Tuesday

De Grisogono dG Meccanico Photos from Basel

Some real world pics I shot at Baselworld of the de Grisogono dG Meccanico with roller mechanical digital display. Read my original posting here-->Link




Giant pustule crowns

Original Meccanico dG rendering

Note how they covered up the tubes in the finished watch. Likely due to lack of readability from angled viewing. The open rolling display is what made this watch interesting to me...

See Also;
All New 2008 Watch Posts-->Link



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Phinally! Photographs (and Video) of the HD3 Complication Bi-Axial Tourbillon "Vulcania"

I wish watch brands would release real photos along with their Computer renderings. Though it is likely the real watch isn't even completed when you first see them as CAD (above).

Until then, I gotta rely on fellow bloggers like these from ProfessionalWatches who shared this video and shots of the one of eleven HD3 Bi-Axial Tourbillons ($400,000) from the SIHH show in Geneva earlier this month.


Video->Link


For more about this Steampunk masterpiece, read my first feature of the HD3 Complication Vulcania designed by Fabrice Gonet here-->LINK





See Also;
All Tourbillon Posts-->Link
All New 2008 Watch Posts-->Link
All Steampunk Posts-->Link



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Sunday

Look at Legendary LEDs of Lloyd's Large Collection


Video-->Link

With the recent release of the $350,000 Opus 8 ->(link) and the de Grisogono Meccanico dG ->(link) with their mechanically mimicked LED digits, I wanted to also share this video and photos from the collection of UK LED collector, Lloyd "Theledwatch". He was recently featured on Antiques Roadshow (see video above) where he shared some of the best examples of early 1970s digital light emitting diode watches like the Pulsar Hamilton P1, Girard Perregaux Casquette, Omega Time Computer and my one-of-a-kind favorites by the Royal designer Andrew Grima.

Some highlights of Lloyd's collection including the rarest and most valuable vintage digital LED watches of the seventies; (text also from theledwatch.com)

The Hewlett Packard HP-01 LED Watch calculator was a marvel of miniaturization and intelligent design. It was HP's first watch and their first small algebraic calculator but it was more than just a wristwatch and a calculator in the same package.

It combined them to do things that neither could do alone. Its user interface combined the best of both worlds. For example, to change time zones, the user displayed the time, added or subtracted the appropriate amount and stored the result.

Three styles of the Hewlett Packard HP-01 Calculator Watches

In the late 1960's and throughout the 1970's, Andrew Grima was commissioned by various members of the British and Scandinavian Royal family including Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II and Princess Margaret, to make various items of jewelry.

Mr. Grima's work is very highly sought after and collectors pay many thousands of pounds for his rare and beautiful pieces.. During the 70's his work was sold in an exclusive gallery in Knightsbridge (LONDON) and would range form many thousands to a million pounds plus.

Another one-of-a-kind Grima LED!

The rarest calculator watch by Uranus


Girard Perregaux's perfectly designed sideview "Casquette"

GP Casquette in Macrolon (also avail in gold)

The first solar powered watch by Synchronar
Invented by Roger Riehl in the late sixties
(Read previous post about history of Solar watches-->Link)
Rare Synchronar Ad for Women

Roger Tallon's original 1975 asymmetric LIP Mach 2000 models
(above and below)


The first electronic digital watches on the market by Hamilton-Pulsar

1973 Pulsar P2 for Tiffany & Co.

The ultra-rare Pulsar P1 in solid 18k
Only a few dozen in circulation valued at around $20k

Pulsar Calculator watches in steel and solid gold
The original 18k models sold for $3950.00 in 1975

Original Pulsar Advertising

Before going under in 1978, Pulsar introduced their very rare "Greenie"

1973 Omega TC-1 in solid 18k gold


1975 Longines LED

1976 Breitling Navitimer
(only produced one year before the LCD version)

Very rare Benrus "Pop-Up" LED Sideview
(case physically pops up when button is pressed and time is displayed)



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Tuesday

Raising The Bars - OPUS 8 Mechanical Digital by Harry Winston Rare Timepieces & Frédéric Garinaud

In this world of mechanical pissing contests, the Opus 8 from Harry Winston Rare Timepieces streamed out very far at Baselworld.

Inspired by early electronic LED watches of the 1970s (like the first Hamilton Pulsar), creator Frédéric Garinaud (of Renaud & Papi) & CSH developed the Opus 8 with a new twist on mechanical-digital watches. Time is shown by pulling the side-lever down which in turn activates mechanical pixels to rise up from the digitally segmented dial displaying the hour of the day, am/pm, and indication of minutes by rising five minute markers located in a vertical scale next to the primary display.

My attempts to describe this to you might be complicating matters from what might be best explained with images. I should also compare the functions to the contouring rods of the Pinpression toy (shown below) but instead of pressing the pins against your hand or face, the time is reflected by the precisely placed pegs of a music box-style mechanism.

Rumor has it that these were sold out before they being presented (from an edition of 50). Max Büsser's original vision (Opus 1-5) continues to have a lasting impression with this innovative series.


The minute scale and time-display lever (and logo)

What impresses me most of all has nothing to do with the watch itself but the story of how the Opus 8 was created by neither a watchmaker or a designer but instead a visionary with an absurd and genius idea...

Biography of Frédéric Garinaud;

Born in southwest France in 1971, for Frédéric Garinaud the road to watchmaking and Opus 8 had an interesting and unlikely origin. Neither watchmaker nor designer by trade, Garinaud got his start in the French naval academy where he specialized as an on-board mechanic. In 1999, Garinaud attended the Conservatoire des Arts et Métiers in Lyon to formalize his graduate studies and began working as a development manager for special machinery in a galvanoplasty laboratory. In 2001, he joined Audemars Piguet (Renaud & Papi) as a technical office manager. In 2005, paving the way for his current role, Garinaud founded the watchmaking specialties unit - la Cellule des Spécialités Horlogères (CSH). Aiming to bridge ultramodern training with watchmaking tradition, the unit combines all of the trades involved in watchmaking -- from drawings to timing, to development and construction, and even micro-mechanical manufacture, decoration and product assembly. Garinaud wanted to bring to high-quality watchmaking some of the product developments that have enriched and advanced our consumer world, including: microelectronics, clothing design, ecology and innovative materials.

Five years ago, Frédéric Garinaud came up with an idea: To invent a hybrid timepiece that would bring together complicated mechanics and digital electronics. Around the same time, Garinaud first learned of the Opus concept developed by Harry Winston and began dreaming of an innovative piece to bring to the brand, which would come to be known as Opus 8.

Interested in developing his hybrid idea, Harry Winston met with Garinaud in early 2007 and presented him with a new challenge: Why not transform the hybrid display into a digital display? Garinaud immediately returned to his design table to create a prototype design.

Arriving at Basel 2007, armed with rolls of design drawings and his team from the Cellule des Spécialités Horlogères, the “Magician” revealed his latest tricks, presenting his preliminary plan for Opus 8. Though the brand was initially unconvinced, Garinaud continued to work his innovative magic 10 days later, he would receive an important and enthusiastic call. Harry Winston had accepted the plans. The Opus adventure had begun.

via Worldtempus

Large scale model of the inner mechanism function

Sideview of raised digit segments

Pegged disc beneath segmented dial

Close-up of disc

Thanks to Leo at Horomundi for the candids at HW

The circuit board style caseback

The Man behind the Opus 8, Frédéric Garinaud

The Pinpression

Not sure if Mr. Garinaud ever saw the Pinclock, but for about $100, you can have a similar pin-raising technology in a desk clock (above).


Pinclock-->Video

This Opus 8 project also reminds me of the remarkable mechanical mirrors of artist Daniel Rozin. The mirrors reflect the viewer with a wide array of wooden rods, tiles, metal balls and many other materials. See his amazing work in the videos below;


Rozin Peg Mirror Video->Link


Wooden Mechanical Mirror Video->Link

Weave Mirror Video->Link


Opus 8 Press Release;

OPUS 8: THE ART OF DIGITAL EMOTION
REINTERPRETATION OF A (R)EVOLUTION
Rooted in the Pop Art moment of the 1970s, Digital Art and Technology have revolutionized our way of life and continue to influence contemporary art and culture. Allowing artists to create works of extreme complexity, these same advances in digital technology have also transformed the art of modern watchmaking. Armed with the avant-garde and innovative spirit that defined this decade, Opus 8 represents a continuation of this technological and artistic (r)evolution...

A MECHANISM INSPIRED BY A GAME
An exceptional and advanced timepiece, Opus 8 utilizes hand-wound mechanical movements to create a modern, digital time display. Inspired by pin art games, which create 3D impressions of objects pressed against them, the numbers in the display will only appear “upon request,” activated by a bolt on the right hand side of the case. Nothing appears until the mechanism is wound.

A plate joins together small segments, both mobile and fixed. Just underneath is a disc driven by the movement, which turns independently in real time. When the mechanism is wound, the pieces adjust to display the time. As the plate descends, the small segments remain visible, “blocked” by the crystal, allowing the hour to be read for 5 seconds. Technically, all functions are related, enabling everything to be displayed on demand – the minute hand turns the hour that then turns the AM/PM function.

The dial’s microbead blasted coating is similar to that of a calculator, while the segments are made of black anthracite with polished sides. As innovative in materials, as in mechanics, the sides of the segments are crafted of amorphous carbon. A material more commonly known in Formula 1 racing, Garinaud’s team successfully adapted it to use for watch microparts. The specialized material has an extremely low friction coefficient and highly resistant coating. Wear, blockages and material discharge become almost non-existent.

THE INNOVATION’S MAGIC
In addition to a modern, sophisticated technique, Opus 8 features a strikingly original dial display. On the left is a four-digit hour display – two for the hour and two for the time of day (AM/PM). When it is 20h00, the watch will display 08PM. On the right is an innovative minute counter, with a layout and display from bottom to top. Set in 5 minute segments (precision being secondary), the 5 minute indicator is an arrow-shaped ring. The hour and minute numbers recalls the symmetrical hexagonal typography found in liquid crystal mechanics.

A VERY “SEVENTIES CASE”
With its imposing rectangular dimensions – 43mm wide, 41mm long, 13 thick – Opus 8’s bold, graphic shape resembles a retro-style television set. The case front has a resolutely digital display with its 4mm-thick domed crystal blocking the segments . With the display winding bolt located on the right and the winding crown on left, the mechanism has a movement rotation of 180 °. The display of the hour is not possible during winding. In the middle, an opening allows us to admire the heart – the balance. The movement’s back is decorated like a printed circuit, with lines leading to the various time elements. At the top, the hours (H) and the minutes (M). On the left, the periods of the day (AM/PM), and on the right, the 48-hour power reserve indicator (PRI). At the bottom, two lines indicate the co-designers of the watch, Garinaud & CSH (Cellule de Spécialités Horlogères), and the serial number.

OPUS 8 TECHNICAL DESCRIPTION

MOVEMENT: TYPE: Mechanical, elliptical, with mechanical digital display module, Manual winding
DISPLAY: Hours, minutes (every 5 minutes), AM/PM.
FREQUENCY: 3 Hz
MAIN DIAMETER: 35 mm
DISPLAY MODULE: 35.5 mm by 22.5 mm
JEWELS: 44
COMPONENTS: 437
SEGMENTS: 138
POWER RESERVE: 48 hours
FUNCTIONS: On the face: Digital display indicated by segments: Hour (AM/PM) and
minutes (every 5)
On the back: Digital display indicated by discs: Hour (AM/PM) and
minutes (every 5)
Power reserve also indicated on the back of the watch
CASE: MATERIAL: White gold
DIMENSIONS: WIDTH: 45.8 mm
LENGTH: 33.5 mm
LEFT: Crown for setting the time and winding
RIGHT: Winding bolt for digital displays
DIAL: Display module: black anthracite segments with polished sides
Side of segments crafted from amorphous carbon
Hours, minutes and letters in digital form
CRYSTAL: Anti- reflective Sapphire, 4 mm
WATCHSTRAP: Leather
WATER RESISTANCE: 30 meters
LIMITED EDITION: 50 pieces

The Opus program was launched by Maximilian Büsser & Harry Winston in 2001, to encourage a new interest for unlimited freedom and innovation in technical watchmaking. Partnering with independent watchmakers, each year the Opus program develops rare timepieces never before seen or imagined within the industry.


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Monday

Concord C1 Tourbillon Gravity - Falling Closer Into View

Thanks to Jack Forster of Horomundi for showing some of the very first thorough full-view shots of the C1 Tourbillon Gravity by Concord.

Via Horomundi



Read more about the production at the Concord micro-site featuring a blog about its production-->Link


Related Posts;
All Tourbillon Stories

Vertical Tourbillon Cabestan
All New 2008 Watch Posts-->Link


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DeWhat? DeWitt Incognito Steampunk Concept No.1

Selling for 400,000 Euros at the OnlyWatch auction before it had been shown to anyone, the DeWitt Concept No.1 was a beast to behold last week at Baselworld. Devoloped with French architect Jean-Michel Wilmotte, this gothic pirate spaceship of a watch is taking the steampunk oeuvre to new heights with its expanding riveted case, flying tourbillon, five barrels and a 21 day power reserve.

I had a private viewing of the watch and took these shots...






Some perspective on the size from the DeWitt watchmaker

The entire time I wondered why this watch looked familiar
...then I figured it out!

Related Posts;
All New 2008 Watch Posts-->Link
All Steampunk Posts-->Link

See Also;
DeWitt website-->Link


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