This month, Martin Braun will celebrate half a century on this planet. Though he did not expressly say he created the Tourbillon Astronomique for any particular reason, I almost suspect he was giving himself a huge birthday gift to celebrate this life milestone.
Wild watches get ever wilder and ever more numerous and like any addict, we need more and more just to reach the same horological high. One of the first avant garde brands that started us all on this exhilarating ride isn’t really playing the same game at all: Urwerk. In an era when new models appear to be designed as much, if not more, for shock-and-awe as they are for time keeping, the UR-105M paradoxically looks both cutting-edge-modern and reassuringly familiar.
“Art”, what is it? If we allow that horology at its finest can indeed be art, then I have no problem accepting Romain Gauthier’s Logical one as art. While beauty may be in the eye of the beholder (and mine sees beauty in Logical one), there is no denying Romain Gauthier’s fertile imagination in reinventing the chain and fusee, eliminating the ubiquitous winding crown, improving the mainspring barrel and adding a few diamonds!
Parallax is a fascinating phenomenon that has real-world applications, including the amazing ability of humans to use their two eyes and parallax shift to judge depth of field. You can reach out and grab that doorknob because of science. For this reason and more I absolutely love the latest creation to come out of the Grönefelds’ workshop, their aptly named Parallax Tourbillon.
While Baselworld 2014 was not a particularly big year for tourbillons, they were still an important element in the collections of most brands and a few of them were truly exceptional. Here are just a few of the tourbillons that passed in front of my lens at Baselworld 2014.
With the horological storm that is Baselworld slowing calming down, we thought this might be a quiet news week; however, it turned out to be busy with news from Rolex, Richard Mille, Audemars Piguet, Zenith, Montblanc, Antiquorum, Jaeger-LeCoultre, Hublot, Digital Luxury Group and F.P. Journe.
Richard Mille is one of those brands where it is all too easy to be simply enamored of the incredible visuals and lifestyle hype. However, Richard Mille is one of the most technical of watch brands. Case in point is the RM 36-01 Competition G-Sensor.
Ulysse Nardin’s main introduction for Baselworld was not a watch. It was a component. This is probably one reason why the introduction of the new Ulysse Anchor Escapement was so surprising; I would have expected it to come together with the haptic treat of a full horological experience, i.e. a timepiece to touch, feel and enjoy.
I simply went gaga over R.W. Smith’s latest creation when I first saw it. Commissioned as part of the British government’s GREAT Britain campaign, which is on its third year, Smith’s latest creation is appropriately called the GREAT Britain watch. Well, of course!
While the two most well known German brands are A. Lange & Söhne and Glashütte Original, there are quite a few smaller German brands deserving our attention. Some with names you may have heard of, a few you may not have: Nomos, Lange & Heyne, Tutima, Kudoke and Leinfelder among them.