Sartory Billard Introduces the SB06 Flying Tourbillon
A fully customizable tourbillon watch with a distinctive dial and movement at a sensible price.
Sartory Billard has been around since 2015 when the company founded by Armand Billard, an industrial designer, unveiled its first watch. It was the SB01 which started off as a pet project to commemorate his 40th birthday. Since then, the brand has come a long way. The goal has always been to offer extensive customization and artisanal details at less stratospheric prices, a strategy that has proven highly successful with watches like the SB04 and SB05. Now the company is branching out into complications. While currently developing the SB08 — a highly complex jumping hour and minutes watch with a flying tourbillon—Sartory Billard has unveiled a tourbillon-only model, the SB06.
The creation of the SB06 stemmed from a request by Cronotempvs, a private collector’s club in Spain, for a flying tourbillon watch. In fact, it sounds much like Armand’s founding story; what appeared to be a straightforward exercise of selecting a stock movement quickly spiraled into an ambitious pursuit of creating an entirely original movement from scratch. To do this, the brand enlisted the help of Comblémine. Although Comblémine is best known as a dial-maker owned by Kari Voutilainen, it is also capable of designing and developing movements.
Notably, Sartory Billard has managed to retain much of what made it such a standout to begin with. The watch offers a remarkable level of customization and an array of captivating and distinctive features, including multipart dials and hands, guilloche movement plates, sapphire bridges, along with artisanal finishes – all at a sensible price.
Two versions of the SB06 will be available: the SB06-12 with a 12-hour format, starting at €88,000 and the SB06-24 with a 24-hour format, starting at €96,000. The watches pictured here are the SB06-12 “Havana” along with the SB06-24 “La Nuit” and “Le Jour” which are base models that can be customized ad infinitum.
The Case & Dial
Both models have a 41mm case, which is a modern size without being overly large, and a thickness of just 9.5mm. It is produced by Voutilainen & Cattin and is available in platinum, gold, tantalum, steel or titanium. In contrast to the SB04 and SB05, the case consists of three parts – bezel, case band, and back – with individually soldered lugs. Like the SB05, the case back is secured to the case middle with Torx screws. The models presented here have fully polished cases, but they can also be customized according to preferences.
The dials consist of three parts – a sapphire chapter ring on which the numerals and markers are pad-printed, an outer ring, and a central disc. This allows for a wide range of customization options such as such tremblage engraving, as seen on the SB06-12 “Havana”, CNC machined or engine-turned guilloche by Comblémine, stone from Groh & Ripp, enameling, as well as even more exotic crafts like maki-e. The numerals themselves can be adapted to different styles like Bréguet, Roman and Eastern Arabic.
While the SB06-12 maintains a dial layout that is reminiscent of the SB05, the SB06-24 offers a fresh and distinct design. The motion works have been converted to indicate time on a 24-hour format but interestingly, the dial only features a 12-hour scale, ranging from 6am to 6pm on the upper half of the dial. This is because there are two 24-hour hands tipped with a stylized representation of the sun in solid gold and the moon filled with Super-Luminova respectively. These hands make the time easily readable across the 12-hour scale, with the sun and moon tips indicating daytime and nighttime hours, respectively. The minutes are indicated conventionally using a minute hand aligned with a minute scale. The hands in the SB06-12 consists of two parts, like the SB05, one sandblasted and the other polished while each hour hand in the SB08 are made up of three parts.
What makes the customization process even tougher is that the examples presented at launch are already very beautiful and compelling. In the present La Nuit model, the engraving on the central dial is based on the altimeter measurements gathered by NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter. These measurements have been translated onto the dial with a scale factor of 1:155 million for diameter and 1:70 million for height. The dial replicates the moon’s topography with remarkable accuracy, faithfully portraying details at depths as shallow as 200 μm. It is executed over a domed surface with a cumulative depth of 445 μm.
As mentioned, the calibre SBTV01 was developed by Comblémine. The base plate showcases a guilloché decoration which is applied via CNC machining. It is perhaps also the more practical approach as traditional hand-applied guilloche might place excessive stress on the plate and potentially compromise its structural integrity. The guilloche pattern as well as the coloring are all customizable.
The movement has a straightforward gear train arrangement where the third wheel drives the carriage pinion. The barrel bridge is made of transparent sapphire and is secured to the base plate with pillars. Arched bridges that support the third wheel and tourbillon feature anglage and inward angles done by Philippe Narbel, as is the finish on the three-arm tourbillon cage. There are black polished screws throughout, while jewels sit in polished chatons or countersinks. Additionally, the pillars that support the sapphire bridge are fully polished. The balance wheel is free-sprung with four turnable weights. It has a frequency of 3Hz and power reserve is a lengthy 96 hours.
Today, tourbillon watches can be found in almost every segment of the price spectrum, but surprisingly, few demonstrate an equal level of detailing and consideration expended on the dial work and movement, as what’s seen in the SB06. In fact, the abundance of possibilities that Sartory Billard offers in terms of customisation is starting to feel like just the icing on the cake.
Movement: Hand-wound SBTV01; 96-hour power reserve, 3Hz (21,600vph)
Functions: Hours and minutes (SB06-12); Hours indicated with a pair of 24-hour hands and minutes (SB06-24)
Case: 41mm in diameter, 47mm lug-to-lug, and 9.5mm in height excluding crystal; double domed sapphire for the front and back; water-resistant to 50m; available in steel, titanium, gold, platinum and tantalum
Strap: Bespoke in leather type, colour, and length; handmade by Scarlett Paris
Price: Starting price of €88,000 for the SB06-12 and €96,000 for the SB06-24
|Self-winding extra thin Dandong caliber SL1588; 41-hour power reserve
|Hours, minutes and seconds
|40mm; grade 5 titanium; water resistant to 100m
|Red guilloché with "Sunmao" structure; rhodium plated applied indexes
|Titanium bracelet and white colored rubber strap
|Limited and numbered edition of 100 pieces