Watch Collector 2016

Overview

From This Issue

Harmonious Merger

When Girard-Perregaux made its first modern foray into minute repeating watches a few years ago, it did so using the well-regarded Fabrique du Temps movement. By marrying the complication to its signature three-gold bridge tourbillon, the brand has made a far more creative piece of haute horlogerie that is more impressive than the sum of […]

Four-in-Hand

Having created a mechanism to match the flamboyance of its aesthetic reputation, Roger Dubuis may have decided that a wristwatch is too pedestrian a vehicle for its unusual Quatuor movement. It contains an elaborate differential system that somehow tames and averages the careening rates of four independent balances. The massive 48 mm case required to […]

Stone Idol

Too flashy for most social situations and too large for all but the stoutest of wrists, Jacob & Co.’s Billionaire watch nonetheless inspires awe when seen in person. Much like Howard Hughes’s famous Spruce Goose, it exists as an expression of what is technically possible rather than mere practicality. The more than 260 carats of emerald-cut […]

Surface Feature

When Manufacture Royale’s 1770 model debuted last year, its design all but overshadowed the relatively conventional tourbillon movement it encased. And although the brand’s new 1770 Voltige (starting at $33,000) is not as complicated as a tourbillon, its mechanics quite literally rise to a new level. Thanks to a set of elongated pinions, the entire […]

Move and Shake

Why women’s mechanical timepieces are becoming more intriguing than men’s. One advantage that women’s watches enjoy over men’s offerings is an element of abandon: the same freedom of design that will put a couture dress in the spotlight while a tuxedo is lost in the background. Despite their love of elaborate technical detail, many men […]

Rebel with a Cause

De Grisogono’s Fawaz Gruosi has made a career out of challenging Swiss watchmaking norms. It was not the first time Fawaz Gruosi had been called crazy, nor would it be the last. A decade ago, while returning home from an international business trip, Gruosi decided to make a mechanical wristwatch with a digital display like […]

Subjunctive Theory

Reimagining the work of historical watchmakers becomes a modern industry. “We see our approach as neoclassical,”says Dr. Sébastien Chaulmontet, head of movement development at Arnold & Son. “We developed this idea of studying John Arnold’s old watches—going to see them in the British Museum—not just to get technical solutions but to make modern watches.” Since relaunching the […]

Face Values

Microtechnology adds unprecedented complexity to artisan-crafted dials.  If a mechanical watch’s movement can be defined as its beating heart, then the dial, naturally, would be its face. And just like the human countenance, a watch dial does more than simply transmit information, it endows the timepiece with expression and personality: edgy or classical, minimalist or ornate. In […]

Conservation Society

Watchmaking is a de facto preserve for global handicrafts. Visiting the russian town of Vyatka in 1837, Alexander Nikolaevich Romanov was seized by the urge to buy a pocket watch. The timepiece he coveted was expensive—nearly twice the cost of a watch cased in gold—though that did not concern the future czar. What really caught his […]