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With Anywhere, the second debut from independent Swiss watchmaker Krayon, the wearer can see sunset and sunrise times for any single location indicated on the dial.

The watch, with its all-new C030 manual-wind caliber, streamlines the functions of the earlier Krayon Everywhere, on which (you guessed it) the wearer can see sunset and sunrise times across the globe. That watch was awarded the Innovation Prize at the Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève (GPHG) in 2018.

The back of the Krayon Anywhere, showing Manual-winding Cal. C030. The bridge edges echo the shape of one of the rivers that empties into Lake Neuchâtel.

Like the dial, the back of the newer celestial complication is also less encumbered, with large, expertly polished plates that hide the gears below. Watch engineer Rémi Maillat, who worked on so many of Cartier’s superb, complicated calibers prior to founding Krayon in 2017, places the hours, minutes and seconds beneath this larger plate.

A portion of the sunset and sunrise complication dominates the lower section of the movement. Framing a threaded and adjustable transverse screw is a dramatic two-level cam that rotates, pushing two racks to continuously transmit the information required to activate the dial’s sunset and sunrise displays.

Krayon will adjust two screws (visible within a set of rubies at each side of the visible cam) to account for longitudinal differences in sunset and sunrise.

The cam, which the watchmaker can customize according to the owner’s chosen latitude, rotates fully once each year. Krayon will adjust two screws (visible within a set of rubies at each side of the cam) to account for longitudinal differences in sunset (left side) and sunrise (right side).

PERSONAL DÉCOR

A close-up of the back of the Krayon Anywhere, showing the movement’s expert hand-polished beveling.

Maillat’s wavy bridge décor is not simply eye-catching. It’s also personal. The manually beveled edges of the larger bridge echo the shape of one of the rivers that empties into Lake Neuchâtel, near Maillat’s home in Switzerland. The bridge’s waves trace the position of the watch’s cam during a Neuchâtel sunset, according to Krayon. All the bridges, and even the cam, feature perfectly mirror-polished anglage.

Thanks to a thin (5mm) movement, Krayon has managed to maintain a 9mm thick case for the Anywhere despite all this complexity. And at only 39mm in diameter the Krayon Anywhere may be among the smaller high-end designs offering a sunrise/sunset display. And with the obvious attention paid to its back view, it is certainly among the most beautiful.

The dial side of the Krayon Anywhere in rose gold.

 

 

 

The Essentials

Movement: Manual-winding Cal. C030 showing (on dial) hours and minutes, sunrise and sunset times, 24-hour display, simple calendar, month. Wave-décor on bridges with hand-polished beveling throughout. and Power reserve is 86 hours, 3 Hz frequency,  55 jewels,432 components.

Case: 39mm by 9.5mm white gold or rose gold with alligator strap and matching gold buckle. Price: 116,000 Swiss Francs (about $127,000)

This article first appears in the Fall 2020 edition of International Watch.

Nomos celebrates Beethoven’s 250th birthday with a square-cased Tetra Divine Spark watch made with a copper-hued dial. The color is meant to elevate the wearer’s mood and to recall Schiller’s “Ode to Joy,” which Beethoven set to music in his 9th Symphony.

Tetra Divine Spark from Nomos Glashütte.

The watch is one of four Tetra designs within the Nomos Tetra Symphony collection. While another of the collection’s models is actually called the Tetra Ode to Joy, it’s this copper-dialed version that Nomos says will ignite a ‘spark to the wrist.”

The full Nomos Tetra Symphony series.

Nomos extends the Tetra Divine Spark’s upbeat metallic tone by utilizing three gold hands to indicate hours, minutes and seconds. All three play nicely with the 29.5mm by 29.5mm polished steel case.

Tetra has long been among Nomos’ most elegant offerings, whether with its original manual-wind Alpha caliber inside (like with this new model) or set with an automatic caliber. Note the perfectly executed overlapping lugs, slim dial font and, for this model, the subtle grey velour strap. All in all, a tuneful composition.

Price: $2,080.

 

Patek Philippe this week launches a platinum-cased Grand Complication, the Ref. 6301P Grande and Petite Sonnerie, Minute Repeater with Jumping Seconds, the Geneva watchmaker’s primary technical watch debut for 2020.

Patek Philippe’s new platinum-cased Grand Complication, the Ref. 6301P Grande and Petite Sonnerie, Minute Repeater with Jumping Seconds.

With its black grand feu enamel dial, slanted Breguet numerals and relatively unadorned time and power reserve indications, the new watch understates its impressive and complex chiming mechanism. While eyeing a classically presented time display, a wearer can also place an ear to the 44.8mm case and enjoy a rarely orchestrated symphony of three gongs: a grande sonnerie (full strike), petite sonnerie (small strike) and an on-demand minute repeater.

Patek Philippe has also added an unexpected layer of complexity to the new watch by incorporating a jumping seconds indicator, prominently displayed at the 6 o’clock position on the dial. Patek Philippe looked to its Reference 5275 from 2014 for inspiration on this complication, as that chiming model boasted jumping hours, minutes and seconds.

Patek Philippe opted to place the strike mode selector at 6 o’clock on the case.

New slide

Patek Philippe watchmakers, well-versed in designing and building the brand’s highly regarded and extensive range of chiming watches, developed the new caliber GS 36-750 PS IRM movement directly inspired by Caliber 300 used in the Patek Philippe Grandmaster Chime Ref. 6300 from 2014.  

Unlike most chiming watches from Patek Philippe and elsewhere, the new watch’s chime control center is located below the 6 o’clock position rather than on the left side of the case. On this watch, the selector can be adjusted to petite sonnerie mode (left side), grande sonnerie (center) and silence (right). The user activates the minute repeater on request with the pusher in the winding crown.

Because Patek Philippe opted to place that strike mode selector at 6 o’clock on the case, the watchmaker needed to move its traditional small-diamond platinum case indicator to the side of the case at the 12 o’clock position.

The diamond, here at 12 o’clock, indicates that the case is platinum.

Two barrels

Two series-connected twin mainspring barrels power the new caliber GS 36-750 PS IRM movement. One assures a power reserve of 24 hours for the striking mechanism while the second ensures a 72-hour power reserve for the movement.

New the new caliber GS 36-750 PS IRM is inspired by Caliber 300 used in the Patek Philippe Grandmaster Chime Ref. 6300 from 2014.

All this chiming and timing occurs within a platinum case that may look familiar. Inspired by the Ref. 5370 split-seconds chronograph Patek Philippe presented in 2015, the case features rounded contours, a concave bezel and a slightly cambered sapphire crystal.

Details of the striking mechanism with three gongs.

In summary, the new Patek Philippe Ref. 6301P Grande Sonnerie includes these six complications:

  1. Grande sonnerie
  2. Petite sonnerie
  3. Minute repeater
  4. Movement power-reserve indicator
  5. Strikework power-reserve indicator
  6. Jumping seconds

In addition, the new watch offers unique technical achievements that have resulted in the Geneva watchmaker earning three patents, which Patek Philippe describes below:

  • Isolation of the grande sonnerie in the silence mode (Patent CH 704 950 B1). In the silence mode, this mechanism totally isolates the grande sonnerie from the power flow and eliminates energy consumption.
  • Selection of the strike work mode (Patent CH 706 080 B1). This mechanism enables the selection of the strike work mode (petite sonnerie, grande sonnerie, silence) with a single lever and a single slide switch. Two slide switches were formerly required for this operation.
  • Jumping display with a jumping seconds wheel (Patent CH 707 181 A2). This innovative mechanism for jumping displays does not require springs and levers but instead uses wheels and a release lever that instantaneously unblocks the wheel train every second, and features a coiled return spring as the only power element. The advantage of this system is that it makes energy consumption easier to regulate and control.

Patek Philippe will offer the new Ref. 6301P Grande Sonnerie  on a shiny black, hand-stitched alligator leather strap with square scales, secured with a fold-over clasp. The price for the limited production watch is available upon request.

 

Specifications: Patek Philippe Ref. 6310P Grande and Petite Sonnerie, Minute Repeater with Jumping Seconds

Movement: Patek Philippe Caliber GS 36-750 PS IRM, manual winding, minute repeater with 3 classic gongs, grande sonnerie, petite sonnerie, jumping small seconds at 6 o’clock, power reserve indicators for the movement 
(72h) and for the strike work (24h), frequency of 25,200 bph 
(3.5 Hz), power reserve of 72 hours, strike work power reserve of 24 hours.

Dial: Grand Feu black enamel with glazed finish, gold applied Breguet numerals, 18-karat gold dial plate, white gold leaf-shaped hands 
with luminescent coating.

Case: 44.8 mm
 by 12mm platinum, humidity-and dust-protected only 
(not water-resistant), interchangeable solid and sapphire crystal 
case backs.

Strap: Alligator leather with square scales, hand-stitched, shiny black, fold-over clasp.

 

Watch companies have been collaborating with artists and designers for years, producing animated timekeepers with distinctive, non-traditional dials, eye-catching engravings and even unusual case finishes.

Brands as diverse as Hermès and G-Shock tout their artistic connections with special editions that typically offer playful, aesthetic variations to well-known collections. The partnerships take many forms, from one-off fund-raisers for charities to long-term collaborations that morph into full-fledged new collections.

Let’s take a look at a few of the latest watch-artist collaborations we’ve seen.      

Hublot’s new Classic Fusion Orlinski 40mm King Gold.

Hublot and Orlinski   

This artistic collaboration represents one of Hublot’s most successful, with multiple editions of Hublot’s Classic Fusion Orlinski reaching collectors of both Hublot watches and Pop Art, Orlinski’s domain. 

Richard Orlinski

Casual and serious art observers are aware of Richard Orlinski’s brightly colored beasts, including his “Wild Kong” gorilla sculpture in Cannes and his crocodiles in Miami. He and Hublot have teamed on their successful series of angular designs with light-reflecting faceted sapphire crystals for several years.

Just recently, Hublot released a new white-themed Classic Fusion Orlinski series – with gold and diamonds – just in time for the holiday season.

These are 40mm King gold or titanium models, with and without diamond pave bezels and lugs, all attached to a white rubber strap. Prices start at $11,500.

The Hublot Classic Fusion Orlinski 40mm Titanium Pavé

Movado and Lubomirski 

Movado has teamed with Alexi Lubomirski for its newest Artist Series dials. The photographer provided Movado with four photographs (Light, Water, Illumination and City Scenes) that will grace the dials of the Movado Museum dial with vegan straps in dark grey, yellow and navy blue.

Water, with dial by Alexi Lubomirski

Each steel 40mm watch ($595) also comes with a vegan reusable watch pouch and packaging made from recyclable materials.

A portion of proceeds from all watches sold (at Movado.com) will be donated to Alexi’s preferred charities Concern Worldwide and the Humane Society of America. Another collection with Lubomirski is expected for Spring 2021.

Rado True Square Undigital

Rado Designer Series

Rado has released special designer watches for 2020, the latest releases from an annual tradition for the high-tech watchmaker known for its ceramic cases and bracelets and its contemporary design focus.

Rado is working within its True Square collection to offer three models designed in collaboration with the Italian duo FormaFantasma, the British designer Tej Chauhan and Japanese duo YOY. All three have used the automatic True Square Collection as their Swiss watch canvas.

Rado True Square Formafantasma

The Rado True Square Formafantasma brings us a partially enclosed dial that refers to pocket watches with protective cases.

The Japanese design duo YOY offers a contemporary interpretation with the True Square Undigital. YOY shows only analog hands within the shape of a typical digital, possibly smart dial.

Award-winning British industrial designer Tej Chauhan brings us flowing shapes, high-tech ceramic and bold colors to evoke “futuristic visions of pop culture.”

Rado True Square x Tej Chauhan

Prices for the Rado True Square design collaborations: $1,800 (True Square Tej Chauhan), $2,550 (True Square FormaFantasma) and  $2,350 (True Square YOY).

The Atelier deMonaco Admiral Chronographe Flyback Stradivari.

Ateliers deMonaco and Luca Stradivari

Produced in partnership with the architect and designer Luca Stradivari, a direct descendant of famed luthier Antonio Stradivari, Atelier deMonaco launches its Admiral Chronographe Flyback Stradivari, available in four limited editions of eighty-eight pieces (steel, rose gold, white gold and yellow gold).

The 42mm flyback chronograph displays a dreamlike dial where elegant hands pass over matching markers and the autograph of the architect and designer.  The caseback shows the in-house dMc-760 Calibre, an eye-catching movement beautifully finished with intricate circular satin finishing, perlage, Côtes de Genève and chamfering. Price: CHF 18,000 (approximately $19,600.)

 

 

Junghans toughens its Meister collection with the new Meister S Chronoscope, a sportier version of the best-selling retro-inspired chronograph.

The Junghans Meister S Chronoscope, here with tachymeter scale.

Known for its convex day-date dial and concave subdials, the Meister Chronoscope here arrives with a larger case (45mm), stronger water resistance (200 meters), a screw-down crown, screwed steel caseback and a thickened thick sapphire crystal doubly coated for serious anti-reflection properties.

The new Junghans Meister S Chronoscope boasts a new case that cuts a contemporary profile. The case’s new, enhanced crown protection and beveled bezel set it apart from the earlier, retro-styled Chronoscope designs.

The new Junghans Meister S Chronoscope boasts a larger, more contemporary case when compared to earlier Chronoscopes.

Junghans offers two dial options. One of the two steel-bracelet models takes its sportier designation most seriously with a tachymeter scale framing an anthracite (grey) dial set with raised and numbered markers.

A second steel-bracelet model offers a tachymeter-free visage on a green-black dial with un-numbered, raised markers. Even without the tachymeter scale and with its dressier matte/polish case finish, this model asserts a hint of sportiness through its red chronograph hands.

This Junghans black PVD Meister S Chronoscope is a limited edition of 888.

The third design, the only Meister S Chronoscope made in limited production (of 888 units), also offers red accents, but arrives on black PVD, brushed steel case attached to a red-stitched synthetic black rubber strap. This model  features the same grey dial with tachymeter as offered on one of the two bracelet watches, but with red-accented hands and two red markers.  

Junghans has emblazoned its name in raised letters to the underside of the strap. This feature, according to the brand, will provide “an elaborate solution for airing of the synthetic rubber strap, guaranteeing optimum wear comfort.”

Prices: $2,595 (either model on steel bracelet) and $2,795 (black PVD case with rubber strap, an 888-piece limited edition.)

Specifications: Junghans Meister S Chronoscope

Movement: Automatic ETA-7750-based caliber J880.1 with a power reserve of up to 48 hours, date and weekday (also available in English), chronograph.

Case: 45mm x 15.9mm steel or black PVD-coated, convex sapphire crystal with anti-reflection coating on both sides, 7-times screwed stainless steel back with Junghans star artwork, screwed crown and tube, 200 meters of water resistance.

Dial: Matte anthracite, model 027/4023.44 with green-black-effect lacquer, model 027/4024.44 with tachymeter scale, hands and
indices with SuperLuminova. Hands coated with luminous substance in red and/or white.

Strap: Stainless steel bracelet with safety folding clasp and fine adjustment, synthetic rubber strap with leather inlay and stainless steel folding clasp in black PVD-coating (on model 027/4025.44 with red accent strap, limited to 888 watches).

Prices: $2,595 (either model on steel bracelet) and $2,795 (black PVD case with rubber strap, an 888-piece limited edition.)

 

Armin Strom this week introduces Lady Beat, the independent Swiss watchmaker’s first watch designed with feminine customers in mind. And while the new collection aesthetically echoes Armin Strom’s existing Gravity Equal Force collection, with its open-dial three-bridge design, Armin Strom has built an all-new, less-complicated caliber and has placed it within a fairly thin new 38mm case, a first for the brand.

The 38mm case diameter of Lady Beat is a first for Armin Strom.

Armin Strom explains that the Lady Beat was designed in concert with female design consultants, who sought to answer the question: “What does a woman desire on her wrist?”

Thus, the new Lady Beat features an off-center dial that displays only a minute and hour hand with no markers except the company logo at 12 o’clock. This contrasts with the classic three-hand display with small seconds found on the Gravity Equal Force.

Armin Strom’s new Lady Beat is characterized by soft, moon-like shapes.

And, instead of powering the watch with a visible micro rotor (as on the Gravity Equal Force) Armin Strom has developed a full-sized central rotor and placed it on the back of the new Caliber ALA20.

And while the wearer can still eye the movement’s vibrating balance directly on the front of the Lady Beat, Armin Strom has removed the stop-works declutch system and novel ‘equal force’ motor barrel from the new caliber. This allowed Armin Strom to create a caliber for Lady Beat that is thinner than the movement inside the existing Gravity Equal Force.

Also contributing to the Lady Beat’s “soft shapes” design brief, Armin Strom replaced classic lugs in favor of an integrated strap. Circles and semi-circles replaced the earlier design’s angular shapes throughout.

“These soft, moon-like shapes fill the optics of this watch,” explains Armin Strom co-founder Claude Greisler. “Look closely and you will see a half-moon-shaped plate sharing the watch’s lower level with the mechanical elements, while a full moon-shaped subdial sits atop it.”

The back of the Armin Strom ALA20 shows the new full-size, decorated rotor.

Conclusion: Armin Strom succeeds on its own terms with its first feminine watch as it avoids the all-too common watch design trap of simply adding gemstones to a smaller version of an existing model.

Armin Strom offers two Lady Beat models. One with a white dial and the other with a black dial.

Price: 16,900 CHF (about $18,600)

 

Specifications: Armin Strom Lady Beat

Movement: Automatic caliber ALA20, high-quality décor, 25,200 vph, seventy-hours of power reserve.

Case: 38mm by 11.65mm steel, sapphire crystal and case back with anti-reflective treatment. Water-resistance to 30 meters.

Dial: Offset in white or black with hand-finished steel hands.

Strap: Delivered with a bi-material rubber and Alcantara in satin white or black, and double-fold clasp in stainless steel.

Price: Starting at 16,900 CHF (about $18,600)

MB&F wants you to wear its new Legacy Machine Perpetual EVO anywhere you go.

The new watch, which MB&F debuts today, is an exuberant, ultra-tough version of its innovative and GPHG-award-winning Legacy Machine Perpetual (from 2015) that MB&F has now dressed in a new case and outfitted with enhanced shock resistance and increased water resistance.

The new MB&F Legacy Machine Perpetual EVO.

Cased in lightweight zirconium, an extremely durable silvery-grey metal frequently used by medical instrument makers, the new watch immediately differentiates itself from the earlier LM Perpetual by displaying no bezel. Instead, MB&F has fused the watch’s domed sapphire crystal directly to the 44mm case.

This re-configured case/crystal configuration opens up the wearer’s view of the watch’s eye-catching, hovering balance wheel, a signature MB&F design element. But more than that, the new design also decreases the watch’s overall height-to-diameter ratio, which can reduce the chances of accidental impact to the crystal.

Zirconium, while difficult to machine, makes for a particularly lightweight case; it also features enhanced hypoallergenic and anti-microbial properties.  MB&F has only used zirconium to case two previous watches, the HM3 Frog and HM5.

FlexRing

Perhaps the most critical addition to the original perpetual calendar’s movement design is a one-piece stainless steel dampener called the FlexRing. MB&F fits this new round component between the watch’s case and movement to enhance shock protection along the vertical and lateral axes.

MB&F designed a new shock-resistant component called FlexRing for the new movement.

According to MB&F, the new component “makes for the most robust Machine ever to emerge from MB&F.”

In addition to these adjustments, MB&F has transformed the watch’s pushers, which are larger and oblong instead of small and round, and has enhanced the water resistance of the crown (which is now screw-down) on this updated perpetual calendar. The sleeker pushers in particular signal the EVO’s sportiness.

To increase the watch’s water resistance to 80-meters MB&F has connected the crown to a new type of winding stem that disengages the crown from the winding mechanism when it is pushed in and tightened. This also prevents the wearer from over winding the mainspring barrel.

The movement

As a reminder, Stephen McDonnell effectively redesigned the traditional perpetual calendar when he first devised the LM Perpetual for MB&F five years ago.

McDonnell built the LM Perpetual with a “mechanical processor” (a series of superimposed disks) that takes the default number of days in the month at 28 and then adds the extra days as required by each individual month. This removes the chance that the date will jump incorrectly. He also built in a safety feature that disconnects the pushers during the date changeover to eliminate any risk of damage to the movement when the date is changed.

One of three plate color options, dubbed Atomic Orange, is new for MB&F.

New colors

In addition to bolstering the shock and water resistance of its perpetual calendar, MB&F is also emphasizing the LM Perpetual’s EVO’s sporty nature with new movement plate PVD or CVD colors and a rubber strap that fits snugly between two polished lugs.

One of three plate color options, dubbed Atomic Orange, is new for MB&F. The watchmaker says it has devised a new coating material and CVD coating technique that allowed it to add this sporty hue to its component color options.

The clear caseback reveals superlative hand finishing throughout respecting 19th century style with internal bevel angles and hand-polished bevels.

MB&F is offering two other dial-plate colors, PVD black and CVD blue, for the LM Perpetual EVO and is producing each of the three shades in a limited series of fifteen pieces (in celebration of the brand’s 15th anniversary). Strap colors are white, grey and black. Price: $167,000.

 

Specifications:  MB&F Legacy Machine Perpetual EVO

Movement: Fully integrated perpetual calendar developed for MB&F by Stephen McDonnell, featuring dial-side complication and mechanical processor system architecture with inbuilt safety mechanism. Manual winding with double mainspring barrels, bespoke 14mm balance wheel with traditional regulating screws visible on top of the movement. Superlative hand finishing throughout respecting 19th century style; internal bevel angles, polished bevels, Geneva waves, hand-made engravings. A FlexRing, an annular dampener fitted between case and movement, provides shock protection along the vertical and lateral axes, screw-down crown, 72-hour power reserve, 18,000 bph balance frequency (2.5Hz).

Functions/indications: Galvanic black dials with both SLN numerals and hands (except for the leap year and power reserve). Hours, minutes, day, date, month, retrograde leap year and power reserve indicators.

Case: 44mm by 17.5 mm zirconium, water resistance to 80 meters, sapphire crystals on top and display back treated with anti-reflective coating on both faces

Strap: Rubber strap with titanium folding buckle.

Price: $167,000.

Earlier this year Nomos celebrated its 175th anniversary by offering a trio of anniversary themed Nomos Ludwig models. This week, the Glashütte-based watchmaker launches another anniversary trio, this time featuring Lambda models. And for this special series, Nomos is creating the first set of steel cases within the historically gold-cased Lambda collection.

One of the new Nomos Lambda 175 Years Watchmaking Glashütte steel models, offered with black, white or blue enamel dials.

The novel case material is not the only special feature here that sets this anniversary edition apart from existing Lambda models. Nomos has also endowed the trio with particularly glossy enamel dials (in black, white and blue) and is debuting a new 40.5mm case, which measures just between the existing 39mm and 42mm gold Lambda collections. Nomos will make 175 examples of the Lambda 175 Years Watchmaking Glashütte watches in each dial color.

Polish and elegance

Each enamel dial, framed by dressy thin bezel, is highly polished to match the Lambda’s polished steel case. As with existing Lambda models, the hands here are quite thin, with the power reserve hand in special focus at the top of the dial.  That hand, which sweeps across the dial to denote the unusually long 84-hours power reserve of the DUW 1001 manual-wind movement, make Lambda perhaps the most elegant of all Nomos collections.

The Nomos manual-wind movement, DUW 1001, showing sunburst finish.

That long power reserve stems from the dual barrels of the DUW 1001, a movement Nomos nicely decorates with six hand-polished screwed chatons, polished edges and serious black polishing on individual steel parts.

Nomos hand-engraves the movement’s balance cock with “Lovingly produced in Glashütte” in German.

Most notably, Nomos finishes the traditional Glashutte three-quarter-movement plate with the same fine sunburst polish the brand debuted within this collection years ago. Similarly, Nomos continues to hand-engrave the movement’s balance cock with “Lovingly produced in Glashütte” in German.

Price: $7,500.

 

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 Torgoen T42

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 back of the Armin Strom ARF17 caliber.


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.

The Essentials

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).

The back of the Greubel Forsey QP à Équation

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.

The Essentials 

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.

Price: $695,000.