Contemplating the 30-meter-high ancient pyramid at Mayan archaeological site Chichén Itzá in the blazing Yucatán sunlight, Elizabeth Doerr was awestruck by the structure’s complexity. Not just because of the pure historical ramifications of the pyramid and temple known as El Castillo, but also because of its timekeeping capabilities. Yes, you read that right: timekeeping capabilities!
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.
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.
Even when you are really good at your craft and universally recognized, you might unwittingly find yourself in the middle of a battle. This is what happened to Abraham-Louis Breguet in the early nineteenth century as the Napoleonic Wars were being waged throughout Europe. For many years these conflicts offered both opportunities and challenges to Breguet. Martin Green explains why.
Many of you are likely to be asking yourselves, “Who is Gerd-Rüdiger Lang?” Understandable. If we told you he founded Chronoswiss in 1983, you might then say, “Ah, yes.” But did you know that Lang, who sold Chronoswiss in 2012, owns a collection of chronographs that might well be the most complete themed collection of this type in the world? Elizabeth takes us through just a few of the treasures in Lang’s collection.
Since opening to the public ten years ago, the German Watch Museum Glashütte has attracted approximately 365,000 visitors from a total of 114 countries. In this article Elizabeth Doerr takes us through a brief history of this iconic building situated in the heart of Glashütte and explains why it is well worth a visit.
The ‘Superbia Humanitatis’ Louis-Elysée Piguet/Franck Muller/Paul Gerber super complication is one of the most legendary watches of our time. And what a story! And here it is in its entirety: from 1892 when Piguet made the movement through 1992 when Franck Muller altered it, all the way through the present day when Paul Gerber altered it three more times to make it the most complicated wristwatch in the world.
What appeals to Elizabeth Doerr about Jaquet Droz is that within the Swatch Group’s 190 separate companies (including 18 marques), the brand operates very much like an independent watchmaker and its artful timepieces reflect this. Here she goes deep into the history of one of the Swatch Group’s oldest brand names.
The grandeur of Place Vendôme is hard to match. And to say that about a location in a city like Paris is quite a statement. Follow Martin Green’s tour of the horological history of the square and learn some things you undoubtedly never knew!
Nothing can stir up the watch world these days quite as much the launch of a new Apple watch. For some it’s a must-have gadget, for others it just isn’t a real watch. But perhaps quartz watches face more competition from smartwatches than mechanical watches. Does quartz even have a real future?