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Finally: a break from Brady Madness! (Actually, not so much—he might not have secured the coveted top spot this week, but if you scroll down, you’ll see our guy Tom did wear another banger timepiece worthy of this roundup.) In any case, we’re interrupting our regularly scheduled Bradycast to bring you breaking news from a different sport entirely. Retired NBA great Carmelo Anthony rocked a super limited-edition watch circa 2004 while attending WNBA playoffs this week: an IWC Portugieser Tourbillon Mystère Squelette.
The Squelette (French for “skeleton”) is not the sort of flashy diamond-studded piece that many athletes and other celebrities love to flaunt. Rather, it’s some deep watch-guy shit: Housed in a 44.2mm platinum case, it features a fully skeletonized dial and a skeletonized movement with a one-minute tourbillon, a power reserve indicator, and a small-seconds display. The movement—an IWC Calibre 50910—has a whopping seven-day power reserve.
Let’s break this all down, shall we? First off, the case is platinum, that most precious of precious metals that, well, weighs a ton and costs even more. Secondly, the movement is skeletonized, which means it’s had material removed such that its different components are visible via a similarly skeletonized dial. (Though you’ll see certain affordable watches with semi-skeletonized dials, skeletonized movements such as these are more often the realm of haute horlogerie, i.e. “high watchmaking.”) Lastly—and most importantly—this thing has a tourbillon. This device, developed by famed French watchmaker Abraham-Louis Breguet in the early 19th century, was meant to counteract the effects of gravity on a pocket watch’s balance by placing it in a constantly revolving cage.
Notice we said “pocket watch,” which was traditionally worn vertically in a waistcoat pocket, and then possibly placed horizontally on a nightstand in the evening. What good does a tourbillon do in a wristwatch, then, which is constantly in motion throughout vertical and horizontal orientations? You guessed it: not much! Making a tourbillon and sticking it in a wristwatch is the horological equivalent of playing a Fender Stratocaster through a wall of Marshall stacks in a room that holds 12 people. It gives off some combination of: “Look what I can do!” and “Don’t f**k with me.”