiautomatic rifles (one pull, one bullet) fully automatic rifles are military grade, and one pull will fire every bullet in the gun, until you release the trigger. These are called " Assault Weapons" and are still legal if you pass the background check, and pay a heafty "stamp" fee. Flame throwers, however, require no fees or permits, are available to anyone with @$9,000.00(used) and have been used in zero murders (how many?? ZERO). As for this watch, taking guns out of circulation.... I suggest you reread that part. It does NOT do so. It borrows parts from dead guns, and PART of the profits pay to destroy other guns. (Not all, just a token) . This does absolutely nothing to get rid of guns, it just sparks more gun sales. Or for that matter, I can legally build a gun in my garage, from parts, or even fabricate the part myself. Our Founding Fathers were quite clear on the importance of weapons. To paraphrase George Washington himself, "The Right to bare arms is second in importance only to the Constitution itself! For it is the People's teeth."