In 1783, just as the queen of France, Marie Antoinette, was sitting for a portrait, an officer of the queen’s guard visited Abraham-Louis Breguet’s workshop: Queen Marie Antoinette desired a pocket watch containing all known horological complications at the time. It took 44 years to complete and is perhaps the most famous watch in history, as much for its intriguing story as its ingenious mechanics.
Post-war United States boasted unique market conditions that allowed for diamond-set men’s watches from a variety of brands to thrive. Martin Green takes us on a journey to discover how and why diamond-set watches for men became part of the American Dream.
London is one of the world’s metropolises that can very easily stand its ground against the others by doing what it does best: being profoundly British. There are plenty of sensational timepieces in London if you know where to look, and in this article Martin Green shares a few of his favorite places.
Last year, Colin Alexander Smith’s mother showed him a silver pocket watch. All she could tell him about it was that it had belonged to his grandfather. The watch appeared to be older than his grandfather, though, and he embarked upon a quest to identify it and discover the original owner. The story took a few interesting turns as he reveals here in a truly interesting trace of the origins.
As a fan of the classic 1950s and 1960s Omega Constellations, Colin Smith had always dismissed Omega’s 1982 reworking of its flagship model, known as the Constellation Manhattan, as something of an aberration from the “true” Constellation concept. His “road to Damascus” moment occurred recently when he saw a 36 mm black-dial co-axial chronometer on display at an Omega dealer in Bordeaux.
When perpetual calendars are too complicated but a simple calendar just doesn’t cut it anymore because nearly half the months have less than 31 days, it’s five adjusts a year too many for some. But don’t fret, there is a middle ground between the most basic calendar watches and complex perpetual calendars. The annual calendar automatically adjusts for each month with 30 or 31 days, meaning just one adjust for the owner in February. Here’s a brief history of the complication.
If you were to ask people about the first watch they received as a child, the majority would probably say it was a Timex. And although LIP was at one point the world’s seventh largest watch manufacturer, it’s now little known outside France. Both companies share an extremely turbulent past one aspect of which Colin Smith shares with us here.
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, and watchmaker Aston Tracy explains why.
1969 marked the introduction of the world’s first self-winding chronographs. These were presented by Zenith with its El Primero, Seiko with the 5 Speedtimer, and an illustrious group consisting of Breitling, Heuer/Leonidas, and Hamilton/Büren, with the Chronomatic Caliber 11. Sabine Zwettler takes us through the history and looks at three of the latest-generation commemorative automatic chronographs by these early pioneers.
When writing ‘Bridging Art and Mechanics: The Unabridged Story of the Corum Golden Bridge,’ Elizabeth Doerr discovered much more about Corum’s artistic co-founder, René Bannwart, including the fact that he was the creator of Omega’s flagship Constellation and Seamaster lines.