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Reverso Gyrotourbillon 2
After the stunning revelation of the Gyrotourbillon I, Jaeger LeCoultre is offering the spherical Tourbillon, a new stage-setting worthy of its technically innovative nature: the swivelling case of the Reverso in its Reverso Gyrotourbillon 2. This extraordinary watch mechanism overturns long-established principles, since it represents the first time that a wristwatch houses a cylinder-shaped balance-spring.
Embodying a mechanical marvel, the spherical Tourbillon and the hundred or so parts composing it exercise an irresistible fascination by the complexity, speed and beauty of its three-dimensional motion.
The second version of the Gyrotourbillon is distinguished by an essential organ: the presence of a cylinder-shaped balance-spring with end curves. Combined with the advantages of the spherical Tourbillon, this innovation is a breakthrough in the field of accuracy and paves the way for a level of rating precision that is simply unprecedented on a timepiece designed to follow its wearer’s arm movements.
The Reverso Gyrotourbillon 2 displays the time by means of two flame-blued steel hands moving over an off-centred sapphire sub-dial. A fine engraving on the wheel to the left of the dial enables one to read off the time on a 24-hour scale. Meanwhile, the seconds are indicated by a blue index that is actually part of the outer Tourbillon carriage. On the back, a hand integrated within the movement indicates the power reserve on a sector-shaped bridge. This timepiece, boasting a degree of precision on the wrist that breaks entirely free of the power of gravity, illustrates the creative strength that nurtures the countless transformations of the Reverso, the watchmaking icon appearing in consistently reinvented and perpetually fascinating new forms of expression.
Da Vinci Per petual Calendar Digital Date-Month
The latest model in the Da Vinci collection is another milestone in haute horlogerie: its digital displays make not just every day, but every month too, into a significant event. Its flyback chronograph sets the standard.
In its tonneau-shaped case, the Da Vinci Perpetual Calendar Digital Date-Month continues the proud tradition of the calendar chronograph. Not with big letters but with big numerals, for the first time ever, an IWC timepiece is with a perpetual calendar that has a large format date display, and also turns the correct changing of the month into a large scale digital event on the dial.
The mode does not digitally display the time but rather the date and month of its mechanically programmed calendar – innovative, highly practical, clear and easy to read. This new model adds a major supplementary function to the existing Da Vinci range. For in addition to the chronograph and also the perpetual calendar, it now has a large format date and month shown in digital form, plus a digital display of the four yearly leap year cycle.
The switching operations at the end of each month use up a lot of power. The IWC designers wanted to ensure that the IWC manufactured 89800 calibre movement would provide reliable switching over the whole power reserve period without any perceptible loss of amplitude. Thus, for the watch, they designed an instantaneous jumping date indication to carry out this function. This is done by means of a separate mechanical power reserve: throughout the month, a tiny amount of the energy used to change the date each night is diverted and stored. This energy is discharged precisely when it is required: when, at the end of the month, the month disc has to be moved forwards in addition to the date. Through this clever design the watch can now enter the digital age.
The Audemars Piguet escapement, launched in 2006, is certainly living up to its promise in the classic Jules Audemars collection. It is lubricant-free, ensures excellent efficiency and guarantees superior shock-resistance. Within its new showcase with a three-dimensional design, it even exceeds expectations in that its technical performances are combined with an exceptional frequency of 43,200 vibrations per hour!
By thus oscillating twice as fast as normal, the balance ensures enhanced timekeeping and improved reliability of the movement. The fruit of ten years of development can be seen in breakthroughs embodied in the Audemars Piguet escapement. There’s no need for lubricants on the pallet-levers. It can also be seen in its direct impulse on the balance, high efficiency, superior shock-resistance and optimal long-term stability.
The high frequency – 43,200 vibrations per hour (6 Hz) – ensures enhanced timekeeping and improved reliability. The movement finishing and decoration is inspired by the grand watchmaking tradition.
A Lange & Söhne
Richard Lange ‘Pour le Mérite’
The Richard Lange ‘Pour le Mérite’ is dedicated to greater precision in time measurement. The model has a case in platinum or pink gold with a diameter of 40.5 millimetres, perceptibly enhancing legibility. Puristically organised, the radiant white three-part enamel dial features narrow black Roman numerals for the hours and small red Arabic numerals for 15, 30, 45, and 60 minutes. Thirty elaborate processes are needed to produce each of the three subsidiary dials. The result is an immaculate enamel face that sets a brightly contrasted stage for the classic blued-steel hands.
The second Richard Lange also focuses the attention of its owner on the objective of all horological ambitions: the greatest possible degree of precision. It relies on an ingenious construction, a drive based on the chain-and-fusée principle used as early as the 15th century among others by Leonardo da Vinci. It is much rarer today than the Tourbillon. At the same time, it is much more effective in a wristwatch because it overcomes the greatest disadvantage of the winding train – the unavoidable loss of torque – by intelligently harnessing the principle of levers.
The exclusive calibre L044.1 movement is powered by an indexless escapement that beats with 21,600 semi-oscillations per hour and has a power reserve of 36 hours when fully wound. All components of the complex manually wound movement are crafted to the highest Lange quality standards and lavishly decorated. In addition to the balance cock, the separate escape-wheel and fourth-wheel cock are engraved by hand as well. Indeed, the ‘Pour le Mérite’ is not only a technically sophisticated precision timekeeping instrument; it is also a stunningly exquisite horological work of art.
Grand Tourbillon Heures Mystérieuses
Montblanc’s new Grand Tourbillon Heures Mystérieuses celebrates the 150th anniversary of the Minerva’s founding and the inauguration of renovated manufactu re in Villeret. These timepieces will be available in unique versions in platinum and editions of eight in either white or rose gold.
One feature impossible to overlook is the Tourbillon, which revolves around its own axis once a minute; including the balance, it comprises 95 individual parts and weighs in at 1.010 grams. The Tourbillon cage, which measures 18.4 mm in diameter, contains a large balance with a diameter of 14.5 mm; it has a high moment of inertia of 59 mgcm2 and the classical frequency of 2.5 Hertz (18,000 bph). Particularly noteworthy are the three movable compensating weights with the Minerva arrow, which can be pushed to and fro on the curved arc of the Tourbillon cage to obtain perfect equilibrium.
The steel Tourbillon bridge is a miniature work of art and takes the form of two horizontal, overlapping figures of eight, which are also symbols of infinity. All the steel parts in the bridge and cage are cut from solid pieces of metal and then painstakingly shaped, chamfered and polished by hand, a job that takes three weeks for each Tourbillon.
The pendules mystérieuses created a sensation when they first appeared, its hour and minute hands appeared to float freely in mid-air. The same is used here, except that the background of the dial is not transparent but has a mirror finish. In front of this rotate two highly transparent, wafer-thin sapphire glass discs, one embossed with the hour hand, the other with the minute hand. As precious as the movement are solid gold dials with guilloche decoration for the gold watches and custom-made dials for the unique models in platinum.