Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Chronograph in stainless steel with blue dial

Focus On Materials: Primer On The Science of Steel, The Stuff Of Cases, Mainsprings, Hairsprings, Pinions, Escapements And The Backbone Of Watchmaking – Reprise

Joshua Munchow talks about steel here, the metal that made the world! Watch cases and other movement components are commonly made from certain stainless steels, 304 and 316L being the most frequent. It also happens that some brands hold exclusive rights to use specific alloys in the production of its watches. Here’s what you should know about steel.

Q: Who Was Alfred Helwig? A: Inventor Of The Flying Tourbillon

Close to 120 years after Abraham-Louis Breguet patented the tourbillon, master watchmaker Alfred Helwig (1886-1974) created a “flying” tourbillon at the German School of Watchmaking in Glashütte. The flying tourbillon became somewhat characteristic of Glashütte and lives on in a few very special watches today. Who was Alfred Helwig? Find out here.

Rolex Oyster Perpetual Sea-Dweller Deepsea with helium escape valve

Deeper, Further, Faster: Why Some Dive Watches Have Helium Escape Valves – Reprise

Humans have long had a fascination with the depths of the ocean, striving to go ever deeper, ever further, and ever faster by pushing the limits of the human body, technology, and advancing modern science. But like all things, we are often faced with limits. Enter the helium escape valve.

Fitting Rolex balance wheel and Parachrom hairspring

Is Silicon Here To Stay In (Rolex) Watch Movements? – Reprise

Hairsprings are miniscule. Generally no more than one centimeter in overall diameter when coiled, they are roughly 50 microns thick and 150 microns wide. Tiny they may be, but insignificant they are not. In fact, they are so significant that Rolex refers to them as “the guardians of time.” But what do silicon hairsprings bring to the table? Watchmaker Ashton Tracy explains why he went from skeptic to fan.

Resonance Watches Compared: F.P. Journe vs. Armin Strom vs. Beat Haldimann, And The Pros And Cons Of Each

Many people believe resonance to be very rare, when in fact every single timekeeping device (yes, even quartz) is a resonant mechanism. But clocks and watches featuring resonance as we generally understand it in watchmaking are few and far between. In the last few decades, less than a handful of highly skilled watchmakers have taken up the challenge of creating a resonance watch. Here, Joshua Munchow looks at the pros and cons of the different approaches taken by the three leaders in this technology.

Discover The Art Of Invisible Gem Setting (Video)

In this video, our friends at The Watches TV headed to Bunter SA to learn just what the term “invisible setting” means (hint: it is a complicated style of gem setting without visible prongs holding the gems so they look like they are floating). You may find this as interesting as we do.

The writing automaton in the film, Hugo (photo courtesy IMDB)

All About Automata: Mechanical Magic (With Action Videos)

High-end automata today beautifully illustrate that extraordinary engineering can be combined with impressive artistic crafts to wonderful ends. But even in the highest quality examples, the principles of what drives automata are largely the same as they have been for centuries because most are based on very straightforward mechanical principles to create motion. Everything you ever wanted to know about automata is right here.

Armin Strom Masterpiece 1: Dual Time Resonance

Understanding Resonance, Featuring The F.P. Journe Chronomètre à Résonance, Armin Strom Mirrored Force Resonance, And Haldimann H2 Flying Resonance – Reprise

Resonance. No, it is not a Tesla-themed Evanescence cover band. Resonance is a physics principle that, to be honest, most people will never need to know to go about their daily lives. So what is all the hubbub about resonance these days? It’s a word that is, even in the watch world, so mysterious and rare that it is heard only once or twice a decade. In this article Joshua Munchow explains how resonance works and why it matters.

How To Make A Milanese Bracelet (Video)

Our friends at The Watches TV recently visited Laurent Jolliet, the last “chain maker” in business in Switzerland according to Marc-André Deschoux. As Jolliet crafts his bracelets and chains fully by hand, Deschoux and crew were able to find out in detail how Milanese bracelets are made, an art form no longer formally taught, and share the secrets with us here.

Glashütte Original Sixties Green Panorama Date

How Dials Are Made At The Glashütte Original Dial Factory In Pforzheim, Germany

Glashütte Original dial factory manager Michael Baumann guided Bhanu Chropa through the complex process of manufacturing dials. He explained that depending on the complications of a given watch model, it takes 70 to 80 steps to manufacture a perfect dial. See for yourself in this interesting personal tour behind the scenes in Pforzheim, Germany.