In the signature style of this U.S.-based aviation-themed brand, the new Torgoen T42 features a straightforward design inspired by the ergonomic layout of instruments in airplane cockpits.
The automatic watch is built with a sapphire crystal with anti-reflective coating, genuine Italian leather strap and an ETA 2824 Swiss movement. Purists will appreciate the dial for its ease in reference in both light and dark conditions.
The Swiss-made movement offers the wearer a quick date change and bi-directional self-winding. It is cased inside a 41mm 316Lstainless steel case built to handle water pressure 100 meters below the ocean’s surface.
Torgoen makes the T42 in four variations, each featuring a different color combination including: black, blue, cream and gray dials, all held together with a 21mm Italian leather strap, sewn with tone-on-tone stitching. Price: $790.
At the end of every issue of International Watch, we present a one-page item about a watch with a particularly handsome rear view. It’s a popular feature we’ve published for many years– in print only and within our online full-on digital editions.
If you’re not subscriber to our quarterly print publication, perhaps you haven’t seen this feature. If you haven’t, below we remedy that sad state of affairs with just a few of our more recent BackStory items.
Enjoy the view.
BackStory: Armin Strom Masterpiece 1 Dual Time Resonance
Even from the back of this unusual 59mm x 43.4mm oval titanium case, Armin Strom’s Masterpiece Dual Time Resonance looks like no other wristwatch. While on the front you’d see a dual-time display, a 24-hour dial and two oscillators, from the back the view underscores that four barrels power these movements. As they delightfully unwind simultaneously, they become synchronized.
As a result of this resonance, a physical phenomenon, the watch creates a highly stable timekeeping rate that heightens overall precision. Resonance, a technically difficult (and hard to regulate) technique used by only a few other watchmakers, also means the watch is more efficient and is less prone to shock-inflicted error.
Indeed, Armin Strom say that its own laboratory testing has revealed gains in precision of 15-20% for two COSC chronometer-level regulated movements placed in resonance.
Armin Strom says that its Resonant Clutch Spring (which was initially developed for an earlier watch called the Armin Strom Mirrored Force Resonance) can take up to ten minutes to synchronize the two systems. To further back its claims regarding the technology, the CSEM (Centre Suisse d’Electronique et de Microtechnique) has officially certified Armin Strom’s resonance system based on the clutch spring as being a true system in resonance.
As is evident in this back view, Armin Strom has underscored its technical proficiency with and equally impressive high level of finish on the Caliber 17 ARF bridges and plates.
The Armin Strom Masterpiece 1 Dual Time Resonance, pictured here with a titanium case, is also available with a rose gold and white gold case. Armin Strom has also introduced the watch cased in a clear sapphire case.
Movement: Armin Strom manufacture calibre ARF17 with manual-winding, frequency of 3.5 Hz (25,200 vph), patented resonance clutch spring, dual off-center time indications, 4 mainspring barrels, two independent regulation systems connected by a resonance clutch spring 419 total components, power reserves: 110 hours for each movement,
Case: 59mm x 43.4mm x 15.9mm grade 5 titanium, sapphire crystal and case back with antireflective treatment, water resistance of 50 meters Price: $169,000 (titanium case) to $268,000 (sapphire case)
BackStory: Greubel Forsey QP à Équation
Not long ago, Greubel Forsey debuted a red gold version of its QP à Équation, an exquisite ultra-complicated timepiece with complete perpetual calendar, tourbillon and equation of time function.
The watch, which was awarded the Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève award for the best Calendar in 2017, utilizes a type of ‘mechanical computer’ to manage all the changes in the displays.
This ‘computer,’ which is Greubel Forsey’s seventh ‘invention,’ is an entirely integrated twenty-five-part component composed of a stack of cams with movable fingers that shift the indications on the dial and caseback. The month’s cam changes the month (seen on the front of the dial).
But at the same time, different cams within that stack moves the Equation of Time disc, the year indicator and the seasons indication disc on the back, which is the focus of this issue’s Backstory page.
With it color-coded indicators, the Equation of Time display is the most visible of the back displays. . Essentially, the Equation of Time is the conversion factor between solar and mean time. This still rarely made complication seeks to distinguish the difference between solar time and mean time, which can vary from a few seconds to as much as sixteen minutes during the year
Greubel Forsey’s QP à Équation makes these calculations internally. The watchmaker-led construction team created an easy-to-read, color-coded display of the results on the caseback. The red portion shows when the sun is ahead of the solar mean time while the blue means the sun is behind solar mean time.
On the number scale, you see how many minutes the time is behind or ahead. The other colors show the seasons, the months are indicated using letters and two semi-circles show the equinoxes. An also-rare four-digit indicator displays the year.
And finally, if you’re wondering how all these calculations are made, feel free to watch the ‘mechanical computer’ itself, which is visible directly below a sapphire disc.
Case: 43.5mm by 16mm 5N ‘Rose’ Gold
Movement: 36.4 mm by 9.6mm, 624 parts total w/86 tourbillon cage parts, flat black-polished steel tourbillon bridges, 75 olive-domed jewels in gold chatons, two coaxial series-coupled fast-rotating barrels (1 turn in 3.2 hours), 21’600 vibrations/hour, with a power reserve of 72 hours, Phillips terminal curve, Geneva-style stud, nickel silver main plates, frosted and spotted with polished beveling and countersinks, straight-grained flanks, nickel-palladium treatment, 4 engraved gold plates, one with the individual number, synthetic sapphire mechanical computer bridge.
H. Moser’s new Streamliner Centre Seconds, the second model from the independent Swiss brand’s integrated steel Streamliner collection, focuses on timekeeping basics by displaying simple hours, minutes and seconds. But echoing so many H. Moser debuts, the real eye-catcher is the stunning fumé dial, here in “Matrix Green.”
The dial appears to glow, framed within its brushed steel 40mm case that links ever so smoothly to the matching steel bracelet – with no sign of a lug.
To reach that integrated ergonomic end zone, H. Moser extends a carefully curved bracelet atop the wrist directly into the case. Not only does it feels smooth on the wrist with articulated, gently waving links, the bracelet looks resplendent with its vertically brushed and polished finishing.
H.Moser explains that its rounded curves required the Streamliner’s designers to hollow out the case middle, satin-finish the sides and then alternately brush and polish surfaces throughout.
Any watch named Streamliner needs to have a domed sapphire crystal, which H. Moser wisely uses to top the Centre Seconds. Under that subtly curved dome you’ll find unusual hands (including a curved minute hand) formed with inserts made from Globolight, a ceramic-based material that features SuperLuminova.
Inside this H. Moser Streamliner Centre Seconds model is the watchmaker’s own automatic HMC 200 caliber. The movement is equipped with a regulating organ manufactured by H. Moser & Cie.’s sister company, Precision Engineering AG. Nicely decorated by H. Moser with its brand-developed double stripe décor, the caliber also stands out from other with a gold oscillating weight. Price: $21,900.
Specifications: H. Moser Streamliner Centre Seconds, Reference 6200-1200
Movement: HMC 200 self-winding caliber, frequency of 21,600 Vph, automatic bi-directional pawl winding system, 18-karat gold oscillating weight engraved with the H. Moser hallmark, power reserve of 3 days, original StraumannHairspring, finish with Moser stripes.
Case: 40mm by 9.9mm steel topped by a gently domed sapphire crystal, see-through case back, screw-in crown adorned with an “M”, water-resistant to 120 meters.
Dial: Matrix Green fumé with sunburst pattern, applique indices, hour and minute hands with Globolightinserts.
Bracelet: Integrated steel bracelet, folding clasp with three steel blades, engraved with the Moser logo.
Three optical “eyeballs” and three legs dominate the insect-like profile of TriPod, the latest MB&F desk clock co-creation with L’Epée. The rule of threes is further demonstrated by the clock’s three movement levels, an unusual three-day clock dial and by the fact that the clock is actually the result of a three-way collaboration between MB&F, L’Epée 1839 and designer Maximilian Maertens.
The new clock, which both makers debuted last week during Geneva Watch Days, arrives about a year after the debut of T-Rex, another cooperative venture that was the first of a trilogy of half animal/half robot creations that MB&F calls Robocreatures.
The TriPod performs its time-telling duties with more user interaction than is required by most clocks. To see the time, the user can either peer into a smallish dial placed atop the colorful insect-like clock body, or – preferably – look directly into one of the three glass orbs (TriPod’s ‘eyes’) that magnify the dial to make it more legible than it appears using the naked eye.
With either method, the user sees a dial composed two concentric, rotating disks and three sets of hour numerals placed around the perimeter of the dial, each numbered from 1 to 12. Making one full revolution in thirty-six hours means the dial indicates three sets of hours and minutes, each of which can be spied individually through one of the glass ‘eyes.’
TriPod is about ten inches high and is framed in plated brass. Three legs support a colorful body that houses a 182-component three-dimensional sculptural movement by L’Épée 1839. Like most L’Epée movements, when fully wound (by key) TriPod offers a full eight-day power reserve.
This ‘insect’ body is made from cast acrylic, which provides strong shock resistance and also means the clock is relatively light, weighing about six pounds. The body’s neon green, blue or red translucent shields allow a view of the clock movement, which is seen directly in the center of the body to mimic an insect torso.
TriPod launches in three limited editions of fifty pieces each in neon blue, neon green and neon red. Price: $24,500.
Specifications: MB&F/L’Epée TriPod
Display: Hours and minutes are indicated on two concentric dials visible from each of the three optical mineral glass spheres. Dials make one full rotation in 36 hours.
Body: Approximately 10 inches high by 12 in diameter. Weight: 2.8kg (about 6 pounds), 95 parts, plated brass, optical mineral glass, fluorescent acrylic shields.
Movement: L’Epée 1839 in-house designed and manufactured movement, balance frequency: 18,000 vph (2.5Hz), one barrel, power reserve eight days, 182 components, Incabloc shock protection system, manual-winding: double-ended key to set time and wind the movement.
When Louis Erard debuted this watch late last year, we knew its days were numbered. This week the independent Swiss watchmaker announced that only a handful of models remain in the limited edition collection featuring a design by famed architect and watchmaker Alain Silberstein.
Available in two limited editions of 178 watches, the watch not only was Silberstein’s first-ever regulator, but it was also the first time Louis Erard had ever turned over its atelier to a guest designer. While the watchmaker did collaborate with watch designer Eric Giroud earlier in 2019 with a redesign of the Louis Erard Excellence Regulator, the collaboration with Silberstein gave the designer carte blanche.
As it turns out, Silberstein hadn’t designed a regulator in his four decades of making colorful, modernistic watches, so the function appealed to him on several levels. Fortunately, this also perfectly tied into the focus function of many existing Louis Erard offerings, primarily within its Excellence collection.
As a display seen historically on clocks used in watchmaking ateliers to set the hands of pocket watches, the regulator focuses the eye on a larger minute hand. Technically, by separating the indications of the hours, minutes and seconds, chronometric precision can improve.
As Alain Silberstein relates in Louis Erard’s promotion of this collaboration, the regulator transports him “far away to the clocks on buildings which historically told the time with just one hand, or to train station clocks.”
Silberstein created one design with two color combinations for Louis Erard. He started with a large arrow for the central minute hand, which is yellow on the black-dialed version of the watch and deep blue on the white version.
The remainder of the dial shows us pure Silberstein: the geometric simplicity of rectangles, triangles and circles. Bauhaus movement, which in 2019 celebrated 100 years since its birth, inspired Silberstein’s use of primary colors.
The 40mm steel watch, powered by an ETA 7001 manual-wind movement with Louis Erard’s own regulator module, is a bargain at its CHF 2,800 price tag (approximately$3,000).
Movement: Manual winding regulator with power reserve, ETA Peseux 7001 movement with Louis Erard RE9 complication, 21,600 VpH (3Hz), 42 hours of power reserve. Côtes de Genève decoration, blue screws and Louis Erard engraving. Functions: hours, minutes and seconds. Hour hand on counter at 12 o’clock, central minute hand, seconds hand on counter at 6 o’clock, power reserve hand at 9 o’clock.
Case: 40mm steel or stainless steel + black PVD, 3 parts, sapphire crystal with anti-reflective treatment on both sides, case back with screws, top grade movement visible through the transparent case back, water-resistant up to a pressure of 50 meters, specially-decorated case back crystal with “Alain Silberstein X Louis Erard 1 of 178.”
Dial: Black and white matte or opaline (matte silver). Signature hands designed by Alain Silberstein. Red lacquered hour hand, yellow or blue lacquered minute hand, blue or yellow lacquered seconds hand, white or grey lacquered power reserve hand.
Strap: Black calf leather with signature stitching in red or brown calf leather with signature stitching in blue, pin buckle in stainless steel or stainless steel + black PVD.
Price: CHF 2,800. Developed in collaboration with Alain Silberstein in two limited editions of 178 pieces.
Greubel Forsey has re-engineered the unusual ovoid case it developed for the 2019 GMT Sport to develop the all-new Balancier S, showcasing a large, high-precision inclined balance wheel and gear train.
Now fit with a new movement, the new, sleeker version of that ovoid case frames a dramatic double suspended arched bridge holding an inclined gear train, all adjacent to the large (12.6mm) inclined balance wheel that gives the watch its name.
The Balancier S’s balance, which parallels the lower dial portion and sits at a 30-degree angle, provides what Greubel Forsey terms an “outstanding solution for limiting timing errors due to the effects of gravity on the regulating organ (balance wheel, spring and escapement) in stable positions.”
Recall that the watchmaker has utilized this escapement angle with great success within numerous tourbillon debuts in recent years, including the Tourbillon 24 Secondes, Quadruple Tourbillon and the Double Tourbillon 30°. For the first time however, we’re seeing the inclined balance alone rather than as a component within a tourbillon cage.
Like last year’s ovoid debut, the Balancier S appears circular from above, but once seen on the wrist betrays its extensive angular and curved attributes, including an oval, arched sapphire crystal, curved hour and minute hands, integrated lugs and strap and a satin-finished bezel engraved with the familiar script outlining Greubel Forsey’s ‘values.’
The new movement in the Balancier S operates with two coaxial barrels mounted in series offering a 72-hour power reserve (shown at 2 o’clock via a skeletonized red-tipped hand). A small seconds hand at 8 o’clock, also placed at a 30-degree angle, underscores the impressive depth Greubel Forsey built into this new caliber.
The watch’s unusual titanium case, sealed for 100 meters of water resistance, is echoed in a beautifully finished titanium mainplate and titanium bridges, which the watchmakers here say “proved much more difficult for manual hand-finishing than steel or even nickel silver.” Likewise, Greubel Forsey’s finishing reaches its usual high standards with extensive frosting, polished bevels and countersinks, circular and straight graining.
This Balancier S continues Greubel and Forsey’s foray into the sporty frontiers of high-end chronometry. Now that many collectors have made peace with the watch’s unusual ovoid case, expect many to look forward to additional sporty high-horology designs from this highly technical team. I already do.
Price: 195,000 Swiss francs. Eighteen pieces will be made.
Specifications: Greubel Forsey Balancier S
Movement: Balancier S manual-wind with 72-hour power reserve, escapement inclined 30 degrees, two coaxial series-coupled fast-rotating barrels, relief-engraved text, circular-grained, black treatment, polished chamfer, titanium and frosted bridges and mainplate, multi-level, suspended-arch bridge, polished with black treatment in relief, polished beveling and countersinks. Movement side: frosted bridges, polished edges and beveling , gold plate with engraved limitation number.
Case: 45mm by 13.75mm titanium with curved synthetic sapphire crystal, three-dimensional, variable geometry-shaped bezel with raised engraved text, profiled lugs, case band with rubber, transparent back with high domed synthetic sapphire crystal, titanium security screws , raised engraving. Crown is titanium and rubber with GF logo, color-coded rubber capping, interchangeable.
Dial: Three-dimensional, variable geometry hour-ring, lacquered hours and minutes indexes, power-reserve indicator, engraved and lacquered, gold small seconds dial, rhodium-colored, polished bevel, curved hour and minute hands in polished steel, small seconds w/red finish.
Strap: Rubber with text in relief , titanium folding clasp, engraved GF logo
After the Horological Society of New York appointed its former president Nicholas Manousos to a new position as the Society’s Executive Director (succeeding Edwin Hydeman), and with the addition of actor and horological designer Aldis Hodge as its newest Trustee, we thought it might be a good time to catch up on the latest news from the Society.
Below you’ll find our recent interviews with both Manousos and Hodge.
Nicholas Manousos, Horological Society of New York Executive Director
The necessary cancellation of all our in-person events has definitely been the biggest challenge for HSNY. HSNY has a reputation for holding standing-room-only lectures, sold-out watchmaking classes, and a packed annual gala. Very quickly, COVID-19 made our consistent ability to attract large crowds into a problem.
Our annual Gala & Charity Auction was canceled, as well as our May and June lectures and all of our watchmaking classes. Although our Gala was canceled, HSNY still awarded its Henry B. Fried Scholarships, Howard Robbins Awards, and Working Watchmakers Grants ($155,000 in total).
Even with these difficult cancellations, HSNY remains a resilient organization. Looking back at history gives some context. HSNY was founded in 1866 and has survived through the 1918 flu pandemic, the Great Depression and both World Wars. HSNY will continue to serve watchmakers, clockmakers, and the interested public during the COVID-19 pandemic and into the future.
How has HSNY been keeping in touch with its members?
HSNY has an amazing marketing and Public Relations director (Carolina Navarro) who has been doing a great job communicating with our members and the public, even through the most difficult part of New York’s lockdown. Our monthly newsletter, The Horologist’s Loupe — which began publishing in 1936 and is one of the oldest continuously running horological publications in the world — has continued publishing throughout the pandemic, keeping everyone up to date on HSNY’s activities. HSNY maintains an archive of vintage copies on our website offering a fascinating look back at watchmaking history in New York.
Are the virtual tutoring classes working out for HSNY?
HSNY’s new Virtual Horological Tutoring classes are working out really well! Our instructors are all professional watchmakers who teach for HSNY on a part-time basis, and all of them had their day jobs affected by the lockdown. This left a lot of time for our traditional in-person class curriculum to be adapted to online classes.
The multi-camera setup that the instructors use is impressive. It allows for students to look at the instructors as they explain certain topics and also get a close-up view of the movement as it is being worked on. The Virtual Horological Tutoring classes complement our in-person New York classes and Traveling Education initiative allowing HSNY to reach anyone in the world with an internet connection who wants to learn what makes a mechanical watch tick.
Our instructors are based throughout North America allowing us to accommodate people in different time zones and we even offer courses in French upon request.
Can you tell our readers about the Working Watchmaker’s Grant program?
In April, when the COVID-19 pandemic was at its peak in New York, I began hearing stories of watchmakers around the country who had been furloughed or lost their jobs, and it made me think about the origins of HSNY. HSNY was founded as a guild by and for watchmakers, similar to what we today call a union. Benefits were offered to help colleagues in times of need, and no one was turned away.
With this in mind, I approached HSNY’s donor network with the idea of giving grants directly to working watchmakers in the U.S. who were negatively affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. In just a few days, $100,000 was raised, and the program was announced. In one day, all grants were reserved, and HSNY staff began the large project of issuing one hundred $1,000 checks to working watchmakers.
Today, HSNY has evolved into a non-profit organization that welcomes enthusiasts and collectors, but the spirit of generosity and support of professional watchmakers from our early years is still there. The Working Watchmakers Grant is today’s version of the altruism that led to the founding of the Society in 1866.
Are the newest goals of the HSNY based on necessary evolution?
I think of it more as an accelerated evolution. For example, we had been looking into offering virtual classes and live-streaming lectures for quite a while as we now have members from all corners of the world.
The COVID-19 pandemic accelerated the timeline for these now very important projects. Even with the COVID-19 pandemic, the amount of financial assistance HSNY distributed in 2020 was over five times what it was in 2019 ($155,000 in 2020, versus $30,000 in 2019).
Behind the scenes, HSNY is working on a number of other projects that have also been accelerated due to the pandemic, and I look forward to sharing them with everyone soon.
When do you expect to start scheduling events again?
Luckily, HSNY has only experienced one true month of inactivity. On March 2, we held our last lecture before lockdown with François-Paul Journe and Osama Sendi lecturing on the Phenomenon of Resonance.
I remember that night vividly; it was a great lecture and a good note to pause on as New York entered lockdown later in March. In late April, HSNY started offering its Virtual Horological Tutoring classes and on September 9, our world-famous lecture series will resume in an online format.
As far as in-person events, only time will tell. Not only are we complying with New York City and state guidelines, but we are also seeking our members’ feedback on how they envision HSNY reopening.
Are any HSNY classes nationwide (or worldwide) currently in operation?
No, all in-person classes are on hold for the foreseeable future. New York is doing well with the coronavirus at the moment and its reopening plan is moving forward. We will continue to monitor the situation and will restart our in-person classes only when it is safe.
Our traveling education classes will likely take longer to restart because of travel restrictions in place around the world. Our Virtual Horological Tutoring classes are filling in the gap quite nicely during this time.
What opportunities from HSNY are available to any International Watch reader eager to expand his or her knowledge about horology?
HSNY’s YouTube channel is a great resource for anyone interested in expanding their horological horizons. Our lecture series has been running continuously since 1866, attracting the world’s brightest minds to share their expertise.
For 150 years, the only way to experience a HSNY lecture was to attend in person. In 2016, HSNY started video recording its lectures, and we now have 33 lectures available to watch for free. Lectures cover technical, historical, collecting, business, and cultural topics so there is something for everyone.
What are the benefits of an HSNY membership?
Joining HSNY as a member shows that you care deeply about advancing the art and science of horology. HSNY’s vast membership is what allows our non-profit to offer such a wide range of educational programs and deliver its critical financial assistance every year.
In terms of tangible benefits, all HSNY members receive an exclusive lapel pin. Members also receive priority access to lectures and special events, immediate access to video-recorded lectures, and library access in the heart of Midtown Manhattan.
What have been some of the highlights of your tenure as the President of HSNY, and how does your role now change?
Every year in late March, I make a number of phone calls to watchmaking students across the country to let them know that they have been awarded the Henry B. Fried Scholarship. These phone calls are a definite highlight for me, as I know how difficult it is for students to balance studying and paying their bills.
Every year in the U.S., more watchmakers retire than graduate. HSNY will continue to do everything possible to help watchmaking students, including expanding our financial assistance programs. I also greatly enjoy meeting the lecturers that travel to New York to speak at HSNY. I have learned so much from our world-class speakers, and I am very much looking forward to restarting our lecture series in September (in an online format).
As Executive Director, my responsibilities will now include all of the operational aspects of the organization. This year has been very challenging for the entire watchmaking industry. I am looking forward to meeting those challenges with HSNY, and making a positive contribution to the art and science of horology.
Aldis Hodge, HSNY Trustee
How did you initially learn about the Horological Society of New York?
When I began teaching myself how to design watches at around nineteen years old, I sought every way to self-educate. I started studying the history of horology, which is how I stumbled upon HSNY.
I would fly back and forth to New York City often for work, and whenever I was there I’d try to attend the meetings to learn. I wanted to begin establishing my own connective community within the city so that every time I went there, I’d be able to maintain a constant state of educational growth.
I knew of Nick Manousos and his accomplishments, and as I remember it, I met him at one of the meetings. I approached him really as an admirer of his prior and current work. We kicked up a conversation, which turned into a friendship and the rest is history.
What has your involvement with the Society been up to this point?
I’ve been a proud member of HSNY since 2016. My travel schedule is demanding but luckily requires me to be in New York City often, so I attend lectures whenever possible. I remember the day I received my membership lapel pin and I still wear it proudly today.
How will that change now that you are a Trustee?
Now that I’m a Trustee, I have the opportunity and responsibility to directly impact the Society. I can use my voice to represent HSNY and contribute to its growth. I’m excited about the challenges that lie ahead and I’ve already discussed several of my ideas with the board. I’m determined to accomplish the goals set forth within the time frame of my tenure.
What do you see as the Society’s responsibility to the watchmaking industry?
Education, education, education! As a seasoned designer, I’ve realized that the primary challenge of maintaining the validity of traditional watchmaking is obtained through education.
I love having conversations with people that may spark a newfound interest in horology or a new way to appreciate our artistically mechanical world from a refreshed perspective.
I really enjoy teaching people about ways to understand value and quality regarding the many difficult techniques that we as horologists apply when creating our work. And my joy is equally matched when I get to introduce someone to the world of “independent watchmaking”.
I also see a great opportunity for HSNY’s continued efforts to be a major asset towards the resurgence of American horological manufacturing. This, I would dare to say, is the potential accomplishment I’m most ambitious about being a part of.
My mind overflows with ideas about the jobs and opportunities we could create, the horological wonders we could develop, and the history that we could establish. There was once a time when America was known for great watchmaking and that time has come yet again.
Armin Strom this week releases a rose gold version of its Gravity Equal Force, an innovative time-only design with an unusual constant-force mechanism.
The watch, which Armin Strom debuted in steel last year, features an in-house movement that takes a cue from high-precision pocket watches of yore. The watch’s ASB19 automatic movement features a motor barrel (where the mainspring resides) that stays locked after the watch is wound, creating a more precise arbor to rotate and drive the gears that move the watch’s hands.
Effectively, the watchmakers at this independent Swiss atelier added a stop-work de-clutch mechanism to the automatic watch, driving consistent power to the balance.
As Armin Strom explains “it is clear that it is a demonstrably better system as it is more precise and stable during operation of the movement. Armin Strom’s watchmakers built on this idea to create an entirely new watch.”
The Gravity Force debuted with a steel case last year as an update to the Armin Strom Resonance Clutch Spring that first demonstrated the brand’s retro-futuristic approach to delivering constant force within its automatic movement.
This newest rose gold-cased version brings along a bit of luxury to what remains a technically focused watch.
When it debuted, the watch’s 41mm case was a new size for the brand. That size remains on this new model, as do the dominant three bridges that echo the vintage pocket watch inspiration behind the movement’s design. Here the bridges are gold, creating a luxurious contrast with the black dial.
The Armin Strom Gravity Equal Force in rose gold is priced at $26,600.
Specifications: Armin Strom Gravity Equal Force, rose gold
Movement: Armin Strom manufacture Caliber ASB19, automatic winding with micro rotor, Geneva-drive equal force barrel, offset display with subdial seconds, balance wheel with 4 regulating screws. Power reserve limited to 72 hours. Frequency: 3.5 Hz (25,200 vph)
Case: 41mm by 12.65mm rose gold, sapphire crystal and caseback with anti-reflective treatment. Water-resistance to 30 meters
Dial: Offset with hours, minutes plus a seconds inner subdial, power reserve indicator subdial, rose gold hands.
Strap: Black alligator leather and 18-karat rose gold ardillon buckle. An 18-karat rose gold double-folding clasp is an option.
With multiple debuts during the past year, Franck Muller has shifted its skills at fashioning dynamic openwork movements into overdrive.
Most recently, the independent Geneva-based watchmaker debuted a stunning Vanguard Revolution 3 Skeleton triple-axis tourbillon, the first time we’ve seen this mesmerizing movement inside the best-selling tonneau-shaped Vanguard case. (We’ll have details on this ultra-complicated watch in an upcoming post).
In early July, Franck Muller debuted the red and white Vanguard Skeleton Swiss Limited Edition, dedicated to the brand’s home country.
This spring in a more broad-based debut Franck Muller updated its Vanguard Racing Skeleton with a lighter, more open-worked movement and more intense use of titanium, carbon fiber and aluminum.
With a new, heavily skeletonized movement, you’ll see more hints of a racecar engine within the movement’s structure.
Perhaps the most noticeable nod to automotive timing is the seconds indicator. Here, you read seconds starting from the lower portion of the dial (at 6 o’clock) instead of the top. This echoes most automobile rev counters. With two red tips, the hand also shows the wearer an ongoing seconds display from both ends of the hand.
Furthermore, the white hand with red tip and the bicolor second indications track reinforce the idea of a rev counter. Even without a gas pedal, the owner might possibly want to push the hand into the red zone. Of course, as this is not a chronograph, any ‘racing’ will not technically include a timing element. The watch displays only hours, minutes, seconds and date.
To further accentuate the skeleton design, the date numbers have been fully skeletonized. The central seconds counter, thanks to a smoked sapphire glass, provides a full display while allowing complete movement visibility.
For a closer fit, Franck Muller has subtly integrated the strap into the case with the help of two unseen screws instead of the regular spring-bar technique.
And finally, the rubber inside the strap shapes more easily to the wrist, while the Alcantara suede layer recalls a sports car cockpit.
Franck Muller makes the Vanguard Racing Skeleton line in 44mm by 53.7mm rose gold, stainless steel, titanium and carbon case options. Prices upon request.
Chronoswiss whets a chocolate-lover’s appetite with the latest edition of its Open Gear ReSec, a watch that boasts an interesting retrograde seconds display within an already unusual skeletonized regulator dial layout.
Not only does the Lucerne-based watchmaker dip the watch’s 44mm steel case in a chocolate-colored PVD coating, but it then sprinkles the ‘dial’ with a chili-colored textured red varnish – enhancing its attraction to the horological taste buds.
Unlike previous iterations of this Chronoswiss best seller, the new Open Gear ReSec Chocolate minimizes distractions with only a very small set of numbers on the dial at the retrograde seconds display. Hours and minutes are displayed more simply with (luminous) markers.
As Maik Panziera, Chronoswiss head of design, explains, the tasty chili and cranberry red dial is actually the watch’s mainplate. “The fine-grained, powdery appearance is achieved by sandblasting a red varnish mixed with a see-through pigment.”
Named for its premier function (ReSec stands for Retrograde Seconds), the watch’s jumping seconds hand operates in a half-circle, leaping from the thirty seconds position back to start its arc to complete counting each minute.
Chronoswiss places blackened bridges on the dial around the namesake retrograde seconds display. These bridges, which stand out clearly amid the chili red color, support the automatic Chronoswiss caliber C. 301 skeletonized open gear train wheels, which power the regulator hands. In regulator style (where minutes are the focus) the large minute hand circumnavigates the dial while the smaller hour hand is positioned at the 12 o’clock position.
In addition to the regulator layout, the Open Gear ReSec Chocolate features all the expected Chronoswiss design codes, including a three-dimensional dial, onion crown and fluted bezel.
For collectors not sold on this latest horological nugget from Chronoswiss, the watchmaker adds another tasty bonus: Every customer who buys this watch, and also registers for the Chronoswiss three-year international warranty, will also receive a one-year (quarterly) chocolate subscription from Max Chocolatier, the Lucerne shop that inspired the watchmaker’s latest design. Price: $9,900.
Case: 44mm x 13.35mm 17-piece stainless steel case with brown PVD coating and satin finish. Bezel sand-blasted matte with partial knurling and curved, double-coated anti-reflective sapphire crystal, screw-down case back with satin finish and sapphire crystal, onion crown, water resistance up to 100 meters, strap holders screwed down with patented Autobloc system.
Movement: Chronoswiss caliber C. 301, automatic, with stop seconds, skeletonized and galvanic-black-plated with Côtes de Genève and ball bearing, polished pallet lever, escape wheel and screws; bridges and plates with perlage.
Dial: Elaborate 42-part construction on two levels: bottom level red varnish, upper level featuring screwed-on skeletonized train wheel bridges and funnel-like construction for hour display, as well as a retrograde seconds display and cylinder-shaped SuperLuminova indexes. Off-center hours at 12, central minutes, retrograde seconds at 6.
Strap: Calf leather, hand-sewn.
The Open Gear ReSec Chocolate is limited to fifty timepieces. Price: $9,900.