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Tourbillon Astronomique by Antoine Martin

Why The Tourbillon Astronomique By Antoine Martin Is A 50-Year Celebration

Back around 1991, as Martin Braun was completing the requirements to become a master watchmaker, he had the brilliant idea for his first innovative complication: a unique display of the times of sunrise and sunset. Almost a decade later, the talented horologist developed the complication and placed it into a watch bearing his own name.

Braun has always been fascinated by reducing natural astronomical occurrences to the miniature stage provided by a mechanical display, using nature as his model.

This month, Martin Braun will celebrate half a century on this planet. Though he did not expressly say he created the Tourbillon Astronomique for any particular reason, I almost suspect he was giving himself a huge birthday gift to celebrate this life milestone.

The functions include: display of sunrise and sunset customized to the wearer’s geographical location, display of zodiac and season, date, equation of time, retrograde moon with moon phase display, day/night indication, power reserve, declination (in degrees and graphically), polar shadow line, and a one-minute tourbillon.

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The UR-105M Dark Knight with AlTiN treated steel bezel

Weekly Roundup April 15: Urwerk, Vacheron Constantin, IWC, Jaeger-LeCoultre, Girard-Perregaux And More

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April 24, 2014
This week we present a video-rich roundup of the recent news so pour yourself a large glass, get yourself comfortable, scroll down and enjoy. The week's review includes: Urwerk's new UR-105M, both Vacheron Constantin and IWC supporting film and the arts at the Tribeca Film Festival, Girard-Perregaux's new blue Sea Hawk, Jaeger-LeCoultre honoring Charlie Chaplin, a quick look at the best on the net, plus a few well-known horological figures giving their Baselworld Top-5 for The Watches TV.
The UR-105M Dark Knight with AlTiN treated steel bezel

Back To The Future: The Urwerk UR-105M

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April 23, 2014
Wild watches get ever wilder and ever more numerous and like any addict, we need more and more just to reach the same horological high. But as pioneering as they are, one of the first avant garde brands that started us all on this exhilarating ride isn't really playing the same game a tall: Urwerk. In an era when new models appear to be designed as much, if not more, for shock-and-awe as they are for time keeping, the UR-105M paradoxically looks both cutting-edge-modern and reassuringly familiar.
Romain Gauthier Logical one Secret "Diamonds" in red gold

Logical One Secret By Romain Gauthier: But Is It Art?

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April 21, 2014
"Art", what is it? If we allow that horology at its finest can indeed be art, then I have no problem accepting Romain Gauthier's Logical one as art. While beauty may be in the eye of the beholder (and mine sees beauty in Logical one), there is no denying Romain Gauthier's fertile imagination in reinventing the chain and fusee, eliminating the ubiquitous winding crown, improving the mainspring barrel and adding a few diamonds!
Gronefeld Parallax Tourbillon RG (red gold)

Copernicus, Alignment Shift, And The Grönefeld Parallax Tourbillon: A Nerd Story

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April 20, 2014
Parallax is a fascinating phenomenon that has real-world applications, including the amazing ability of humans to use their two eyes and parallax shift to judge depth of field. You can reach out and grab that doorknob because of science. For this reason and more I absolutely love the latest creation to come out of the Grönefelds’ workshop, their aptly named Parallax Tourbillon.
Louis Moinet Dragon Tourbillon

Give Me Five! Tourbillons From Baselworld 2014 Part 1

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April 19, 2014
While Baselworld 2014 was not a particularly big year for tourbillons, they were still an important element in the collections of most brands and a few of them were truly exceptional. Here are just a few of the tourbillons that passed in front of my lens at Baselworld 2014.
Zenith Christophe Colomb Hurricane models: L-R Ernesto “Che” Guevara, Simón Bolívar and Emiliano Zapata

Weekly Roundup April 18: Rolex, Zenith, Richard Mille, Jaeger-LeCoultre, Montblanc, Hublot, F.P. Journe, Audemars Piguet, And More

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April 18, 2014
With the horological storm that is Baselworld slowing calming down, we thought this might be a quiet news week; however, it turned out to be busy with news from Rolex, Richard Mille, Audemars Piguet, Zenith, Montblanc, Antiquorum, Jaeger-LeCoultre, Hublot, Digital Luxury Group and F.P. Journe.
All gold on earth came from outer space

How To Make Gold. Warning: Don't Try This At Home!

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April 17, 2014
The most common choice for classic dress watches has to be gold, but have you ever wondered where that gold originally came from? And by "originally" I'm not referring to a gold mine on earth but the original source of the gold even before it arrived on our planet. Spoiler alert: it involves an explosion, a very big explosion!
Richard Mille RM 36-01 Competition G-Sensor Sébastien Loeb

G-Forces At Work: Richard Mille’s RM 36-01 Competition G-Sensor Sébastien Loeb

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April 16, 2014
Richard Mille is one of those brands where it is all too easy to be simply enamored of the incredible visuals and lifestyle hype. However, Richard Mille is one of the most technical of watch brands. Case in point is the RM 36-01 Competition G-Sensor.
Ulysse Anchor Escapement

Anchors Away: Ulysse Nardin Makes The Anchor Escapement Viable For The Wristwatch

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April 15, 2014
Ulysse Nardin's main introduction for Baselworld was not a watch. It was a component. This is probably one reason why the introduction of the new Ulysse Anchor Escapement was so surprising; I would have expected it to come together with the haptic treat of a full horological experience, i.e. a timepiece to touch, feel and enjoy.
Roger W. Smith GREAT Britain watch

Why Great Britain Is Actually GREAT Britain: The R.W. Smith GREAT Britain Watch

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April 14, 2014
I simply went gaga over R.W. Smith's latest creation when I first saw it. Commissioned as part of the British government's GREAT Britain campaign, which is on its third year, Smith’s latest creation is appropriately called the GREAT Britain watch. Well, of course!
Lange & Heyne Augustus anniversary watch

Give Me Five! German Watches From Baselworld 2014

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April 12, 2014
While the two most well known German brands are A. Lange & Söhne and Glasütte Original, there are quite a few smaller German brands deserving our attention. Some with names you may have heard of, a few you may not have: Glasütte Original, Nomos, Lange & Heyne, Tutima, Kudoke and Leinfelder
Rolex Oyster Perpetual Datejust Pearlmaster 34

Always Expect The Unexpected: Rolex Surprises Yet Again With The Oyster Perpetual Datejust Pearlmaster 34

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April 10, 2014
One thing is as certain as death and taxes: Rolex will never, ever do what you think it is going to do. The unassuming Oyster Perpetual Datejust Pearlmaster contains something that I didn't think I would ever see in my lifetime: silicon! To tell you I almost fell off my chair would be an understatement.
Nomos Caliber DUW 4401 with Swing System escapement

Bravo, Nomos! How The Metro Will Change The Watch Game

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April 9, 2014
Okay, so if you know me, you also know that I am a fan of Nomos. And it’s not hard to define why, including the fact that Nomos watches are the biggest bang for the buck in our industry. I defy any brand anywhere to provide the consumer with more watch for the money than Nomos! But that still doesn’t answer why I entitled this post, “Bravo, Nomos!”
At Speake-Marin: Armin Doerr, Joshua Munchow, Elizabeth Doerr and Peter Speake-Marin

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April 6, 2014
Baselworld is about connecting. Many people will say that attending Baselworld is about having a lot of meetings, taking thousands of wrist shots, and running across the halls with your arms full of press kits and chocolate boxes. While that certainly is part of the show for many, you have truly missed the point if you think that is all that Baselworld is.
Grönefeld Parallax Tourbillon

Quill & Pad Baselworld 2014 Awards

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April 4, 2014
Welcome to the inaugural Quill & Pad Baselworld “awards,” in which we highlight a few of the watches and goings-on that caught our eyes at the world's largest watch exhibition. Here's what caught our eyes at Baselworld 2014 in no particular order.