For a Pirate’s Ransom

Designed by Fabrice Gonet, HD3’s Black Pearl version of the Bi-Axial Tourbillon is meant as an homage to pirate lore, with an emphasis on the pirate’s lack of respect for the establishment’s rules. It is based on earlier models of the Bi-Axial and Vulcania, the latter of which found inspiration in Jules Verne and the science-fiction community’s frequent disregard for nature’s rules. The Black Pearl is for the well-to-do gentleman who has no need for the established norms of luxury watches—or of design rules imposed on any watch for that matter.

The Black Pearl allows the wearer to “tell time differently,” thanks to the extremely complex BNB Concept manually wound mechanical movement. The timepiece is based upon a large exposed tourbillion that spins on two axes, which are visible through an opening placed at 9 o’clock that resembles a cannon porthole on a ship. The hours are digitally indicated in red-on-black text by a vertically mounted cylinder. The minutes are expressed on a more traditional dial that looks like a nautical chadburn level. Next to this is the sextant-style power-reserve indicator  (maximum of 80 hours of power for the movement before rewinding). A square crystal-covered window at 3 o’clock indicates the date. The rear of the case is covered with a transparent sapphire crystal featuring a compass-style skull symbol, past which is a full view into the beautifully crafted mechanical movement.

The Jolly Rodger—the most enduring pirate symbol of two crossed swords underneath a skull—is reproduced on the side of the Black Pearl; on the opposite side sits the large gear-style crown with a segment that is modeled after an anchor crank from old ships.

The square watch case is comprised mostly of PVD black and polished titanium; anodized aluminum is used for the dial, due to its low weight, high strength, and consistent finishing. Despite the unorthodox manner of displaying the time, the Black Pearl is very easy to read—once you get the hang of it. Like all HD3 Bi-Axial watches, production of the Black Pearl will be limited to 11 pieces.