Dienstag, 21. Januar 2014

Thomas Prescher, Haute Horlogerie

Dear watch aficionado.

Today I will introduce you to the exclusive watches made by Thomas Prescher.

Thomas Prescher is a genious about highly complicated watches and so he made some very glorious inventions. Always fascinated by watches and the micro-mechanics that come with the watches, he started his apprenticeship at IWC (they offered only a single position) and finished it 3 years later, you have to know that the normal apprenticeship takes 4 years, as the years top student.

The way to his own work-shop for haute horlogerie took him after finishing the apprenticeship at IWC to Audemars Piguet's German service center and then to Gübelin in Lucern where he specialized in the restoration of rare antique and complicated watches (John Arnold, Abraham Louis Breguet, Thomas Earnshaw, Ferdinand Adolf Lange) and also the manufacture of custom-made timepieces. After an interludion at Progresswatch as assistant RND and director of production at Blancpain he founded his workshop. At this time he was already well known by collectors and so he started with his first "normal" watch called "Tempusvivendi".

Tempusvivendi Samurai

Tempusvivendi Falcon

Tempusvivendi Qatar

Tempusvivendi Russian Eagle
Tempusvivendi  American Eagle

Tempusvivendi Geisha

The Tempusvivendi shows the time by double retrograde complication. The display of the time can be chosen between continuously running or non-temporal resting position (pusher button). This can be seen better in the video above.

The symbol for the Tempusvivendi (Qatar, American Eagle, Russian Eagle, Samurai, Geisha, Falcon) can be replaced by a symbol that the customer wishes to have. The material for the case, dial, symbol, hands, indexes can be chosen as well by the customer. The diameter of the watch is 43mm or 39mm and does have a 40 hours power reserve. The engravings on this watch are all made by hand.

As an AHCI (Académie horlogère des créateurs indépendants) member candidate at Basel, Thomas Prescher released his Double Axis Tourbillon pocket watch and Double Axis Tourbillon wristwatch .

The Double Axis Tourbillon by Thomas Prescher is not only a "simple" double axis tourbillon, more than that, it is a flying tourbillon on both axis with an integrated constant force mechanism in the carriage! The movement is completely in house designed and constructed. As the Tempusvivendi, this watch can be completely personalized by using different materials, engravings, guilloché, indexes or hands. Example below.

And now? How to top the Double Axis flying Tourbillon with integrated constant force in the carriage? Yes, with the worlds first Triple Axis flying Tourbillon with the integrated constant force mechanism in the carriage. And so he did! And believe me, the result is breathtaking! Beautifully designed and the focus on the triple axis tourbillon!

And here as well a different version of the Triple Axis flying Tourbillon "regulator". To show you what is possible to be made.

And after his triple axis tourbillon, Thomas Prescher released the Myterious Automatic Double Axis flying Tourbillon!

The Mysterious Automatic Double Axis flying Tourbillon is the first tourbillon ever combining the automatic movement with constant force mechanism in the carriage. As well it features a first implemented calendar in the oscillating weight, a first automatic movement with horizontal rotating oscillating weight and the first automatic movement with upright standing main plates located on both sides of the movement! The movement is completely developed and made in-house! It takes about 3 to 6 month to finish this tremendous timepiece!

The Sculptura Una does have the same mechanism as the Tempusvivendi but it features small seconds and is a bit more reserved in the design.

The famous Nemo collection by Thomas Prescher features the Nemo Sailor with a copper bronze case (or customers choice) and the Nemo Captain which features the outstanding Triple Axis flying Tourbillon (jumping hours, minutes indicated by the rotation of the tourbillon)!

Nemo Sailor

Nemo Sailor in house designed and manufactured oscillating weight

Nemo Captain

Nemo Captain movement

Oh yes, with all this superlatives I almost forgot to mention one more extraordinary timepiece by Thomas Prescher, the sublime Perpetual Calendar! Only making a normal perpetual calendar would be too ordinary for Thomas Prescher. So he created a very special timepiece with the indications of the time and the calendar from the center! The indications do switch instantly, leap year at 6 o'clock. This watch can be personalized as well to the customers wishes!

Kind regards.

A. Lange & Söhne, new videos

Dear watch aficionado.

Herewith I present you some new videos by A. Lange & Söhne about their new watches of 2014.

The 2014 A. Lange & Söhne "Richard Lange Ewiger Kalender Terraluna", promotion video:

The 2014 A. Lange & Söhne "Richard Lange Ewiger Kalender Terraluna", presentation video:

The 2014 A. Lange & Söhne "Richard Lange Ewiger Kalender Terraluna", the constant force mechanism video:

The 2014 A. Lange & Söhne "1815 Tourbillon", promotion video:

The 2014 A. Lange & Söhne "1815 Tourbillon", presentation video:

The 2014 A. Lange & Söhne "1815 Tourbillon", stop second and zero-reset mechanism video:

The 2014 A. Lange & Söhne "Grand Lange 1 Mondphase", promotion video:

The 2014 A. Lange & Söhne "Grand Lange 1 Mondphase", presentation video:

The 2014 A. Lange & Söhne "Grand Complication", promotion video:

Kind regards.

Montag, 20. Januar 2014

A. Lange & Söhne "1815 Tourbillon"

A new watch by A. Lange & Söhne the "1815 Tourbillon" was introduced at the SIHH 2014.

This 1815 Tourbillon is a quite inovative watch. It features not only the tourbillon but it features as well the stop mechanism and the zero reset of the tourbillon / small seconds! One part of the mechanism you can see through the open small seconds.

Unfortunately, it was long impossible to exactly set watches equipped with a tourbillon. This is because the tourbillon could not be stopped. In 2008, Lange’s calibre designers put an end to the impasse. At the time, they succeeded in braking the balance inside the rotating tourbillon cage directly and without delay. When the crown is pulled, a complex lever mechanism is activated which presses a movable V-shaped spring onto the balance wheel and stops the balance instantaneously. The new 1815 TOURBILLON is also endowed with this patented mechanism, which can partly be observed through the aperture in the dial. But this time, Lange’s product developers went a step further. They paired the stop mechanism with the also patented ZERO-RESET mechanism. It causes the blued-steel hand of the subsidiary seconds dial to instantly jump to the zero position when the crown is pulled, thus facilitating the synchronisation of the watch by positioning the minutes hand exactly above a minutes stroke and starting the watch with one-second accuracy.

The understated design of the 1815 TOURBILLON assures crisp legibility. It is therefore consistent with the underlying ideals of Ferdinand A. Lange, whose birth year graces the name of the timepiece. The tourbillon that is visible through the aperture in the dial is the only manifestation of the complexity of the watch. In comparison with earlier versions, its diameter was increased by nearly one millimetre to 13.2 millimetres. The arbor of the tourbillon carries the subsidiary second hand. In the interest of maximised contrast with the light-coloured dial, it is crafted from blued steel. The combination of Arabic numerals with the classic railway-track minute scale is reminiscent of historic A. Lange & Söhne pocket watches.

 The hairspring and balance wheel are crafted in-house with extreme meticulousness and perfectly matched to one another. Precision also comes to the fore in the intricate finish of all movement parts and is crowned by the diamond endstone of the tourbillon. With a diameter of 39.5 millimetres, the pink-gold or platinum case provides a harmoniously proportioned stage for the Lange manufacture calibre L102.1. The limited edition of 100 watches in platinum emphasises the exclusiveness of this exceptional timepiece. The first A. Lange & Söhne tourbillon watch with stop seconds and ZERO-RESET is another example of the manufactory’s determination to never stop questioning technical solutions and pursue its commitment to continuous improvement.

The price for the pink gold version is 132 500 € and for the limited (100 pieces) platinum version is 162 500 €.

Kind regards.

Grieb & Benzinger "St. George"

Russian watch enthusiasts have long been loyal clients of german luxury watch workshop Grieb & Benzinger and especially for the Olympic winter games in Sochi 2014, Hermann Grieb, Jochen Benzinger and Georg Bartkowiak released their new highly exclusive timepiece St. George.

St. George, the patron saint of Russia, is hand-skeletonized and hand-engraved into the movement. The movement is completely hand-guilloché, hand-skeletonized and hand-engraved. The base plate is coated with blue platinum. The dial is made of two parts: the downer part is hand-guilloché, hand-skeletonized and coated with blue platinum ; the upper part is hand-guilloché, hand-skeletonized and finished with the original Breguet frost. The dial comes with regulateur style design and is opened at 6 o'clock with view to the movment.

The case is made of 18k palladium white gold (43mm) with a hand-guilloché bezel. This exclusive timepiece is limited to 7 pieces!

Kind regards.

A. Lange & Söhne "Richard Lange Ewiger Kalender Terraluna"

A new watch by A. Lange & Söhne the "Richard Lange Ewiger Kalender Terraluna" was introduced at the SIHH 2014.

The exquisite watch does have the Richard Lange "régulateur" style dial which indicates the typical A. Lange & Söhne date window at 12 o'clock in the minutes display, leap year at 2 o'clock, the day in the seconds display and the month in the hours display. All the indications do switch precisely! The power reserve indication of 14 days is shown at 6 o'clock. The Richard Lange Ewiger Kalender Terraluna comes in rose or white gold with a diameter of 45.5mm.

Not only that the watch does have a perpetual calendar and 14 days power reserve, but when you turn the watch and look through the sapphire crystal case back, you discover the "terraluna display" and when taking a closer look, the 10 seconds remontoir!

The "terraluna" display indicates the earth seen from Northpole, a 24 hour scale and the moon phase which is precisely calculated on 29 days, 12 hours, 44 minutes and 9.6 seconds. This gives the moonphase 1 day error in 1058 years. The balance indicates the sun.

And at the end a short video of the A. Lange & Söhne the "Richard Lange Ewiger Kalender Terraluna".

Price for pink gold and white gold are 185 000 € and 186 000 €.

Kind regards.

Freitag, 10. Januar 2014

Benzinger, itinéraire d’un garde-temps unique, du dessin à la création de la montre

Jochen Benzinger est le maître du guillochage, gravage et squelettage à la main. Toutes ses montres sont des pièces uniques et chaque client peut personnaliser sa montre avec  des initiales, un logo d’entreprise,…. Il n’y a presque pas de limite à l’imagination du client. Celui-ci recevra, après le processus artisanal de la fabrication, sa montre personnalisée. La production de Jochen Benzinger s’élève au maximum à 50 montres par an ! Le reportage suivant vous présente le processus de fabrication d’une montre de Jochen Benzinger, ici,  le modèle « 3/4 Skelett » qui a été personnalisé pour la « Fondatioun Kriibskrank Kanner » au Luxembourg. La réalisation d’une telle montre exclusive et unique a nécessité plus d’une centaine d’heures de travail artisanal.

Pour le projet de la « Fondatioun Kriibskrank Kanner » au Luxembourg,  le modèle « 3/4 Skelett » a été choisi. Le cadran (1) est resté « standard » et Jochen Benzinger a  fait un dessin (3)  pour le mouvement (2) afin de personnaliser la montre.

Le métier du guillochage n’est plus enseigné aujourd’hui. Dans le monde entier il ne reste probablement qu’une poignée de guillocheurs ; Jochen Benzinger est l’un d’eux !

1– guillochage à main de la platine
2– fixation du cadran sur le support
3– guillochage à main du cadran

Le travail artisanal du gravage et squelettage à main sur photos détaillées.

1– gravage à main du cop (pont de balancier)
2– squelettage à main de la platine
3– gravage à main de la platine

Les différentes pièces  après  guillochage, gravage et squelettage à la  main,  fini or rose, or jaune et rhodié.

1– Platine, côté cadran. Dans ce cas, le modèle 3/4 Skelett.
2– pont de barillet, guilloché, gravé et squelettisé à la main. Squelettage personnalisé, ici la crinière du lion !
3– pont de rouage avec le logo de la « Fondatioun Kriibskrank Kanner », gravé et squelettisé à la main + personnalisation !
4– roue de minuterie, guillochée main
5– roue des heures, guillochée  main
6– le coq (pont de balancier), gravé et squelettisé  main + personnalisation !
7– pont d’ancre, gravé et squelettisé main + personnalisation !
8– le barillet, guilloché, squelettisé et gravé main
Les différentes pièces du mouvement ont été démontées pour la personnalisation après le premier assemblage. Le client a ainsi pu voir sa montre avant le montage définitif.

1- pont de rouage avec le logo de la « Fondatioun Kriibskrank Kanner », gravé et squelettisé main + personnalisation !
2– pont de barillet, guilloché, gravé et squelettisé  main. Squelettage personnalisé, une crinière de lion !
3– le coq (pont de balancier), gravé et squelettisé  main + personnalisation !
4– pont d’ancre, gravé et squelettisé  main + personnalisation !
La montre terminée après plus d’une centaine d’heures de travail artisanal !