The death of the mechanical wristwatch has been written time and again over the last 50 years. The quartz revolution was certain to decimate the industry, followed by the digital revolution. Indeed, watchimaking is changing to keep up with the times, as craftsmanship, elegance, and innovation coexist. The measure of time is constant, but how it is expressed and displayed on one’s wrist is a crucible of change By Bryan McKrell
Time Moves On URWERK UR-105 CT
RICHARD MILLE RM 031 HIGH PERFORMANCE
AUDEMARS PIGUET MINUTE REPEATER SUPERSONNERIE
Desirables - Buying Time
The dynamic partnership of Martin Frei and Felix Baumgartner has released their latest creation with a unique twist of individuality. The Urwerk piece displays the time in a most unconventional way, with rotating satellite discs and a sequential number arrangement. The rotating disks allow the time to be displayed both digitally and analog, depending on the user’s preference. The unique tonneau-shaped case is constructed of raw bronze, which is designed to acquire a specific patina based on the activity of the owner,ultimately making each piece an individually created work of art.
Richard Mille set out to create the most consistent mechanical timepiece in history, with a goal of less than 30 seconds of variation per month. In his pursuit of timing perfection, Mille utilized an escapement that was actually created for Audemars Piguet. This particular innovation combined two distinct elements that have been used for decades in high-end watchmaking. The engineers then injected argon, an inert gas, into the case to reduce any possible friction, thereby allowing the movement to function in a virtual vacuum. Only 10 examples of the watch in platinum will be produced. It may be the most accurate timepiece that Mille, or possibly anyone, has ever created. Only time will tell.
A minute repeater is a watch that chimes like a giant clock, harmoniously playing sounds that alert the wearer to different increments of time, such as the hour, half hour, or quarter hour. Minute repeaters were originally designed to allow someone to tell time in the dark. Few things could provide more of a conversation piece than AP’s latest minute repeater chiming away on cue. In what some refer to as the “grandest of complications,” this version boasts the loudest and most distinct chimes in the company’s history. A new striking mechanism, redesigned case back, and subtle anti-vibration technologies have allowed this 41 mm, navy-blue subtlety to really stand out.
Starting at $69,000 urwerk.com
Starting at $1.05 million richardmille.com
Starting at $325,000 audemarspiguet.com
Q1 2019 | Innovation & Technology