Tuesday, April 30, 2013
Friday, April 26, 2013
I was introduced to this small independent brand...Rudis Sylva some years ago by none other than the Grand Master of Watchmaking Philippe Dufour...during BaselWorld, he caught hold of me, and introduced me to Jacky Epitaux - the prime motivator behind the brand.
Please note the two watches photographed here are display units used for all demonstration purposes, and I did not have time to properly clean the watches before photography. The shots done with the Hasselblad H3D-39 show the effects of this wear and tear clearer than the shots taken with the GH-2. Tribute to higher resolution of the digital back and superior lens of the Hasselblad.
Jacky and team are totally committed to traditional watchmaking techniques, the watch now in its second generation, is called the Harmonious Generator...using a unique way of carrying two coupled balance wheels driven by a single escapement.
But it is not only this innovative method to balance out gravitational forces on a balance which makes this watch interesting, but also the finishing and attention to detail.
Each traditional artform in the construction of movements - bevelling, guilloche, engraving, enamelling are performed by cottage industry specialists, and executed to near perfection.
The finish is quite impeccable. Beautiful and breathtaking. The watch is rather large 44mm diameter, and some 15mm height of the case.
Tuesday, April 23, 2013
Today I feature a lesser known and less expensive variant of the famous Jacquet- Droz Bird Repeater...sans repeater and automata, but still with the beautiful 3 dimensional sclupture.
The watch is a jewellery piece, with diamonds on the bezel...but the true artistic
beauty must be the mini-scupture of a bird feeding her chicks on the dial.
The mini-sclupture leaps out in a realism only achieved when great masters work on
the artwork...the proportions are almost perfect. The details outstanding.
Click on the image below for a 1920 wide wallpaper sized image. Look at the two
eggs in the nest at about 4 o'clock...even the texture of the egg is captured. The
details on the feathers of the mama bird is also quite amazing, though a bit
stylised, it retains a vividness that is utterly beautiful.
Friday, April 19, 2013
This is sponsors week. Featuring the Tonda Hemispheres two timezone watch from Parmigiani Fleurier.
The watch is built in the characteristic Parmigiani style...no holds barred, top quality finish.
As mentioned in my articles written for their blog, Parmigiani is a full manufacture...the full value chain from design, concept, testing, prototyping and production of every component...the small movement components, the dial, case, full movement is created and manufactured totally in-house.
Click on the image for a wallpaper sized image.
Finishing of the dial, case, movement is first rate. Equipped by a Hermes alligator strap.
The movement, caliber PF337 automatic movement features two timezones and date.
The movement is partially visible through the open dial, but instead of a full skeleton dial which makes time reading difficult, all the more important for a dual timezone watch, when one needs the second timezone while travelling, often tired and jet lagged.
Tuesday, April 16, 2013
Last week, I showed one of my advertisers: HYT's H1. Please click on the link on the column left to go to their website for more infomation. Today, I feature abstract watchscapes of the same watch.
The bellows, magnified:
Another angle for the bellows:
Movement detail, showing the handwork of the traditional movement finishing applied to the movement.
Another view of the movement:
Friday, April 12, 2013
The HYT watch broke new ground when it was introduced in Basel in 2012. Interesting because the concept of showing time in a continuous fashion using water has existed since the begining of civilizations...both the Chinese and the ancient Egyptians. And yet, with the HYT, a most advanced methodology is used to allow liquids to indicate the passage of time again.
The watch is rather large...48mm diameter, though when I first looked at it, I didn't think it was that big...the design somehow made the watch look and feel a bit smaller. But it is a large timepiece. The design is rather interesting.
The watch also divides itself into two clear areas...the top part of the movement is utterly traditional...with anglages, bridges, all beautifully and traditionally executed. A standard Swiss Anchor escapement running at 28,800 bph holds the timekeeping.
But at the lower part of the movement, is the bellows, which in a push pull fashion pumps the fluid around the glass loop to indicate passage of time. Two fluids are used...the greenish one is water based, and the other transparent one is oil based, ensuring they never mix.
I pushed on one of the bellows to experience the force needed to move the indication...though it was not a lot, I felt it was rather strong to have required this amount of force from the second pinion of the train, as the fluid is used to indicate the hours passed.
In this prototype watch, the indication is not precise....that is at say 4:30, the liquid might not be midpoint between 4 and 5 as it should.
An additional 3 wheels will be put into place in the production units to fix this. Another early issue which cropped up is the expansion of the fluids with respect to temperature...this was also solved, but it was not explained to me how they did it.
Overall, quite a unique timepiece, combining tradition with the modern execution of an ancient method of telling time.
The watch is available in titanium with DLC coating or with a rose gold case.
I showed the watch to a designer friend whose speciality is not in watches, but in logos and banners, et al, and his comment is that other than the choice of the greenish fluid as the indicator which looked not ideal to him, it was very nicely done. The design gelled, was his comment, and he felt it was a very nice watch.
In the next installment, I shall show the extreme macros, where the movement then takes on an abstract character.
Wednesday, April 10, 2013
Tuesday, April 9, 2013
Today's feature is Clarke Quay along the Singpore River. One of the more iconic places for night life, it caresses the Singapore River as it negotiates a turn around the Quay.
The brightly painted entertainment outlets, formerly warehouses, complete the picture.
Click on image for a larger image. And click here for a giant (1080 high image). Available as a large panoramic print. Please contact me for details.
Friday, April 5, 2013
Starting a new series of one or two pic posts quickly grabbed at a dining or lunch table of watches worn by friends. Today is the beautiful, and rather magnificent Roger Dubuis Chronograph Symphatie. Most of these photographs will not have technical quality, but I intend to capture the watches as a snapshot, so beauty is not forgotten.
This is the original version, with the beautiful shaped symphatie sapphire glass, unlike later examples where the glass is simplified by making it round. Beautiful. Elegant.
Tuesday, April 2, 2013
I featured the abstract art of the Romain Gautier Logical 1 last week, today, I show the whole watch, and some of the interesting stuff which goes on beyond what the naked eye can normally see.
First, an establishment shot of the rather handsome, if not a bit unusual, guts hanging out shot. Do note that this is a prototype watch, having travelled the world and being shown and handled by countless people.
The problem Romain set out to try and solve is to even out the torque from the mainspring to the gear train, to provide a constant torque environment which will lead to better timekeeping.
Small thoughts like the shape of the screwdriver slot is also stylised for the custom look.
He studied many historical solutions, and was drawn to the fusee and chain, as executed by Lange in their Pour le Merite series, and the Breguet La Tradition. However, was frustrated because the fusee has a stack height, and requires the chain to traverse up the conical structure.
Causing a chain line which is always have some lateral tension on the chain. This requires the chain to have some freedom to move, but yet without play...the French term Libre san jeux...free but without play. Lange solved this problem by assembling the links with a thin silk paper sandwiched in between the links, and burning the silk after assembly. But still the there is some tension as the chain line is not perfect except for one position. This line of thought is not unlike a bicycle chain line on a derailleur multi gear bicycle compared to a single speed or fixie.
Romain's solution was to flatten the fusee, like the fixie gear. One snail, describing the mainspring discharge torque, on one plane. The result is a chain which can be built without regard for libre san jeux. And what a beautiful chain. The upper and bottom plates are in steel, but the interconnection is made using traditional style watchmaking jewels, which are free to turn on its pivot.
Beautiful. Elegant solution. The smoothness of power delivery is further ensured by using sapphire glass plates in the mainspring barrel, so that the spring, as it slides across the barrel experiences little friction.
The watch is finished very nicely, with all the ts crossed and is dotted. Well done Romain. Note also the interesting winding method...by pressing a button at 9 o'clock instead of winding the crown. Some 40 pushes are needed to completely wind the mainspring to provide 80hours autonomy.
Click on image above for 1920 wide full screen wallpaper.