Before the turn of the last century, a famous travel goods company by the name of Louis Vuitton was working with elite clientele, which often encompassed world travelers. These clients wanted a way to mark their goods with a personal design that would represent them all over the world and distinguish them as wealthy and powerful business people.
In honor of Mother’s Day we revisit four fantastic openwork watches that Vacheron Constantin presented earlier this year at the SIHH in Geneva. The idea with openwork, aka skeletonization, is to remove as much of the material as possible to reveal the mechanisms beneath the dial, while ensuring it remains looking elegant and is still structurally rigid enough for its purpose.
In 2009, Jaeger-LeCoultre introduced a wristwatch so complicated in its premise and execution that it made my jaw drop: the Duomètre à Grande Sonnerie. Then earlier this year, the Le Sentier-based brand introduced the Master Ultra Thin Minute Repeater Flying Tourbillon.
Contemplating the 30-meter-high ancient pyramid at Mayan archeological site Chichén Itzá in the blazing Yucatán sunlight, I was awestruck by the structure’s complexity. Not just because of the pure historical ramifications of the pyramid and temple , but also because of its timekeeping capabilities. Chichén Itzá’s most famous structure was actually built to be the world’s largest calendar And this at a time when calendars didn’t even exist!
The Andreas Strehler Sauterelle à Lune Perpétuelle contains a moon phase mechanism that will only need adjustment by one full day every 14,189.538 years. And not only does the Lune Perpétuelle have an extremely accurate moon phase, but with the help of the constant force mechanism it is even more accurate for the little intervals as well.
This is the last in our three-part series on tourbillons from Baselworld 2014. It includes fantastic timepieces from Blancpain, Greubel Forsey, Girard-Perregaux, Hautlence and Vianney Halter I have stretched the criteria a little here: while I saw the Greubel Forsey and Vianney Halter watches during Baselworld, neither of them was actually exhibiting at the fair.
One hundred seventy-five years is an enormous span of time for a watch company to be in continuous existence and consistently producing not just timepieces, but top-of-the-range timepieces. What is the secret of this quintessentially traditional company, which has managed to move with the times so gracefully, continuing to appeal to younger people just getting bit by the horology bug as much as older, settled collectors?
De gustibus non disputandum est, as they say: there is no arguing about taste! In particular, I’m not one to tell people what they can do with their belongings. If you, for instance, want to take your Ferrari, paint it pink, and put a giant Hello Kitty decal on it, that’s your privilege. That doesn’t mean that I have to like the item in question. In this instance, I am referring to the Grieb & Benzinger re-interpretation of the classic A. Lange & Söhne Pour le Mérite Tourbillon christened Blue Merit.
Quill & Pad has the extreme honor to introduce you to the Grieb & Benzinger Blue Merit, a unique collector’s item created from one of the rarest serial movements in watch history: A. Lange & Söhne’s Tourbillon Pour le Mérite.
Today I don’t want to talk about one specific watch (though the Girard-Perregaux Tri-Axial Tourbillon gets special attention). Instead I want to discuss a whole class of mechanisms that made me cross the line from watch fan to so-called “watch idiot savant” (affectionately abbreviated as WIS): the multi-axis tourbillon.