Bathys Hawaii Cesium-133

Measuring The Time Between The Seconds: The Truth Behind High-Frequency Movements (Reprise)

Marketing material for the modern mechanical watch almost always includes a description of the the movement’s frequency. You may have even sensed that the higher the frequency, the more accurate a movement gets. But is this entirely true? Ryan Schmidt shares what he has learnt here.

De Bethune DB28 with silicon/platinum annular balance

The Schmidt List: 5 Extraordinary Balance Wheels (Archive)

The balance wheel is the regulatory organ of a mechanical watch, which is expected to deliver a consistent frequency with a tolerance of as little as 0.001 percent. With so much at stake, why complicate things by altering a pure and simple geometric shape? Why reinvent the wheel? Here Ryan Schmidt presents five balances that reinvented the wheel.

Panerai Lo Scienziato Luminor 1950 Tourbillon GMT Titanium

Panerai Lo Scienziato Luminor 1950 Tourbillon GMT Titanium With DMLS 3D-Printed Titanium Case: Prediction Comes True (Archive)

Imagine my surprise when, in one of my rare predictions about the future of 3D printing in watchmaking, I got one right: the Panerai Lo Scienziato Luminor 1950 Tourbillon GMT Titanium says it all. It is (as far as I know) the first production watch to utilize 3D direct metal laser sintering (DMLS) printing for the case construction. The case is made of titanium for extra lightness, but that’s not the only, or even the main, reason for using DMLS titanium.

ETA 2892

It’s A Date! Taking A Closer Look At The Most Popular Complication Of Them All: The Calendar

Date windows on wristwatches can be a touchy subject. Many feel they are downright ugly and destroy the look of a good watch, while others swear by them as the most useful and affordable complication. Whatever camp you may be in, the date function can be the cause of considerable grief, particularly the rapid set mechanism.

Zenith El Primero circa 1969 on the wrist

Exceptional Movements In History: Zenith El Primero

Loved the world over by collectors and watch brands alike, the Zenith El Primero has been keeping the world on time since 1969. And Rolex choosing to use the movement was high praise for Zenith indeed. The El Primero is still considered an exceptional chronograph to this day, watchmaker Aston Tracy explains why.

IWC Da Vinci perpetual calendar chronograph

Valjoux 7750: The World’s Greatest Chronograph Movement By Far (By Popularity And Numbers)

As Martin Green became ever more impressed by the performance of the Valjoux 7750 chronograph movement, he also found himself ever-enamored by its little quirks and the variety of watches it has been tapped to power. Here he outlines the history of a classic automatic movement.

Matrix Powerwatch

Watches Powered By Body Heat: Did The Bulova Thermatron Foretell A Matrix PowerWatch Heat-Driven Future?

As we all know quartz became a Greek tragedy, but fortunately one with an eventual happy end for most brands. Well, happy for the Swiss brands but not so much for the American brands, in particular Bulova. Martin Green thinks heat may have played a role here and may well again with the technology showcased by the new Matrix PowerWatch.

Van Cleef & Arpels Heure d’ici & Heure d’ailleurs on the wrist

The Retrograde: One Of My Favorite Complications (Archive)

The retrograde indication is one of Joshua Munchow’s favorite “Because We Can” (BWC) complications: gears are an amazing invention and have allowed watchmakers to make incredible creations, leaving a multitude of openings for creativity. Joshua looks at some great retrogrades here and explains why he likes this display.

4N Sapphire Planet

The Jump Hour: A Love Story (Archive)

The jump hour has a long history, but first things first, it can’t technically be called a complication since the accepted definition of complication is a mechanism that provides information other than the time. However, anyone who gives a hoot will say in the same breath that there are many complications that don’t fit that definition and Joshua couldn’t agree more.

The 365 stairs, on for each day of the year, at El Castillo, Chichen Itza

World’s Biggest Man-Made Calendar: El Castillo At Chichén Itzá (Archive)

Contemplating the ancient pyramid at Mayan archeological site Chichén Itzá in the blazing Yucatán sunlight, Elizabeth Doerr was awestruck by the structure’s complexity. Chichén Itzá’s most famous structure was built to be the world’s largest calendar . . . at a time when calendars didn’t even exist!