FrontRunners: Shock Absorber

  • Wyler Genève’s Tourbillon Big Date.
<< Back to Robb Report, September 2008
  • The Editors

As a publicity stunt, early-20th-century watchmaker Paul Wyler once demonstrated the durability of his timepieces by tossing one of them off the Eiffel Tower. In the rose-gold Wyler Genève Tourbillon Big Date (www.wylergeneve.com), the newly relaunched Wyler Genève firm has tripled the number of shock-resistant systems that its namesake’s old watches contained. (Nevertheless, the company has no plans to make dramatic demonstrations of the durability of the $190,200 timepiece.) Wyler’s original design employed a flexible balance wheel—the timekeeping center of the watch—with curved arms that acted like springs. Wyler Genève has incorporated this feature into all its new pieces, which also sport an intricate 17-part case that further dampens shocks. Wyler Genève movements, including that of the new tourbillon, are suspended in titanium capsules, which are themselves sandwiched in carbon-fiber composite between the front and back plates of the cases and supported by springs. BNB Concept, creators of the brand’s tourbillon movement, added an even higher level of protection by mounting the cage (containing the timekeeping element) on springs instead of the usual stout bridges. These constructions give the tourbillon an interesting, functional appearance that you will appreciate, whether or not you choose to fling the watch across the room to see if they work.

From Around the Web...
Within the 18-karat-gold case is a dial depicting the schooner America sailing to victory in 1851…
2016 is a big year for the manufacture as it expands global reach and watchmaking capabilities…
Photo by Chris Loomis
Watchmaking all but died in the U.S. after WWII, but Geoffrey Roth is helping to bring it back…
The watchmaker’s collection of minute repeaters is the largest shown together in the United States…
Diamonds and mother-of-pearl find protection in stainless steel for this latest release…
A definite dazzler, the timepiece touts 677 diamonds along with a movement by Franck Muller…
Photo by Lisa Charles Watson, Styling by Charles W. Bumgardner
Arnold & Son’s UTTE Skeleton watch is an elegantly thin tourbillon…
Six timepieces with displays that are redefining timekeeping…
Watchmaking’s long history with motorsports has been honored by several Swiss brands…
For those who have always wanted to cross experiencing weightlessness off of their bucket list…