SIHH 2019: Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Grande Tradition Gyrotourbillon Westminster Perpétuel

The "Grande Maison" returns to the grand complication.
Jaeger-LeCoultre-Master-Grand-Tradition-Gyrotourbillon-Westminster-Perpetuel-1

Jaeger-LeCoultre’s flagship release of 2019 is the latest instalment of the brand’s multi-axis tourbillon: the Master Grande Tradition Gyrotourbillon Westminster Perpétuel.

The timepiece makes no attempt to hide its complexity, with much of the mechanisms exposed even on the dial side.

Jaeger-LeCoultre-Master-Grand-Tradition-Gyrotourbillon-Westminster-Perpetuel-2

Prominently located at six o’clock is the double-axis Gyrotourbillon, making this watch the fifth iteration of the Gyrotourbillon, which first arrived in 2005.

The size of the tourbillon carriages have been reduced, resulting in an overall thickness reduction of movement and case. At 43mm in diameter and 14.08mm thick, the watch remains wearable as such grand complications go.

Jaeger-LeCoultre-Master-Grand-Tradition-Gyrotourbillon-Westminster-Perpetuel-3

Jaeger-LeCoultre-Master-Grand-Tradition-Gyrotourbillon-Westminster-Perpetuel-4

The dial is encircled by four sets of gongs and hammers which form the acoustic components of the Westminster carillon minute repeater; an elaborate variant of the striking complication that replicates the chimes of the Big Ben Clock Tower. Such repeaters are notably uncommon due to their complexity, though JLC has done it before with the Hybris Mechanica à Grande Sonnerie.

An innovation that JLC emphasises with its repeaters is the patented crystal gong, which has the gong welded to the sapphire crystal, instead of being attached to the the movement, for improved loudness and clarity.

Jaeger-LeCoultre-Master-Grand-Tradition-Gyrotourbillon-Westminster-Perpetuel-5

The dial also displays the day, date, month and year of the perpetual calendar. The calendar mechanism is hidden behind the sub-dial for the time, which is available with a guilloche grand feu enamel dial in blue, or a more conventional silvered, grained dial.

Jaeger-LeCoultre-Master-Grand-Tradition-Gyrotourbillon-Westminster-Perpetuel-6

An equally elaborate view is presented on the back, revealing the intricate Calibre 184. Besides the tourbillon, visual attention is drawn to the visible, layered components of the minute repeater racks and snail cams. These parts are visible in motion when the repeater is activated via a retractable pusher on the case at eight o’clock.

Jaeger-LeCoultre-Master-Grand-Tradition-Gyrotourbillon-Westminster-Perpetuel-7

To ensure consistent timekeeping of the complex tourbillon, the movement is also equipped with a remontoir d’égalité, or constant force spring, which delivers a relatively constant force to the balance wheel via a buffer spring.

However, in this case the remontoir also serves a useful secondary function – as it recharges every sixty seconds, the minute hand moves forward in discreet, one minute steps on the dial. This makes the minute repeater chiming slightly more precise, with the time displayed and minute chimes being exactly the same.

As with any grand complication in Jaeger-LeCoultre’s lineup, no-expense-spared finishing is employed on the movement; with black-polished steel bridges, abundant inner anglage, and polished countersinks.

In comparison to its predecessors such as the Gyrotourbillon 1, the new layered movement architecture presents even greater visual appeal of complexity and depth. An emphasis of symmetry is visible with the bridges, which are adorned with intentionally prominent layouts of ruby jewel bearings and blued screws for strong colour contrast.

Price and Availability

Limited to 18 pieces, the Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Grande Tradition Gyrotourbillon Westminster Perpétuel is available with an enamel dial (ref. 52534E1) or silvered dial (ref. 5253420), priced at €800,000 before taxes.


 

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SIHH 2019: Panerai Submersible Marina Militare Carbotech PAM 961 & PAM 979

“Marina Militare” is back.
Panerai Submersible Marina Militare Carbotech PAM961 COMSUBIN 03

Panerai’s SIHH line-up is focused on the Submersible, the brand’s signature dive watch with a rotating bezel.

This year the Submersible has been redesigned, and bestowed with the “Marina Militare” label, which refers to the Italian navy, a nod to Panerai’s historical relationship with the navy’s special forces.

That would be pointless and incongruous, since the Submersible design is a modern creation, except for the fact that the Submersible PAM00961 is accompanied by with a training session with COMSUBIN, the commando frogmen of the Italian navy. Those desiring training in subzero temperatures can instead go for the Submersible Mike Horn that includes a stint in the Arctic.

Panerai Submersible Marina Militare Carbotech 47mm PAM00979 & PAM00961 -2

PAM00961 (left) and PAM00979

Two Submersible models are being launched this year (including the COMSUBIN experience watch). Both are 47mm in diameter and rated to 300m, with the watch case, bezel and crown lever bridge made from Carbotech.

It’s a carbon composite produced with thin sheets of carbon fibres compressed at high pressure with a high-end polymer (PEEK), which binds the composite material making it stronger and more durable. The layered carbon fibre sheets results in a distinctive striped pattern.

PAM00979

The PAM 979

While the case is carbon composite, the caseback is in titanium as carbon fibre do not fare well under torsional forces. The movement inside is the P.9010, a self-winding movement with a date at three, and a three-day power reserve.

Both models also feature a carbon dial with a black camouflage pattern.

The regular production model is the Submersible Marina Militare Carbotech 47mm PAM00979, which has white Super-Luminova on the dial and hands.

PAM00979

Double the price of the standard model is the 33-piece Submersible Marina Militare Carbotech 47mm PAM00961, which is distinguished by its olive green Super-Luminova.

PAM00961

Its hefty retail price includes a dive training session with COMSUBIN, short for Comando Raggruppamento Subacquei e Incursori Teseo Tesei. This has the COMSUBIN logo engraved on the case back.

PAM00961

Panerai Submersible Marina Militare Carbotech PAM961 COMSUBIN 02

Price and Availability

The Panerai Submersible Marina Militare Carbotech 47mm PAM00979 is priced at US$19,900.

The Panerai Submersible Marina Militare Carbotech 47mm PAM00961 is a limited edition of 33 pieces, priced at US$39,900.


 

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SIHH 2019: Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Extra-Thin “Jumbo” With Salmon Dial

In 18k white gold.
Audemars-Piguet-Royal-Oak-Extra-Thin-15202-salmon

The Royal Oak Extra-Thin “Jumbo” with a pink gold-toned dial is a limited production model that’s a nod to a limited edition made for the 20th anniversary of the Royal Oak in 1992.

While the watch from 25 years ago was stainless steel, the new Royal Oak Extra-Thin is 18k white gold. Only used infrequently for the Royal Oak “Jumbo”, the metal is found only on a handful of Royal Oak ref. 5402 watches of the 1980s.

Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Extra Thin 15202 salmon 2

The dial on the new edition is salmon, but decorated with the familiar Petite Tapisserie guilloche that’s standard for the Royal Oak. Notably, the date disc is also finished with a pink gold tone to match the dial. The hands and hour markers are solid white gold.

Audemars-Piguet-Royal-Oak-Extra-Thin-15202-salmon-1

The case and bracelet are 18k white gold, but with dimensions identical to the standard model. It’s 39mm in diameter and rated to 50m, with the cal. 2121 inside.

Price and availability 

The Royal Oak Extra-Thin “Jumbo” with pink gold dial (ref. 15202BC.OO.1240BC.01) will be limited to a yet to be determined number each year, available only at Audemars Piguet boutiques. It’s priced at SFr55,000, or S$77,700.


Correction January 17, 2019: The model is a limited production piece, and not limited edition as stated earlier. 

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SIHH 2019: Buy a Panerai and Get a Free Holiday in the Arctic with Mike Horn

The Submersible Mike Horn PAM 984 and PAM 985.
Panerai-Submersible-Mike-Horn-Pam985-3

A South African adventurer who has circumnavigated the Artic Circle solo, Mike Horn has been a Panerai ambassador for well over a decade. Several watches has been produced to commemorate his exploits, but latest Submersible Mike Horn Edition includes a little extra: “a few days of intensive training with Mike among the ice floes of the Arctic”.

There are actually two almost identical Submersible Mike Horn Edition, the PAM00984 and PAM00985, but only the latter is a limited edition accompanied by the Arctic adventure.

The basics of both watches are similar: a 47mm case rated to 300m with the automatic P.9010 inside. What is unusual is the bezel, which has its markings in relief against a sandblasted surface, a first for Panerai.

Panerai-Submersible-Mike-Horn-Pam985-2

Also having been slightly tweaked is the dial, with its sub-seconds and hands slightly redesigned, though it still retains the familiar “sandwich” construction. And what looks like lettering on the dial, namely the logo, model name, “automatic” and depth rating, is actually printed on the underside of the crystal.

Panerai-Submersible-Mike-Horn-Pam985-1

Perhaps more unusual is the case material, EcoTitanium, which is recycled titanium, but for all intents and purposes identical to the freshly mined titanium used in most watches. Also recycled is the fabric used for the straps that’s woven from recycled PET.

Panerai-Submersible-Mike-Horn-Pam984-1


The Submersible Mike Horn Edition PAM00984 features a black dial and green Super-Luminova. This is part of the regular collection.

Panerai Submersible Mike Horn Pam984

Panerai-Submersible-Mike-Horn-Pam984-2

Able to provide the time but not the wherewithal required to survive in the Arctic, the Submersible Mike Horn Edition PAM00985 is a limited edition of 19 watches – all 19 owners will be offered the chance to spend a few days with Mr Horn in the Arctic. It has a black dial with blue Super-Luminova, along with a strap made from blue recycled PET.

Panerai Submersible Mike Horn Pam985

Price and availability

The Submersible Mike Horn Edition PAM00984 will be available at retailers and boutiques, priced at €19,900, or S$29,300.

On the other hand, the Submersible Mike Horn Edition PAM00985 is exclusive to boutiques, priced at €39,900, or S$58,800. And to all of the 19 lucky individuals headed for the Arctic – godspeed.


 

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SIHH 2019: Vacheron Constantin Introduces the Overseas Tourbillon

A new ultra-thin automatic tourbillon in stainless steel.
Vacheron Constantin Overseas_Tourbillon 5

After the launch of the FiftySix Tourbillon, its most affordable tourbillon to date, Vacheron Constantin has now unveiled the same, superb self-winding tourbillon movement in the Overseas collection. The range got a wholesale refurbishment in 2016 and already includes an in-house, integrated automatic chronograph as well as an ultra-thin perpetual calendar.

The movement within the new Overseas Tourbillon, the cal. 2160 first made its debut in the Traditionelle Tourbillon early last year, followed by the Fiftysix Tourbillon. It is one of the brand’s most interesting movements, combining a Magic Lever with a solid gold peripheral winding mechanism.

As a result, the movement is just 5.65mm high, making it one of the slimmest tourbillon movements on the market. However, it manages a respectable 80-hour power reserve, thanks to a slightly smaller tourbillon cage and a slow-beating, 2.5Hz balance.

Vacheron Caliber 2160

Consequently, the case of the Overseas Tourbillon measures 42.5 mm diameter and just 10.1 mm in height, which is 0.8mm slimmer than the Fiftysix Tourbillon. It has a screw-down crown, and a depth rating of 50m. Like all Overseas watches, the movement sits within soft iron casing ring ensuring anti-magnetic protection.

And while the Traditionnelle Tourbillon and the Fiftysix Tourbillon were both only available in precious metal, the Overseas Tourbillon is in stainless steel paired with a blue lacquered sunburst dial. As with all Overseas watches, its hands and indices are coated with SuperLuminova. The brand’s traditional Maltese cross tourbillon regulator at six o’clock is particularly striking against the watch’s sporty styling.

Thanks to the peripheral winding rotor, the movement is entirely visible through the sapphire caseback. As with all Vacheron’s mechanical watches, it is finished to Geneva Seal standards, decorated with Geneva stripes and polished bevels.

Like the rest of the Overseas collection, the Overseas Tourbillon comes with a set of three bracelets (steel, rubber and leather), which can easily be swapped on and off using Vacheron’s quick-release mechanism – a sprung catch that detaches the strap from the case.

Price and Availability

The Vacheron Overseas Tourbillon (ref. 6000V/110A-B544) in stainless steel is priced at US$103,000 or S$159,000.


 

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SIHH 2019: Introducing the Laurent Ferrier Bridge One

Form case, enamel dial, new movement.
Laurent Ferrier Bridge One

Having only produced round watch cases to date, save for the one-off made for Only Watch, Laurent Ferrier has now taken the wraps off its fourth case style with an entirely new watch – the Bridge One.

It is a rectangular watch with flared lugs, reminiscent of mid-century form watches from the likes of Vacheron Constantin and Patek Philippe. The curve of the case was inspired by the Passerelle de l’Ile in Geneva, a wrought iron footbridge that spans the River Rhone, explaining the model name.

The case is stainless steel and measures 30mm by 44mm. The vertical flanks extend outwards and downwards for a more comfortable fit on the wrist. It is topped by a curved, sapphire crystal that follows the shape of the case and like the brand’s other watches, is fitted with a ball-shaped winding-crown.

Laurent Ferrier Bridge One 2

The watch is available with two dial options: a white Grand Feu enamel dial with grey Roman numerals and no seconds, or a grained, slate grey dial with a raised, applied “XII” in white gold as well as a small seconds at six o’clock. Both feature blackened white gold assegai-shaped hour and minute hands.

Laurent Ferrier Bridge One 3

Inside is a new form movement, the hand-wound LF107.01. Like Laurent Ferrier’s other movements, it runs at a frequency of 3Hz and offers an 80-hour power reserve. It features a simple Swiss lever escapement with a free-sprung, screwed balance, as opposed to the more elaborate double-wheel Natural Escapement found in the Galet Automatic.

The brand has yet to release pictures of the movement but it is presumably finished to the typical Laurent Ferrier standard.

Prices and movement details will be added as soon as they are available.


 

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SIHH 2019: A. Lange & Söhne Datograph Perpetual Tourbillon Pink Gold Dial

Now in a trendy colour.
Lange Datograph Perpetual Tourbillon pink gold dial3

Originally introduced in 2016 in platinum with a no-nonsense black dial, the Datograph Perpetual Tourbillon presented in a white gold case with a pink gold (or salmon or copper) dial.

The metallic pink dial is actually solid pink gold, instead of solid silver as is standard for Lange. The colour is a fashionable shade today but a first for Lange. Dial colour aside the watch is identical to the original version.

Lange Datograph Perpetual Tourbillon pink gold dial2

Lange Datograph Perpetual Tourbillon pink gold dial1

The white gold case is 41.5mm in diameter and 14.6mm high. Inside is the hand-wound L952.2, made up of 729 parts and boasting a 50 hour power reserve.

It’s equipped with a chronograph, tourbillon, perpetual calendar as well as a discreet power reserve indicator on the dial between nine and ten o’clock.

Lange Datograph Perpetual Tourbillon pink gold dial4

Price and availability 

The Datograph Perpetual Tourbillon with a pink gold dial (ref. 740.056) is limited to 100 watches, priced at €285,000 including 19% German tax.


 

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Lange 1 Tourbillon Perpetual Calendar Handwerkskunst

For a detailed explanation of the watch, click here.

SIHH 2019: A. Lange & Söhne Zeitwerk Date

Date plus a longer power reserve.

SIHH 2019: A. Lange & Söhne Introduces the Lange 1 "25th Anniversary"

Stepped dial, hunter back, and just 250 pieces.

SIHH 2019: Christophe Claret Angelico, with Detent Escapement and Cable-Fusee

Creative classical chronometry.
Christophe Claret Angelico 1

Complications specialist Christophe Claret started making watches under its own name a decade ago, and to mark that anniversary (as well as its 30 years in business), the brand has unveiled the Angelico, a surprisingly interesting wristwatch that incorporates several ideas from chronometers of old, although the styling is contemporary in a manner that might not be to everyone’s taste.

Named after early Renaissance painter Fra Angelico, the watch is equipped with a six-minute tourbillon regulator featuring a pivoted, long detent escapement, as well as a cable and fusee mechanism. And to top it all off, it also shows two time zones as digital, jumping hours.

The tourbillon cage is an impressive 16mm in diameter, a size that would ordinarily consume too much energy from the mainspring. Consequently, the cage is made of titanium, with the bridges in aluminium, making it as light as possible. Its energy consumption is further reduced by the fact that it makes one revolution every six minutes, instead of the conventional one minute.

Historically found in marine chronometers and top of the line pocket watches, like the 19th century Girard-Perregaux Tourbillon with Three Gold Bridges for instance, the pivoted, long detent escapement was susceptible to tripping or stopping when subject to shock. Consequently Christophe Claret has improved its construction to make it wrist friendly, making it one of the handful of watchmakers having produced a wristwatch with a detent escapement.

The pivoted detent escapement made its premiere in the Maestoso watch of 2015, though paired with a cylindrical hairspring; in the Angelico the hairspring is a more conventional Breguet overcoil.

Christophe Claret Angelico 4

With all that inside, it is expected that the Angelico is a big watch: the case is 45.5mm in diameter and 17.45mm high. There is very little excess space within the case, however, as the movement itself is 41.1mm wide and 14.2mm high.

Also unusual is the cable and fusee mechanism. Designed to ensure the movement works with constant force throughout its power reserve, the cable and fusee mechanism operates on the same principle of leverage as a traditional chain and fusee, but with the steel link chain replaced by a cable made of Dyneema. That’s a fibre woven from a high-tech plastic that’s incredibly strong, which is why it is also used for crane cables and anchor ropes – the length of cable used inside the Angelico is enough to lift a 10kg weight.

The Dyneema cable offers two advantages over a chain. First, it operates with almost no friction, and second, its narrow width – just 0.18mm in diameter – means that the length of cable used is twice the length of a chain in a similar set-up. The increased length results in a more measured delivery of the energy from the barrel.

Inside the barrel sit two mainsprings, stacked one on top of the other, that unwind in parallel. Together they provide a 72-hour power reserve.

Because both the barrel and fusee sit raised from the base plate, the power reserve display is vertical, indicated on the side of the barrel via the coils of the cable remaining. The fusee has a similar indicator labelled “Stop Work”, to show how much of the energy inside the barrel has been consumed.

Christophe Claret Angelico 5

The final complication inside the Angelico is the time display. Two time zones are shown on the lower edge of the dial, indicated as digits inside windows. Adjacent to each hour display is a tiny window that’s the day and night indicator.

Minutes are indicated on the periphery of the dial indicated by a hand tipped with a gemstone (ruby on the red gold model, and sapphire on the titanium). The levers, star wheels and spring for the jumping hour displays are visible through the display back.

Christophe Claret Angelico 2

With all that inside, it is expected that the Angelico is a big watch: the case is 45.5mm in diameter and 17.45mm high, in part due to the domed sapphire crystal. There is very little excess space within the case, however, as the movement itself is 41.1mm wide and 14.2mm high.

Christophe Claret Angelico 3

The only images of the watch available now are computer-generated renderings, but unlike many of its peers Christophe Claret has a good track record of building and delivering complications that work, which means the Angelico will make it to market.

Price and availability 

The Angelico is limited to 10 piece each in red gold and titanium. It’ll cost SFr218,000 in titanium, and SFr238,000 in red gold; prices are before taxes.


 

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Urwerk Introduces the UR-105 Raging Gold in Engine-Turned Red Gold

Urwerk's satellite time display wristwatch is dressed up with a hobnail guilloche front plate.

The Zenith Christophe Colomb Tourbillon

SIHH 2019: Piaget Introduces Altiplano Ultra-Thin Meteorite

Time-only and flying tourbillon.

In-Depth: Vacheron Constantin Twin Beat Perpetual with 65-Day Power Reserve

It'll run for over two months on "standby mode".
Vacheron Constantin Twin Beat Perpetual 4

Even though SIHH 2019 hasn’t even started Vacheron Constantin can already claim one of the highlights of the fair with the Traditionnelle Twin Beat Perpetual Calendar, which has a power reserve of over 65 days in standby mode. It is a genuinely interesting, albeit pricey, watch.

The basic premise of the watch is sensible: an ultra-long power reserve when the watch is not in use, so that the perpetual calendar needs no adjustment even if the watch is unworn for two months. Powered by the in-house cal. 3610 QP, the Twin Beat achieves that with two balance wheels, as well as a smartly designed instantaneous perpetual calendar.

Vacheron Constantin Twin Beat Perpetual 3

Though conventionally sized movements with extra-long power reserves have been presented as concept watches by Greubel Forsey and Parmigiani, Vacheron Constantin is the first to cross the finish line; the first Twin Beat will be delivered later this year.

Extended longevity

According to Christian Selmoni, the Style and Heritage Director at Vacheron Constantin, the goal of the Twin Beat was to increase the power reserve of the movement while maintaining a reasonable volume, so as to keep the watch moderately sized. There are two solutions to that, larger or additional mainsprings, or lower energy consumption, but only the latter works when case size is a constraint.

Vacheron Constantin Twin Beat Perpetual Calendar 6

The cal. 3610 QP. Image – Vacheron Constantin

Per unit of movement volume, the Twin Beat on standby mode has 14 times the power reserve of the Traditionnelle 14-Day Tourbillon, which was until recently the Vacheron Constantin watch with the longest power reserve.

Though Vacheron Constantin will only promise a power reserve of 65 days for the Twin Beat, sources at the company say, unofficially, that the watch can actually run up to 72 days.

Vacheron Constantin Twin Beat Perpetual 10

The movement is made up of 480 parts

A balance that takes it time

Powered by an entirely mechanical, hand-wound movement, the watch feature two regulators, one conventional and the other low frequency for standby mode.

The balance wheel on the right is larger, smooth and operates only in standby mode, running at just 8640 beats per hour (bph), or 1.2 Hz. In contrast, a conventional movement runs at 28,000 bph, or 4 Hz. According to Mr Selmoni, 1.2 Hz is the ideal number to optimise chronometry, energy consumption and manufacturing in series.

The low frequency balance wheel is paired with an exceptionally fine hairspring, with a cross section of just 0.0774mm by 0.0159mm, or about one quarter an ordinary hairspring. Made of a proprietary alloy that Vacheron Constantin won’t elaborate on, the hairspring was designed specifically for low frequency oscillation.

Vacheron Constantin Twin Beat Perpetual 11

The Standby Mode balance

And the low frequency escapement also has a escape wheel made of silicon – the singular instance of a non-traditional material in the movement – further improving its operational efficiency.

Although the standby mode balance oscillates slowly, it has an amplitude of 300 degrees, similar to that of an ordinary movement. Consequently, the Twin Beats keeps good time even on standby mode, running within eight minutes after 65 days, or about -/+7 seconds a day.

Vacheron Constantin Twin Beat Perpetual 9

The power reserve indicator with two scales, for four days and 65 days

However, the standby mode balance can only keep reasonable time when the watch is stationary and flat, free from the positional or gravitational errors. This limitation is still within the rationale of the watch, which is to allow the perpetual calendar to keep time even when in storage.

The other balance wheel is conventional, though it beats at 36,000 bph, or 5 Hz, which is high frequency. The Twin Beat has a four-day power reserve on this balance, named “Active Mode”.

Switching between balances

The pusher on the case at eight o’clock allows for switching between the two balance wheels, with the balance in operation indicated by a display at nine o’clock.

Vacheron Constantin Twin Beat Perpetual 8-1

A V-shaped lever alternately stops one balance and releases the other. The switching happens almost instantaneously, with only a fraction of a second lost during the switchover, meaning there is no noticeable impact on timekeeping.

Vacheron Twin Beat movement 1

The switching mechanism for the balances. Image – Vacheron Constantin

Each balance wheel has its own gear train, which kicks into operation once when the respective balance starts oscillating. When a balance is stopped, its gear train is frozen.

Vacheron Constantin Twin Beat Perpetual 12

Each gear trains is powered by its own barrel, stacked one over the other and operating in series. But the barrel has two main wheels, one on each end of the barrel. The main wheel of the topmost barrel is linked to the 5 Hz balance going train, while the main wheel of the lower barrel is linked to the low frequency balance wheel train.

Vacheron Constantin Twin Beat Perpetual 13

Vacheron Twin Beat movement 2

The twin going trains. Image – Vacheron Constantin

When on conventional mode the barrel takes four hours to make one revolution, but 72 hours to do the same when on standby mode. The differing rates of rotation are possible thanks to a  differential on top of the barrels, allowing them to unwind at two speeds, while allowing for manual winding.

Vacheron Twin Beat movement 4

Regardless of which balance is in operation, the time indicated remains the same. That is courtesy of conical gears inside a differential that allow the hands to receive input from separate gears.

The perpetual calendar

The perpetual calendar is of the instantaneous variety, meaning all of its indications jump crisply at midnight. And the patented calendar mechanism is also integrated into the base movement, making the cal. 3610 QP a fundamentally new movement.

Vacheron Constantin Twin Beat Perpetual 5

Though its construction was loosely inspired by the “dragging” perpetual calendar mechanism in the cal. 2755 found in the Traditionnelle Calibre 2755 grand complication, the mechanism in the Twin Beat was entirely revised to be both instantaneous and energy efficient.

Requiring only a quarter of the energy to run as compared with a conventional perpetual calendar, the Twin Beat calendar mechanism is centred on a pair of wheels that sandwich a tiny coiled spring within.

Vacheron Twin Beat movement 3

The spring that powers the perpetual. . Image – Vacheron Constantin

The lower wheel makes one revolution every 24 hours, slowly winding up the spring as it rotates. The upper wheel, however, only makes a 240 degree revolution over the same period, as it only has teeth on two-thirds of its circumference.

At midnight the upper wheel releases and springs forward to catch up with the lower wheel, thus releasing the coiled spring and trigger a lever that jumps the perpetual calendar.

The watch

The Twin Beat is a good looking watch with a strong wrist presence because of its size and dial design.

The case is platinum and measures 42mm in diameter and 12.3mm; the lugs are longish, giving the case a bigger footprint on the wrist. While the case is quite large, it is elegantly proportioned, being relatively wide and flat.

Vacheron Constantin Twin Beat Perpetual 1

The dial is actually a piece of sapphire, with a semi-circular cutout on the top half to accommodate the guilloche dial plate. It’s made of solid gold with a radial linear guilloche done the old fashioned way, engraved with a rose engine in a process that takes five hours.

Vacheron Constantin Twin Beat Perpetual 6

The rest of the dial is clear sapphire, with engraved markings filled with lacquer.

Vacheron Constantin Twin Beat Perpetual 7

While the baton hour markers are 18k white gold and consistently shaped all around the dial, they are attached differently depending on the surface. The markers are mounted with tiny feet on the guilloche portion, as is conventional, but on the sapphire portion they sit in engraved recesses and are held down with adhesive.

Vacheron Constantin Twin Beat Perpetual 2

The Twin Beat on Christian Selmoni’s wrist

Price and availability 

The Traditionnelle Twin Beat Perpetual Calendar is priced at US$199,000, or S$ 308,000. With two watches already finished and used as display pieces, the first watches reach boutiques later in 2019.


 

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Vacheron Constantin Introduces One-of-a-Kind Perpetual Calendar Regulator

Now an annual tradition at Watches&Wonders, Vacheron Constantin unveils a unique timepiece that will never be repeated, the Maître Cabinotier Perpetual Calendar Regulator. 

Making of the Vacheron Constantin Dove watch for Only Watch 2011

Introducing the New, Improved Vacheron Constantin Traditionnelle Chronograph Perpetual Calendar

Vacheron Constantin bestows the upgraded chronograph calibre 1142 on its chronograph-perpetual calendar.

SIHH 2019: A. Lange & Söhne Zeitwerk Date

Date plus a longer power reserve.
Lange Zeitwerk Date 5

Created to mark the 10th anniversary of the Zeitwerk, the most important Lange watch of the last decade, the Zeitwerk Date is exactly that, a digital time display with the addition of the date. And it has also been upgraded with a longer power reserve, as well as a quickset hours.

Its key feature is the date display, which takes the form of a glass ring on the circumference of the dial. A second wheel below the glass ring jumps every day at midnight and has a red marker indicating the current date. Just as with Lange’s signature oversized date display, the pusher at eight o’clock, when pressed and released, advances the date in single day steps.

Lange Zeitwerk Date 1

Lange Zeitwerk Date 2

A second pusher at four o’clock advances the hour digit display by one hour with each press and release. Intended to speed up time setting, it feels slightly superfluous since setting the time on the original Zeitwerk wasn’t that tedious anyway.

Lange Zeitwerk Date 7

The L043.8 movement inside is derived from that in the original Zeitwerk (namely the L043.1), but distinct and improved. Most practical of all is the longer power reserve, which is now 72 hours compared to the 36 of the original.

Notably, the bridge for the constant force mechanism of the jumping digital display has been redesigned, making it more linear and tidy.

Lange Zeitwerk Date 6

Lange Zeitwerk Date 3

Lange Zeitwerk Date 4

Unsurprisingly, the new movement is larger, at 37mm in diameter, compared to 36mm before. And the case is corresponding larger at 44.2mm in diameter, though imperceptibly slimmer than the original at 12.3mm high; the original Zeitwerk is 41.9mm by 12.6mm.

The Zeitwerk date costs about 25% more than the basic Zeitwerk (that retails for €71,500), a significant premium despite the upgrades.

Price and availability

The Zeitwerk Date in 18k white gold (ref. 148.038) is priced at €89,000 including 19% German tax.


 

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