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Letter from the Editor

As the holiday season approaches, thoughts turn to family, friends, and to reflecting on the past year. For myself, I very much look forward to Christmas—spending time with loved ones, enjoying the festivities, and preparing for the year ahead. Of course, this is where the reflection comes in. Here at Jack Ryan Fine Jewelry + Timepieces this year has been one of celebration and achievement. First, we have launched two quarterly magazines—both of which have taken on lives of their own. From publications that began as a way to deliver a few articles each quarter to watch and jewelry enthusiasts, they have become lifestyle magazines with articles well outside our original intent. As you will see in this issue alone, Timepiece Magazine now has something for just about everyone—from articles on watches and ocean racing, to racing cars and traveling. Second, is our expanding portfolio of prestigious brands. At the beginning of 2014, we started our journey with several of the best brands in the world: Anne Sportun Fine Jewellery, Bremont, Michael Good, NOMOS Glashütte, and Speake-Marin—to name just a few. Now, as we approach the new year, our loyal clientele can access even more world-renowned brands such as CORUM, Montblanc, Parmigiani Fleurier, Jacquie Aiche, and Siena Jewelry, plus a host of accessories—all complementing our growing list of brands. With this success in 2014, I would like to personally thank all of you—our clients, our team, and our families. The support that we have received has certainly made for a banner year, and I wish each and every one of you the same. From all of us at Jack Ryan Fine Jewelry + Timepieces, have wonderful and safe holiday season, a Merry Christmas, and a Happy New Year. Sincerely,

E. Mark Baran Publisher


Clocks, Watches & Ocean Racing Corum and the Admiral’s Cup By Máire O’Callaghan



John Masefield was a merchant seaman. He was also a poet. His poem Sea Fever describes his experiences while at sea—his words resonating deeply with all those who live and love the sailing life. I must go down to the seas again, to the lonely sea and the sky, And all I ask is a tall ship and a star to steer her by; And the wheel’s kick and the wind’s song and the white sail’sshaking, And a grey mist on the sea’s face, and a grey dawn breaking. I must go down to the seas again, for the call of the running tide Is a wild call and a clear call that may not be denied; And all I ask is a windy day with the white clouds flying, And the flung spray and the blown spume, and the sea-gulls crying. — Sea Fever, John Edward Masefield OM, Poet Laureate of the U.K. 1878–1967

We’ve come a long way since John Masefield was a merchant seaman, when the clear call was answered and sailors sailed to the latitude of their destination. The journey from then to now has been rife with disasters, filled with acts of courage, and marked by technology breakthroughs. Today, sailing is fine art. In the early eighteenth century the marine chronometer was a major technical achievement. Now we have radio beacons, radar, the gyroscopic compass, and the global positioning system (GPS). And sailors compete in arduous and challenging ocean races, such as the Admiral’s Cup, wearing watches like Corum’s Admiral’s Cup AC-One 45 Tides watch with a mechanical movement that drives indications of the

strength of the current and height of the tide, the strength of the tide, the time of the tide 24 hours, and the lunar ycle. First, let’s take a look at the technology breakthrough in the eighteenth century, then the legendary Admiral’s Cup ocean race, and finally three of Corum’s Admiral’s Cup collection of watches—all dedicated to the sailing life.

The Marine Clock – Turning the Tide

If you were a sailor in the early part of the eighteenth century, you’d use dead reckoning as a navigational tool. And you needed more than a star to steer your ship by. Navigators used to sail to the latitude of their destination, then they would turn toward their destination and follow a line of constant latitude. This meant that a ship couldn’t take the most direct route or a route with the most favorable winds and currents, putting both the sailors and the ship at risk. Navigation error leads to 2,000 lives lost What turned the tide was the wreck of the Royal Navy fleet in October 1707. The fleet was sailing from Gibraltar to Portsmouth when it was wrecked off the coast of the Isles of Scilly with the loss of nearly 2,000 sailors. It was determined that the primary cause of the catastrophe was the navigators’ inability to accurately calculate longitude. Following the naval disaster, the British Parliament offered the Longitude Prize of £20,000. Today, that’s £2.75 million or US$4.4.

Marine clock determines longitude at sea In 1730, John Harrison, an English inventor and horologist, designed a marine clock to compete for the prize. He invented the first chronometer sufficiently accurate to determine longitude at sea. It was a huge challenge to make a clock that was not affected by variations in temperature, pressure or humidity, that was accurate over a long period, that resisted corrosion in salt air, and that was able to function on board a constantly moving ship. It took Harrison five years to build his first marine clock. After spending 17 years on his third marine clock, Harrison finally abandoned the idea of the marine clock as a timekeeper. He realized that a watch-sized timekeeper would probably be more feasible and realistic—a watch could incorporate a balance that, although smaller, oscillated at a much higher speed. His accomplishments benefited not only the field of navigation, but also the entire world—journeying by sea was a much safer enterprise. We’ve come a long way since then. Today, we have the reliability and precise timekeeping required for navigation; for example, Corum’s special edition Admiral’s Cup Tides 48 watch provides information on tidal forces and evaluates water levels and the strength of water currents.

The Admiral’s Cup Ocean Race – Competing for the Cup

An ocean race such as the Admiral’s Cup demands sailors with stamina and courage, imagination and self-discipline. Boats that are tested to the limit for their endurance and speed. And precision marine navigation equipment such as the GPS, compasses, and highly sensitive GPS navigator marine watches. Even so, storms can strike suddenly and disasters such as the Royal Navy fleet wreck in October 1707 can occur. But not from the navigators’ inability to accurately calculate longitude. Admiral’s Cup transforms ocean racing It was in 1957 that members of the British Sailing Club, the Royal Ocean Racing Club (RORC), launched the Admiral’s Cup ocean race, which became one of the most legendary races in the world. It was a biennial event occurring in oddnumbered years between national teams. The Admiral’s Cup race takes place in six legs: three Olympic triangles, a coastal route, and two races at sea: the Channel Race and the Fastnet Race, which is the climax of the Admiral’s Cup competition.


The Fastnet Race is between Cowes and Plymouth by Fastnet Rock in the Irish Sea. The Fastnet Rock is the southernmost point in Ireland, just 6.5 km southwest of the rocky, but inhabited, Cape Clear Island near Roaringwater Bay. The rocky coast and frequent storms make this a dangerous coast for ships. Thus, the Fastnet Race is recognized as one of the most difficult sailing competitions in the world. Freak storm pummels the Admiral’s Cup race In 1979, there were as many as 27 countries competing for the Admiral’s Cup. On Monday, August 13, when the yachts started the last race of the series, the Fastnet Race, it was a pleasant day with a 15-knot wind. Progressively, the wind picked up. By midnight the crews were in the middle of the most violent storm in the history of ocean racing. Mayday calls were sent out in the early hours of August 14. It was an unexpected Force 10 gale (wind knots between 48 and 55, waves 29 to 41 feet high) that wreaked havoc on the over 306 yachts taking part. Half of the yachts competing went missing in a 20,000 square mile area of the Irish Sea. Five were sunk, 100 suffered knock downs, and 77 turtled due to the high winds and mountainous seas—only 86 completed the race. An amazing feat as they not only did so over the most difficult part of the race, but also while battling a Force 10 gale with waves of up to 40 feet. The Australian team of Police Car, Impetuous and Ragamuffin took the Cup for the first time since 1967. Largest rescue operation takes place since Dunkirk Emergency services, naval forces, and civilian vessels from around the west side of the English Channel rushed to the aid of the racing crews. The rescue operation of over 4,000 people, including the entire Irish Naval Service’s fleet, lifeboats, commercial boats, and helicopters, made it the largest such operation since the evacuation of Dunkirk in 1940. The Royal Navy coordinated the efforts to find around 80 vessels and rescue 136 crew members. The death toll was 15 yachtsmen and 3 rescuers. Increased safety requirements resulted from the tragic finale of the 1979 Admiral’s Cup. The Admiral’s Cup series consisted of 23 events. It was one of the world’s greatest sailing regattas and one of the most prestigious trophies in the world of sailing. Countries that assembled at Cowes on the Isle of Wight to compete in these events included the U.K., the U.S., New Zealand and Australia, plus a succession of European nations. The last Admiral’s Cup event was in 2003 and was won by Australia. It was cancelled in 2005, so unless RORC can revive the Admiral’s Cup ocean race it is, unfortunately, destined to become part of sailing history.

Admiral’s Cup Watch Collection – Capturing the Sailing Spirit

Corum and the Admiral’s Cup ocean race are inextricably intertwined. In 1960, in tribute to the Admiral’s Cup and to men of the sea, Corum launched the Admiral’s Cup collection of water-resistant watches. To this day, Corum’s collection is associated with all major sailing events, and it counts on two exceptional sailors as part of its ambassador’s family: triple gold and silver Olympic medalist Ben Ainslie, and veteran global ocean racer and multihull skipper Loick Peyron. As well as its collection of watches, Corum has sponsored the Admiral’s Cup, created an Admiral’s Cup trophy, and sailed in the Admiral’s Cup: •

In the early 1980s, Corum sponsored the Champagne Mumm Admiral’s Cup. To mark this association with international yachting, Corum presented an Admiral’s Cup watch to each of the winners.

In 1985, the relationship was extended when they sponsored the second inshore regatta of the Admiral’s Cup—and the Corum Trophy was born. From here, it was an obvious progression for the company to run its own yacht.

In 1987, the Corum I yacht took part, and in 1989, Corum II followed.

In 1991, Corum entered three yachts in the Admiral’s Cup, with the “Corum Sailing Team” sailing under the colors of the French team. The team topped the rankings—for the first time in the history of French sailing. France won the 1991 event against seven other nations with Corum’s three boats: Saphir, Rubis and Diamant. A feat that represents one of the highlights of the historic association between the brand from La Chaux-deFonds and the sailing world.

The watch that precisely sails the oceans The memories and heritage associated with each of the Admiral’s Cup watches tell a story: the story of Corum, a brand that puts the company’s heart and soul into their creations to ensure they last—not just for a lifetime, but for generations. The continuity and the longevity of its collections are not mere words at Corum: the Admiral’s Cup collection has been sailing the oceans now for 50 years. Here are three iconic watches from this collection:


Corum Admiral’s Cup AC-One 45 Tides An icon among sea lovers now returns in a reworked design: the Admiral’s Cup AC-One 45 Tides watch. Twenty-one years after its launch, this model remains a truly unique complication in the fine watchmaking world. Its exclusive nature forcefully reaffirms Corum’s longstanding, solid nautical anchorage. No less than three years of development, conducted in collaboration with the Astronomic Observatory of Geneva and the SHOM (Hydrographic and Oceanographic Services of the French National Navy) based in Brest, were required to create this highly exclusive “tides movement.”

Admiral’s Cup AC-One 45 Squelette A juxtaposition of the traditional and contemporary watchmaking, the Corum AC-One 45 Squelette is the latest step in the 54-year evolution of the Corum’s signature timepiece. Sitting just a hair’s breath above the date numerals are the hour markers, each filled with Super-Luminova for vivid nighttime legibility.

Admiral’s Cup Legend 42 Meteorite Dual Time Issued in a 75-piece limited edition, the Admiral’s Cup Legend 42 Meteorite Dual Time exudes an aura of classically inspired elegance admirably expressed through a 42 mm-diameter case in 18K red gold. It remains loyal to the identity codes that have forged the legend of the Admiral’s Cup, and underscores its nautical origins by an inner bezel ring bearing the iconic nautical pennants extending the hour-markers. Water-resistant to 30 meters, it is fitted with a black alligator leather strap secured by an 18K red gold pin buckle engraved with the Corum logo.

Whether it’s John Masefield’s opening line to Sea Fever “I must go down to the seas again,” whether it’s the sailors who competed in the legendary Admiral’s Cup ocean race, or whether it’s Corum’s alignment with the world of sailing, they are all stating, unequivocally, their passion for the sea and for the sailing life. Now, when you go down to the seas again, your time is measured precisely when you wear Corum’s signature timepiece: the Admiral’s Cup.


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From a Workshop to the Parmigiani Fleurier Brand Story of an Encounter


Our story, like so many others, started with a predicament.

The Predicament

The year is 1974, Michel Parmigiani is freshly graduated and he is faced with the unprecedented tumble of the Swiss watchmaking trade, due to the flood of quartz movements ignited in Japan. Much more precise and infinitely less expensive, this revolution of a watch catches the traditional Swiss industry unaware, and makes it look outdated, obsolete. In a short decade, what is later referred to as the “quartz crisis” cuts down 90,000 jobs and the whole trade is set adrift. Amid this apocalyptic picture, Michel Parmigiani opens his own workshop in Couvet in 1976 and starts resolutely down the path of traditional watchmaking, like an outcast, against the advice of many. “When you’ve worked on marvels of the past and patrimony of our civilization as I have had the chance to,” he will say much later, “you just couldn’t have believed back then that traditional watchmaking would end like this.” From that point onwards, Michel Parmigiani’s approach is set, based on the single belief that to part with the traditional art of watchmaking could only be harmful and would only breed destruction.

The Solution

Becoming a young entrepreneur, Michel dedicates himself resolutely to his greatest passion: Restoration. As a sideline, he also manufactures unique pieces for collectors, giving a free rein to his mastery of mechanical complications. His company, Mesure et Art du Temps, is a small workshop, but a thriving one.

The Encounter

The year 1980 will change it all. Michel Parmigiani makes the single business encounter that transforms the face of his career, the encounter that generated all that Parmigiani Fleurier is today: Michel met the Sandoz family. Sometimes, your stars align. In 1980, the Sandoz family was heir to the Sandoz pharmaceutical group known today as Novartis, and holder of one of the most impressive collections of pocket watches and automatons in Switzerland—the Collection Edouard Marcel Sandoz. At that time, Effrène Jobin, Curator of the Watchmaking Museum in Le Locle, is in charge of restoring these amazing artifacts, but Effrène is growing old and he can’t undertake this task on his own anymore. So he introduces Michel Parmigiani to the family and convinces them to trust him with their collection.

Over the years, they discover Michel’s unrivaled talent as a watchmaker; they appreciate the man and his knowledge of our past heritage. Pierre Landolt, a family head, pushes him to step out from the secluded space of his little workshop and start something bigger in watchmaking: To create his own brand and realize his aspirations as a watchmaker to the fullest. In 1996, the Parmigiani Fleurier brand was born.

The Adventure

Very soon, Pierre and Michel decide that to create an authentic brand they need not only to conceive movements, but also to manufacture them—manufacture all the small parts in the quality and workmanship they had envisioned. The verticalization of the production has begun: through a series of acquisitions of exclusively small quality suppliers, they gather component, case and dial manufacturers. And they start the adventure of realizing their own escapements. Rapidly, Parmigiani Fleurier gains full control over the realization of each component. In other words, complete and utter independence. Parmigiani Fleurier is a brand that can fulfill its wildest projects with no other consideration than mechanical feasibility. It’s a dream come true. The production units that are gathered today under the Manufactures Horlogères de la Fondation (the Watchmaking Manufactures of the Sandoz Foundation), were put together in less than four years. Sometimes, the figures and chronology say more than words about the trust that prevailed between a family with a will and a vision, and a watchmaker with tremendous talent.

The Brand

Thanks to this unique industrial structure, Michel Parmigiani and his brand have come to hold a high level of credibility in just a few years. Six collections, seventeen calibres developed in-house, including four world firsts—this is as much as some brands have achieved in centuries. Whatever the projects and achievements, Parmigiani Fleurier never loses track of how it came to life. We stay true to our founding values, namely the restoration of artifacts of the past and the ability to draw knowledge from this heritage to create the mechanical constructions of the present—and the future. This is who we are: we are unconditionally linked to the legacy of our ancestors, the revealing agents of the treasures of the past; however, we are firmly anchored in the present.


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Part The Making of a Watchmaker Where the journey begins By Máire O’Callaghan


e first met Bas Quadaekers in our last issue of Timepiece Magazine. For those of you who missed his introduction, Bas discovered his love of timepieces when he visited the city of Vaduz in Liechtenstein. It was while he was strolling through the city that he saw the name Rolex above the entrance of a shop, and he was surprised that the watches, although made of stainless steel, were so expensive. Bas’ curiosity was peaked. He not only researched the Rolex brand, but also many other high-end watch brands. It was from these beginnings that he found his vocation in life: watchmaking. Since then, Bas has enrolled in Vakschool Schoonhoven in the Netherlands, he has moved from his home town to an apartment in Schoonhoven, and in September he started his watchmaking journey. He is embarking on a journey that will take four years of serious study, hands-on training, and thousands of hours of classroom and benchwork. At Vakschool Schoonhoven, Bas has practical lessons and theoretical lessons: •

He has ten hours of theoretical lessons in English, German and Dutch. He studies the names of all the parts inside a watch movement not only in Dutch, but also in English and German. He gets a list of parts and tools and a text of a few hundred words that he has to translate. If the translation isn’t completed during class time, then he finishes it at home as he gets a new list or another assignment every lesson. In physics, he learns how the springs, levers and toothed wheels work. He has twelve hours of practical lessons a week. Three hours of these are spent disassembling and assembling watch movements, and nine hours making things like brass plates and working on the lathe, etc.

Sawing and filing

Since starting, his practical lessons have included learning how to saw and file. First, Bas sawed a square 40 × 40 mm brass plate, then filed the plate completely right angled. Then, he moved onto sawing a smaller brass plate: 35 x 35 mm. After that he had to saw those exact dimensions on his first brass plate, filing it until both plates fit seamlessly. Following that assignment, he had to take another brass plate, this time 30 x 30 mm, and fit it seamlessly with the second one.

He has also worked on a watchmaker’s lathe, making pivots on a small steel rod. This is for making a watch balance staff, or something similar. “Filing and sawing are important skills and they are needed if one has to make a certain part inside a watch,” Bas explains. “You have to keep in mind that it takes hours and hours of practice to become good at filing and working on a lathe—I will have to work some more on this in the next few weeks. We get an assignment, such as the first one with the small brass plates, and when we finish that we get a new, more difficult assignment, and so on.”

Disassembling and assembling movements

Along with filing and sawing, Bas has disassembled and assembled a Unitas 6497 movement—a simple hand winding mechanical movement found in large 44 mm+ watches with hours, minutes and seconds. Bas repeated this assignment five times. He then went on to learning a more complicated movement; for example, the Peseux P7040 watch movement. This is basically the same as the Unitas 6497, but half the size and with a few different parts. Bas commented, “Even though disassembly and assembly are the same as the Unitas 6497 movement, it’s a lot harder on such a small watch movement.”

Practicing measuring skills and making an oiler

To practice measuring skills and to work precisely, the last practical lesson is drawing. As well, Bas has had to learn how to make an oiler for clock movements. He used a brass rod and a steel rod, making a handle out of the brass rod. He made the oiler on the watchmaker’s lathe from the steel rod. Bas will use the oiler when he reassembles clock movements, something he hasn’t done yet but will do soon. Recently, Bas has worked on a very small ladies’ watch movement, an ST 69 manual wind. He found it interesting that the escape wheel and pallet fork are roughly the same size as in a large, regular sized movement, while the other wheels and parts in the gear train got smaller when you moved to a smaller movement.

Cumulating knowledge

In Issue 4 of Timepiece Magazine we will continue to follow Bas as he delves into the mysteries of fine watchmaking. As we walk in Bas’ footsteps, we will discover the extensive range of skills and knowledge required within the field of horology to become a master watchmaker.


An Industry Built and a Crisis Overcome

Part I

The Path to Seiko’s Spring Drive Movement By Chris McCormick

Tokyo, Japanr Ginza district

To understand the path that led to the creation of Seiko’s inventive Spring Drive movement, it’s important to explore the roots of Seiko’s heritage. The story is truly a marriage of past, present, and future.

In 1881, Kintaro Hattori opened a watch store on the Ginza (Japanese for “Silver Mint”). Today, this swanky shopping avenue is still home to Seiko, as well as Bulgari, Cartier, Burberry, and many other high-end retailers. The Ginza, like Seiko, is a paradox of ancient Japanese culture and ideals, and modern technology and luxury.

Founding a Japanese Watch Industry

In 1881, Japan had no watch industry, so all watches were imported from Switzerland, Germany, and the U.S. Following are the steps taken to found and build a Japanese watch industry: •

In 1892, Hattori took the first step to build an industry and found a clock factory—thus, Seikosha was born. The name Seikosha is derived from the Japanese word for “Precise Factory.” By 1895, Hattori took their growing expertise in the industry and applied it to pocket watches, branding them Seikosha.

In 1913, as manufacturing techniques became more advanced, the company began making wrist watches, this time branded as Seiko. Today, when you wear Seiko, you are wearing over 100 years of mechanical history on your wrist.

In 1934, Kintaro Hattori died, leaving behind an imaginative and innovative legacy that his descendants have carried into the twenty-first century.

In the 1960s, the Chairman of Seiko was Shoji Hattori. He understood the importance of success in European timekeeping competitions, and led the Japanese charge in mechanical watchmaking. It was his pioneering spirit and leadership that pushed Seiko engineers to the forefront of watchmaking. While Seiko is perhaps best known for selling the world’s first quartz watch, it was in the 1960s that they also developed a technology that would change the face of the mechanical watch industry.

In 1969, Seiko developed the world’s first chronograph with a vertical clutch and column wheel. This important step forward was shared by Heuer, with their Calibre 11, and Zennith’s El Primero movement.

The Quartz “Crisis”

The goal of all watchmakers has always been to produce the most accurate, longest lasting method of keeping time. While many focused on new materials for mainsprings and balance springs and ways of reducing friction, Pierre Curie made a discovery that would change the world of watchmaking forever.

While working with his brother Jacques, he observed a phenomenon called piezo-electricity. They discovered that some crystals generate electricity when pressure is applied to them. They also discovered that the reverse is true: when an electric current is passed across a quartz crystal, it deforms and vibrates (predictably). This discovery became the basis of a new train of thought in the watchmaking community.

Investigating Quartz Crystals

In the early part of the twentieth century, a Bell Telephone engineer, Warren Marrison, began to investigate the properties of quartz crystals. Marrison was successful in developing a highly accurate clock that used the stable frequency of a quartz crystal when utilized in an electrical circuit. This quartz oscillatory was more accurate than the most accurate mechanical clocks, and by the 1940s laboratories all over the world used quartz clocks as their time standard.

Solving the problem of size

The problem was, these clocks filled an entire room. Miniaturization in the 1940s and 1950s was an enormous obstacle. On top of that, there were no batteries that were small enough to fit in a wristwatch. It was only in the late 1950s that Hamilton Watch Company in the U.S. pooled its resources and produced, for the first time, a battery that would fit in a wristwatch. They sold the world’s first electric watch, the Hamilton 500, in January 1957. However, this watch still required a balance wheel and balance spring, so it did not offer improved accuracy. Seiko set their engineers to the problem and by 1958 they had developed a practical quartz timepiece—reducing its size to that of a filing cabinet. Later the following year, Seikosha embarked on a quartz timepiece development project called the “59A Project.” A few years later, the timepiece had been so refined that it was used to time the 1964 Tokyo Olympics. However, these timekeeping devices were still too large for a wrist. To this point, advances in the industry had been highly mechanical. However, when approaching quartz technology, one requires not only mechanical engineers, but also electrical and chemical. Suddenly the field of watchmaking required new specialists. This required a huge investment, which caused many in the industry to question the wisdom of pursuing a quartz timepiece. However, when Tsuneya Nakamura was appointed the Managing Director of Suwa Seikosha, he courageously pressed on.


A quartz watch is made up of three parts: the quartz crystal oscillator, the integrated circuit (IC), and the stepping motor. Seiko put together a development team, and within a year they had success. First they built a smaller step motor that would require less energy by only moving the hand once every second. Then they developed a smaller IC to process the pulses generated by the quartz crystal. These innovations miniaturized the movement, and made it possible to fit inside a wristwatch case.

The Quartz Boom

Towards the end of the 1960s both the Swiss and the Japanese were very close. In 1967, CEH (a Swiss research laboratory) entered several quartz prototypes into the Neuchâtel Observatory competition, and took first, second, and third. The race was on. However, Seiko edged out the Swiss and sold the first quartz watch, a Seiko Astron, on Christmas day 1969. This made history and changed watchmaking forever. Four months later at the Basel Fair, Switzerland, a number of Swiss watchmakers released quartz watches. In the 1970s the focus of the quartz revolution turned from invention to production. Early quartz crystals were painstakingly made by hand, and it was difficult to manufacture 10 movements a month. However, in 1974 photolithographic etching was introduced which enabled mass production in tens of thousands. Suddenly the market was flooded with a new highly accurate and inexpensive timekeeping instruments, and by 1978 quartz watches overtook mechanical watches in the marketplace.

The Mechanical Dark Ages

This massive swing in economics plunged the mechanical Swiss watch market into a dark time of little innovation. By the late 1980s, Swiss watch employment dropped over 71%. While the industry plummeted, nations like the U.S. and Japan had a new renaissance in watchmaking as they embraced the new technology. Many advances in quartz technology were fueled by America’s military and space programs. However, by the late 1970s, many American watch companies had pulled out of the industry and sold their names to foreign competitors.

A Renaissance

1983 marked a low point for the Swiss watch industry: of the 1600 watchmakers around in 1970, only 600 remained. A research consortium was formed to save the industry, and what emerged was the Swatch watch. Production of the Swatch was almost entirely automated and the simple movement was housed in a plastic case. They were sold as a disposable commodity, and in less than two years over 2.5 million were sold. This inexpensive Swiss quartz watch was instrumental in reviving the Swiss watch industry, and eventually gave rise to the Swatch Group, one of the most influential watch conglomerates in the world. The Swiss watch industry was back.





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Part II

Spring Drive Movement – The Quiet Revolution

The Path to Seiko’s Spring Drive Movement By Chris McCormick

Seiko’s guiding principles have always been “innovation and refinement.” The company that had changed the face of modern timepieces, was determined to continue to push the industry forward. In 1978, a young Seiko Epson engineer, Yoshikazu Akahane, had a revelation. He observed a bicycle coasting smoothly down a hill. To maintain a constant velocity the cyclist would apply the brakes. In this he saw an image of time that was accurate, continuous, and flowing, and he began to work on a concept he referred to as an “everlasting watch.” His idea was to replace the most delicate part of a watch movement, the escapement, with an electronic regulation system that would increase the mechanical watch’s accuracy.

Releasing the first Spring Drive

Ironically, at that time, Seiko was leading the quartz revolution that was crippling the mechanical watch industry. However, it was the innovations of that era that would make the Spring Drive possible. Yoshikazu spent his days making quartz movements and his evenings experimenting. He eventually introduced his concept to his superiors, and they were so impressed that they backed his development: 600 movements, 230 patent applications, and 28 years later, Seiko released the first Spring Drive.

How it works

The simple answer is Mechatronics. A beautiful marriage of mechanical refinement and electronic ingenuity that can be hand assembled by just five of Seiko’s most skilled watchmakers in the natural light of the pristine foothills of the Japanese Alps. Like a mechanical watch, the spring drive is powered by a mainspring that is wound by a rotor. The first major innovation lies in winding the watch. Seiko introduced the Magic-Lever System that allows for more efficient transmission of the rotor’s power to the mainspring. The Magic-Lever fits directly to the rotor shaft. Locating the axis of the lever at the center of the oscillating weight allows even the slightest movements to provide constant winding. This simple and elegant innovation boasts a 30% increase in efficiency over traditional winding methods.

Developing the mainspring

As watch owners, we all know the unsatisfying feeling of picking up our watch after a long weekend, and noting that it has stopped. While the inconvenience is minor, Seiko set out to improve the user experience. This led to the next major innovation: the development of the mainspring. Satisfied only by innovation and refinement, Seiko engineers developed their own stronger mainspring made from a new highly elastic alloy they called Spron 510. The mainspring delivers more power, more smoothly, for a longer period. This new alloy allows Seiko to offer a 70hour power reserve, while the industry standard is still just 40 hours. In traditional mechanical timepieces, the gear train delivers the mainspring’s power to the escapement which regulates the timing of the watch. However, traditional escapements only promise accuracy of -4 to +6 seconds a day, and is weak and prone to damage. Quartz watches maintain an accuracy of ±15 seconds every month, and require very few moving parts. To bridge the gap, Seiko replaces a traditional escapement with their Tri-synchro regulator. This regulator consists of four components: a glide wheel, a coil block, an integrated circuit (IC), and a quartz crystal. The Tri-synchro regulator takes a small amount of energy generated by the mainspring and converts it into a small electrical current to power the quartz oscillator. The unwinding mainspring drives a glide wheel that is connected to the gear train. This glide wheel turns inside a coil (25,000 turns of extremely fine wire) to generate electricity which powers the quartz crystal and the IC. Seiko Epsom designed this IC specifically for the Spring Drive, and is the only IC in the world to operate on so little electricity.

The quartz oscillator produces a highly accurate timing signal (±1 second per day) and the Tri-synchro regulator adjusts the speed of the glide wheel and hands. It does this with a frictionless electromagnetic braking system that allows the glide wheel to rotate 8 times each second. This accurate and beautiful concept is referred to as the Tri-synchro regulator because it works with three types of energy: •

Mechanical energy from the mainspring

Electrical energy generated from the mainspring’s power

Electromagnetic energy that brakes the glide wheel

The ticking you hear in a watch comes from tiny sapphire crystals colliding with a balance wheel. On most mechanical watches this happens eight times per second. This also causes the hands to tick, ever so slightly. Requiring no impulses, the Tri-synchro regulator produces a smooth sweep of the seconds hand and no sound—so the watch was aptly dubbed the “Quiet Revolution.”

Providing the best of both worlds

While the father of the Spring Drive, Yoshikazu Akahane, did not live to see his movement in a watch, it was his persistence and ingenuity that led to one of the most unique watches in the world. The Seiko Spring Drive: • Blends classical mechanical modern technology



Provides the best of both worlds—the accuracy of quartz with the heritage of mechanical watchmaking

Boasts a 70-hour power reserve with the mechatronic movement and an accuracy of ±15 seconds each month—at a price range as low as $5,000

These features give the Spring Drive a unique space in the mechanical watch market. From its humble beginnings as a watch store on the Ginza in 1881, Seiko has been a major driving force in the quest for the perfect timekeeping device. Through innovation and persistence, the company led the industry through tough times, and came out on the other side as a major player in the high-end mechanical watch market. Seiko’s Spring Drive technology perfectly embodies the company’s founding principles of innovation and refinement. No watch movement depicts more accurately the path of time: smooth, silent, continuous.




INNOVATION OUTSTANDING TEAMWORK CULMINATING IN TWO LETTERS: GT. WHAT IS POSSIBLE WHEN “SHOW ‘EM WHAT WE CAN DO” IS THE GUIDING GOAL. With the new Mercedes-AMG GT, AMG is setting foot into a new era. The technological substance of the MercedesAMG GT underscores high aspirations with regard to driving dynamics, agility and sportiness. The new Mercedes-AMG GT is the second vehicle developed fully independently by Mercedes-AMG. It is the embodiment of AMG’s philosophy, know-how, and dedication to creating vehicles that beg to be driven.

DYNAMICS THE RACE – AND THE THRILL – IS EARNED IN THE CURVES. WHAT IS POSSIBLE WHEN “SHOW ‘EM WHAT WE CAN DO” IS THE GUIDING GOAL. The new Mercedes-AMG GT – every aspect of it – was created with one single focus: create a DRIVER’S vehicle. This is a vehicle that – from the very first thought of its creation – was born to be exactly what it is. Every time the driver is in the vehicle – EVERY. SINGLE. MOMENT – we want the Mercedes-AMG GT to practically beg the driver to prompt it to perform.







How do we create the world’s next generation Sports car? When talking about “Driving Performance” there are several unique characteristics. The combination of the indelible power of the engine, combined with the perfect balance and suspension that pairs the vehicle seamlessly with the road, and a steering input that makes you part of the vehicle – it is a true achievement. Delivering a result that is remarkably representative of the core competence of AMG.

The well-crafted profile. The wider wheel arches. The road-hugging lower bodywork. With a commitment to design excellence, the aggressive character of MercedesAMG GT takes shape to complement the advanced, highperformance technology beneath its skin. To our designers, it’s about determining a shape that will immediately be recognized as innovative and a classic at the same time; one that is simply without equal.


The Greatest Gift How Derek DeBoer Realized his Lifelong Dream By Måire O’Callaghan What is the greatest gift one person can give to another? And how did this gift lead Derek DeBoer to realize his lifelong dream of becoming a professional race car driver?


Facing the barriers

Derek faced many barriers. In the past, if an individual wanted to become a professional race car driver, there were fewer barriers facing a person who wanted to compete at the top level of motorsports. If you were good and you were fast, you could find your way into a car, no matter who you were. Today, you need a really strong, existing relationship with someone or a team, or you need to have a checkbook sizable enough to pay your way in—it can cost tens of thousands to start out. In addition, it takes hundreds of hours, years of practice, hard work, commitment, and a quite a bit of luck to become a professional race car driver. Derek is a devoted family man. His wife Brooke is an artist who develops documentary films and, like many families today, they share the raising of their three daughters. Derek’s family owns an auto group in Southern Oregon where he plays an integral role in running the business.

Racing in the blood

Derek’s exposure to the world of motorsports came early in his life. He grew up in a family where racing and the love of cars was very much at the forefront of everyday life. His grandfather, Walt, raced in the local dirt car circuit, as well as his father Alan and his Uncle Bob, but in Top Alcohol dragster racing—this was in the day and age of drag racing. Derek got to be part of this world as he was his Dad’s official car waxer. He was around 6 years old when he took on the job and he not only kept his Dad’s car looking great but, as he says, if he was really lucky, he would get a chance to take a seat in the cockpit and pilot the car back to the pits under tow after its sixsecond run to 225mph and back to zero. During those years he watched Indy racing instead of baseball, football or basketball—he knew then that was where he belonged. His heroes were race car drivers Mario Andretti, who is considered by many to be the greatest race car driver in the history of the sport, and Danny Sullivan, who was inducted into the Motorsports Walk of Fame in 2011. Along with his passion for car racing, was a passion for water sports. He spent most of his early years on the water at Lake Shasta in Northern California. It was a big part of his life growing up and he immersed himself in water sports from water skiing to wakeboarding—the latest craze on the water at that time.

Racing not forgotten

He was just 17 years old and at the tail end of high school when he became a professional wakeboarder, riding for the Liquid Force team. This was in the early years when wakeboarding was in its infancy, so they had to design the sport as they went along. He travelled and competed, taking part in the Trip Across America tour, which covered more than 40,000 miles, and visited dealers and lakes around the U.S. and Canada. He spent 12 years competing with Liquid Force, little knowing that he would be able to transfer the knowledge and experience he gained as a professional wakeboarder to his life as a professional race car driver. When he became a professional race car driver, Derek could look back on a life of achievement: “Childhood, school, sports, graduation, a 12-year spell as a professional wakeboarder, college, another graduation, an amazing woman, marriage, children, a career forming in the family business—this all happened before I even knew it. Racing hadn’t happened yet, but it was still in the cards and not forgotten.”

Receiving the greatest gift

It was at this point in Derek’s life that his wife Brooke gave him the “greatest gift.” As Derek explains, “As much as racing is a common thread through my life, it wasn’t until I got married and started talking about my dreams and aspirations with Brooke that racing became more than a dream.” Brooke’s immediate and loving response to Derek was, “If racing is your dream, then you should chase it.” It was in 2002 when his wife Brooke sent him on the path of open wheel racing. She gave him the key to opening the door to his dream: Lessons at the Formula Dodge School. Derek had the talent to realize his dream as it was nearly instant that he was running at the front of his class and posting times that were competitive in the 2003 Formula Dodge racing series. He was in his mid to late 20s at the time, and he entered the series on his own dime. As Derek said, “You have to start somewhere.” He finished 5th in his first race—on the legendary track, Laguna Seca. In 2004, Derek talked his way into the Formula Renault test for a new pro series that was coming to North America. This was where he met racing car driver Pierre Phillips, who developed young drivers and who has since become a close friend and mentor. Derek continued to pay for his race weekends when he could afford it, and he managed to amass a few pole positions and podium finishes in, as he says, a very irregular and underfunded effort. He raced on and off with Pierre until the end of 2006, and then he made the shift to sports car racing. He felt there wasn’t as much opportunity for him in the open wheel, single seaters.


Building a car and a team

It was then that he partnered with Tom Smurzynski, a local man, to build a car and to put together a team. In 2007, the endurance sports car racing scene came knocking at their door. “This was amazing! I wasn’t excited at first, but after building our own team and car we entered our first Pro Race with the Grand Am Series in the Koni Challenge at Laguna Seca,” Derek said. “Being 3 wide on the run out of turn, 6 on our way up to the corkscrew with guys I grew up watching on TV—I was in!” He discovered that he didn’t enjoying running a team. He wanted to devote his time and energy on becoming a professional race car driver, on being the best at any given moment in his field, and on becoming a desired commodity driving other people’s racing machines. That insight led to his selling his interest to Tom, and moving in 2008 to on and off programs with a BMW team from Seattle and a Porsche team from British Columbia. Derek was completely engaged and had absolute certainty that this was the type of racing that would define his future racing career. More success came in what was once again, as he said, a poorly funded and sporadic effort. But he loved every moment. Since then, Derek has used whatever personal funds he could find and with those funds, combined with the generosity of small town sponsors and supporters, he was able to drive whatever he could get his hands on: Chevrolets, BMWs, Porsches, and in a variety of race formats from 25-hour enduro races to 1.5 hour sprints. What was nerve wracking for Derek was trying to determine if he was doing the right thing: chasing what he should be chasing, and asking himself if he was truly in the right place. He said the highs were so high and the lows were so low, he wondered at times why he put himself through the ongoing struggle of balancing family, work and the life of a race car driver. He said, “I realized though that whether I’m top of the podium, or otherwise, race car driving is such a high that it makes the struggle absolutely worth it.”


Reaching a critical point

Twelve years later, Derek had reached a critical point in his racing career. “I wasn’t doing a whole lot because I was at a level when it was beyond a hobby.” For that reason, when he was at the American LeMans series as a spectator he took a walk around the paddock searching for opportunities. “I walked into The Racer’s Group area and was told there were opportunities coming up in 2014. That was the beginning. I tested with the team at their home track at Sonoma, and then met Kevin Buckler, The Racer’s Group (TRG) CEO.” Derek felt after observing the TRG-Aston Martin Racing (AMR) team and meeting with Kevin that this was the perfect next step in his racing career. He tested in the Aston Martin V8 Vantage GT4 multiple times and raced at a regional Sebring event in November 2014 finishing second, demonstrating his value as part of the TRG-AMR team. “I spent my life working toward that moment. Everything my family and I had strived for started falling into place. I had a successful test, the Aston Martins are incredible cars. The first time in the Aston Martin felt really comfortable. At Sonoma, the speed was as fast as the top three cars had achieved the year before.” Kevin and Derek meshed well as a team, and Kevin kept Derek in front of many opportunities with the team. This helped to move Derek to the moment he and his family had strived for—the life of a professional race car driver.

Entering the homestretch

Meeting Kevin was a huge turning point for Derek. However, meeting Shane Sterling, a longtime fan of motorsports and the CEO of Black Rider Racing Group, helped propel Derek to the next level. Shane is focused on creating and sustaining a motorsports-oriented business model within Black Rider Holdings, something that Derek could appreciate. The introduction to Shane triggered the partnership between Derek and the Black Rider Racing Group. It was the tipping point that moved the 2014 season, with its many gaps, to a full season effort in 2015. “Shane’s belief in me as a driver and the symmetry that we have operating underneath the TRG-AMR umbrella, has created a situation beyond my wildest dreams,” said Derek. “Shane’s business sense and desire to apply it to the world of racing is what has moved us to this professional level in 2014 and the future. We are all excited about the opportunities, the partnerships and the people who are part of all this—2015 is going to be an absolutely awesome year.”

In November 2014, TRG-AMR North America announced the addition of Derek and the Black Rider Group as part of a season-long Pirelli World Challenge championship effort for 2015 and beyond. “I couldn’t be more excited about this opportunity to be joining the best team and the best race series for a full campaign in 2015. Thanks to Black Rider Racing Group and TRG-AMR along with, B.R.M. Chronographes, Petrol Lounge, Affinity Homes, and Pirata della Strada,” said Derek. “I get to look forward to a full season in the amazing #09 Aston Martin with nothing to distract me, laser-focused on bringing home great results for the team and our partners. Looking forward to great things!” B.R.M. was also a relationship that came about in 2014. Derek’s friend Matt Tarleton, President of Signature MSAP, made the B.R.M. introduction. “This was possible because of my affiliation as an Aston Martin driver and the partnership with the Black Rider Group, allowing me to be a part of critical events,” explained Derek. Derek was asked to be an official B.R.M. Chronographes Brand Ambassador. He is among great company with Indy car drivers Marco Andretti and Simon Pagenaud being the other two B.R.M. Ambassadors. Derek’s and Shane’s lives are parallel in many ways: They both have three children, enjoy being dads and loving husbands. They also enjoy motorsports, business and appreciate innovation in a chosen field. Both are dreamers and push the boundaries. Their willingness for innovation has solidified their partnership. “Shane and I started connecting on many different levels. It was a really good and natural fit when we got together,” said Derek. “The way Shane operates the Black Rider team and partnerships, it’s amazing. And it’s truly rewarding to be part of the Black Rider team. He encourages me to use what I learned from my sporting years and how to be my best in the competitive world. It’s tough sometimes managing the relationships, the supporters and fans. Navigating that world could be overwhelming and hard to manage if you didn’t have any previous experience.” “This year, I’ve felt that I’m in the right place. That has come from seeing the program and partnerships coming together. I’ve received so much support from my wife and family, support from Shane and Black Rider Holdings. And then there’s the support I have from Kevin and the TRG-AMR team,” said Derek. “The support and belief I’ve got from everyone has been so encouraging. Without all those partnerships and the right chemistry, none of my professional racing life would be happening.”


Thriving on each other’s success

In 2002, Brooke gave Derek a gift of lessons at the Formula Dodge School. Today in 2014, Derek is part of the prestigious Aston Martin Race team and the Black Rider Racing Group—he is a professional race car driver. His wife and daughters love going to racing events. His wife Brooke enjoys the traveling and meeting people. As Derek explained, “The cool part is that we all thrive on each other’s success and passions. They all want to see me at the top of racing and I too want to see them at the top of their game— whatever it is.” “I am a family man and while I have a giant focus and priority there, my heart and soul are constantly tugged by my desire to succeed at the highest level in the seat of a race car. I am a dreamer and I bring my passion to the forefront of sports car racing and to my everyday life.”

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Poolside refreshments and a beautiful smile to go with the Bell & Ross 03-90 watch

Poolside refreshments and a beautiful smile to go with the Bell & Ross 03-90 watch

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Timepiece Magazine Issue 3  
Timepiece Magazine Issue 3