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2012 March 12
In recent years we in the watch industry have seen an explosion of popularity in one sector of the market – vintage watches. In the last 20 years vintage watches have been steadily rising in value, and demand is getting stronger each year. You can see the influence of this demand in the new watch market, with almost every major company making re-editions of classic designs or retro-themed timepieces that attempt to capture the stylistic essence of vintage models. Vintage, it seems, is the in thing – not just in watches, but also in cars, clothing, music, furniture… Every part of the market seems to be under the influence of old-world design.
2012 February 13
So far in the Watches in Depth series I’ve given coverage to the most important and most popular forms of complication – chronographs, tourbillons, calendars, and repeaters. These complications are well served in the current market. What about the odd complications, the one offs, the rarities that never became widespread? This feature is to highlight the forgotten complications that are often overlooked and under served in the modern market.
2012 January 30
When perusing watch reviews and blogs, you’ll often read about ETA and Valjoux movements, or perhaps “manufacture” calibres. Perhaps you have heard of module complications or modified calibres in various brands. To the uninitiated this sort of under-the-hood jargon can be a bit confusing, and it warrants some clarification. Even seasoned watch lovers might not be aware of what is involved in the creation of a watch movement, and how many brands share common parts and calibres. So in the spirit of watch nut education, I present the latest instalment of Watches in Depth – Movement Calibres.
2011 October 29
In the realm of complications there are certain functions that surpass all others in terms of complexity. You have the tourbillon, the most common superfluous complication out there. You have the perpetual calendar, the mechanical calculator that computes the leap year cycle. You can have a myriad of lesser complications combined together. But for the true watch lover, nothing beats the king of haute-horlogerie – the mighty repeater complication, one of the most difficult mechanisms to execute and one of the single most expensive complications to purchase.
2011 August 29
Calendar watches are the single most common complication in modern watchmaking. They are so ubiquitous that most people wouldn’t even think they are a complication at all – we’ve become so accustomed to having a date on our watches we take it for granted. The irony in this complacency is that the calendar mechanism can be one of the most difficult and expensive complications to produce when you have to factor in leap years.
2011 August 15
When it comes to complications, the tourbillon is the top tier of the watchmaker’s art. It is one of the most difficult complications to execute, one of the most expensive to buy, and one of the most superfluous in function. Tourbillons have had a sort of renaissance in the last 20 years, with ever more exotic and exponentially more complex variants, but the basic principle dates back to the 18th century when Abraham Louis Breguet was looking for a way to beat gravity.
2011 July 28
For centuries the pursuit of accuracy and stable rate in clocks and watches has been the driving force behind innovation and quality. The pursuit of accuracy is a cause that has significant trickle-down effects to even the least expensive mechanical watches, much moreso than the pursuit of ever-more complicated pieces. Where a highly complex watch is a bold and visible display of watchmaking prowess, the pursuit of absolute precision is the application of immense skill that often goes unnoticed by the consumer. The chronometer is a finely crafted mechanical watch that exhibits the highest degree of accuracy possible, with official certification to declare it as such. Outside of high-complications, the building of chronometers is one of the top tiers of watchmaking.