Saturday, March 29, 2008

Papillon by Andreas Strehler

Watchmaker Andreas Strehler is introducing the Papillon, his independent follow-up to last years Opus 7 for Harry Winston.

Strehler's representative Curtis Thomson of Tempered Online described it for me;

"The Papillon functions differently than the Opus 7. The 7’s time was actuated via a button in the crow, with hours and minutes indicated on one disc – an ingenious system. The Papillon has two separate discs (an hours disc and a minutes disc), with each of the two mainspring barrels receiving a time disc. Normally this wouldn’t be possible, as the barrel turns too fast to indicate the hours and turns too slowly to indicate the minutes… normally. Andreas has developed a system to allow this to happen, with winding and time setting done with the crown. How? Some crazy ass gearing – that’s how ;-). The Papillon is artistic and technical – a super watch." The price is 140,000 CHF

“How to tell the time?” The “butterfly” bridge has two points – one towards the top and the second towards the bottom – which indicate the time (hours on top, minutes on bottom) as the respective discs travel past."

Watching The Passage of Time

At this year's Basel World, Swiss watchmaker Andreas Strehler will be presenting his latest masterpiece, the Papillon, for the first time. This watch, with its unusual time display, is fascinating at first sight and it inspires not only timepiece connoisseurs.

The Creation

The unusual movement design was first employed in 2007. That was when renowned watch manufacturer, Harry Winston, asked Andreas Strehler if he would like to develop the legendary OPUS 7. Andreas Strehler, who had previously already collaborated with Chronoswiss, H.Moser&Cie and Maurice Lacroix, took up the challenge. He set himself the aim of designing a watch movement that would be captivating in its technical brilliance. But it still had to be easy to tell the time with it. At this stage he probably did not suppose that telling the time was actually to become a particular pleasure.

This concept is repeated in his latest work, the Papillon, but with Andreas Strehler's unmistakable signature and new technical refinements. The design and virtuoso technical sophistication of the watch movement puts everything that came before it into the shade, turning the watch into a coveted collector's item.

Mysterious Time Display

Spring barrels normally turn too slowly for the display of minutes and too fast for the hours. But in the Papillon the timing works differently. Its spring barrels are not firmly tied into the sequence of the movement. As a result the time display can be adjusted by means of the hand setting. In addition, two giant gear wheels with 192 and 175 teeth remove the need for a third wheel. This reduction in the number of wheels and the double spring barrel arrangement result in energy savings which extend the life of the watch enormously.

Fascinating Design

Along with the technical advantages, the unusual design is also astounding. The first thing you notice when looking at the movement is the shape of a butterfly, which seems to arise naturally from the arrangement of the bridges, hence too the watch’s name, Papillon.
Thanks to the special arrangement of the gear wheels, it has been possible to design the watch in an open way, offering the user the special experience of being able to watch the passage of time. The movement assumes the function of design. The consistently applied flowing forms endow the watch with elegance, and are reminiscent of the famous technical masterpieces of the Art Nouveau era.

Expressive Yet Quiet

Constructing a beautiful watch takes time. And it takes patience and endurance to achieve the longed-for perfection. Andreas Strehler combines these virtues most impressively. Anyone who can call a watch by Andreas Strehler his own also possesses the certainty of having discovered something special and unique. The exclusivity, the outstanding engineering and the deliberate understatement of the Papillon do not need to be shouted from the rooftops. The watch speaks for itself, emphasising the unconventional character of the wearer.

Made in Switzerland

Andreas Strehler is the owner of Uhrteil AG in Sirnach, where with a team of twelve experts, watchmakers, technicians and precision mechanics, he pursues his passion. The team not only develops and produces all the movements for the innovative mechanisms itself, but also the machines and computer software needed to make them. Andreas Strehler is convinced that opportunities in the field of "haute horlogerie" are still far from being exhausted. We will just have to wait and see what the visionary comes up with next.

Strehler Opus 7 Video-->Link

Andreas Strehler's Tempered page-->Link

All New 2008 Watch Posts-->Link

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Phenomenal Photos of the Jaeger LeCoultre Reverso Tourbillon

The Purists have posted some pretty amazing shots of the Jaeger LeCoultre Reverso Gyrotourbillon 2 as well as some brain busting technical information.


See Also;
All Jaeger LeCoultre Posts
All Tourbillon Posts

All New 2008 Watch Posts-->Link

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New Clock & Gauge Robots from Bennett Robot Works

A fantastic new collection of robot sculptures from Bennett Robot Works of Bridgehampton NY. Handbuilt by Gordon Bennett from a mixture of found objects both old and new. The parts are found in varous places including garbage dumps, basements, construction sites and garage sales.

They are inspired Norman Bel Geddes and Raymond Loewy whose visions of the "Modern Age" helped shape industrial design of the 40's and 50's. Each robot takes about a month to build, range in height from 14" to 36" (inches) and priced between $750 and $6000. Each is a unique one-of-a-kind sculpture and receives its own numbered metal tag.


Columbia 2




Telechron 2


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Friday, March 28, 2008

Domo arigato, Mr. Roboto - The Vintage Tin Robot Inspired "Mr. Roboto" Prototype from Azimuth

I doubt Styx will be performing their nightmarishly bad 80s classic "Mr. Roboto" in Basel for the unveiling of the Azimuth's new timepiece but I'm sure they could use a gig...

Mr Roboto - Azimuth’s Hallmark Creation from the Mecha–1 BMF Collection

The Revival of the Tin Robot Generation

Fans of the vintage tin robot era can now embrace their fantasy of robotic warrior literally and get their first chance to see Azimuth’s Mr Roboto, prototype watch of the World’s First tin robot concept of the 1950s.

Vintage 50s Lantern Tin Robots

Decades after World War II saw a proliferation of battery-operated tin robots. Originated from Japan, these whimsical creations demonstrate notions of human behavior. Their flying sparks and mechanical gestures captured the imagination of not just children but adults around the globe. Almost half a century later, original and replica tin robot toys have become a collector’s item.

The design of Mr Roboto was inspired by the Lantern Robot of the 1950s. Azimuth’s designers show that a timepiece’s practical functionality does not have to take a back seat to aesthetic visual designs. Witness the perfect marriage of ingenious design and user-friendly functions, this good-looker is set to be a head-turner at this year’s Basel show. A unique timepiece that transcends time, Mr Roboto aims to revive the passion of the tin robot generation of enthusiasts and enduring science fiction lovers.

Mr Roboto’s visual appeal embodies the full-flavor revival of vintage tin robotic spaceman. The placements lend for easy reading and a radical tin robot visual appearance. The left ‘eye’ is the hour register, right ‘eye’ comes with GMT indication, the nose region joint with the mouth region are the seconds and retrograde minutes placements respectively. Mr Roboto is powered by a modified ETA 2836-2 movement. The robust case is forged out of hardy steel blocks with a warm touch of bevelled edges at the sides of the tonneau shaped timepiece.

True to the name Azimuth, which means route taken by a traveller, Mr Roboto adds to the Azimuth’s Mecha-1 BMF collection of watches which is a synergy of avant-garde design and industrial machismo.

Listed international retail price for the iconic Mr Roboto watch is approximately 4,800.00 Swiss Francs ($4,800). Mr Roboto is available from September 2008.

Movement: ETA 2836-2 Modified Automatic Winding; 25 Jewels
Functions: GMT function; Hours register, Retrograde Minutes, Seconds

Case: 316L stainless steel with Torx drive cheese head tamper resistant screws, Bevelled edges at the sides of the tonneau shaped watch. Magnified hours and GMT functions in the form of convex ‘eyes’,

Dimension 43mm x 50mm with 24mm lugs. Water resistant to 50 meters.

via Timezone

Mr. Roboto CAD renderings

Azimuth watches of previous years (below)

2007 Azimuth Chrono Gauge Mecha-1 BMF

2006 Azimuth Gauge Mecha

20007 Azimuth Round 1 Bi-Retrograde

2007 Azimuth SP-1 Mechanique concept watch.

Related posts;
Telechron Robot Clock
Azimuth Chrono Gauge Mecha-1 BMF
Azimuth Gauge Mecha Concept
1980s Transformers Watch Commercials
Insect Lab Studio
Watch Part Motorcycles
All New 2008 Watch Posts-->Link

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CAD SCHMAD - Finally, A Real Photo of the Concord C1 Vertical Tourbillon Gravity

Sometimes these CAD renderings start all looking the same to me. Concord thankfully has provided The Watchismo Times with the first real world photos of their anticipated C1 Tourbillon Gravity. The Tourbillon is placed vertically and viewable from the side of the watch. More next week from Basel...

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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Thursday, March 27, 2008

First Look! Bell & Ross BR Instrument Grand Minuteur & Minuteur Tourbillon

The Watchismo Times is proud to introduce the first look of two new watches from Bell & Ross. The Limited Edition BR Instrument Minuteur Tourbillon and Grand Minuteur.

Using aeronautical instrumentation, the highest standard for readability, reliability and performance, Bell & Ross designers have sought to reproduce as faithfully as possible a cockpit timepiece that fits on the wrist.

In 2005 Bell & Ross launched the INSTRUMENT line, which upended traditional watch making with its innovative concept and design. It has since established itself as an icon watch.

In 2007 Bell & Ross made a noted entry into fine watchmaking with the BR01 INSTRUMENT TOURBILLON fitted with an outstanding grande complication movement.

In its constant quest for innovation, this year Bell & Ross is introducing a Grande Complication with functions never before seen in watchmaking: the GRAND MINUTEUR.

High-quality Watchmaking (the movement) + High-Technology (the case) + High Readability (the dial)

Armed with its experience in the field of aeronautical instrumentation and fine watchmaking,
Bell & Ross is presenting two new exclusive and complementary grande complications:

A tourbillon, a large timer, a power reserve indicator and a small second hand: four complications and two exclusive movements fitted to two outstanding watches designed for two worlds.

The BR GRAND MINUTEUR is a time measuring tool with specific, exclusive functions. The hour counter is connected to a large counter, the timer, that measures short times. An additional Flyback function launches a new measurement almost immediately.

High-quality Watchmaking:
The large, double scale timer (sixty and ten divisions) is an additional timepiece that measures a duration of time in hours and minutes from a chosen moment. This large stand-alone timer is fi tted with a Flyback, a system for resetting to zero and quickly relaunching the measurement. The Flyback optimizes the precision and rapidity in measuring several successive time intervals. The hour and minute display is supplemented by a small, stand-alone counter for seconds and a 10-day power reserve indicator.

The ultra-light titanium case, the carbon fi bre dial and the aluminium movement bridges all contribute to making the watch lightweight and high performing. Its angle rib structure and DLC fi nish coat (Diamond Like Carbon, friction resistant to more than 4000 Vickers) reinforces the solidity of the case.

High Visibility:
The dial design optimizes readability by disassociating the time indications and putting them in order of priority: four stand-alone counters indicate in order (based on their diameter) the timer function, hours and minutes, power reserve and seconds. Giving precedence to the Timer function answers a functional requirement and turns the BR GRAND MINUTEUR into the ultimate professional measuring tool.

Research of Grand Minuteur case and dial designs

Resarch of dial designs

Resarch of dials

Research of power reserve indicators

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

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All Mechanical Digital - The MECCANICO dG by de GRISOGONO

De GRISOGONO is about to launch the worlds most complicated Mechanical Digital/Analog watch at Basel 2008. The MECCANICO dG has two time-zones with a traditional analog display on top but one of the more amazing digital displays at the bottom. A pure mechanical digital display imitating LED segments but in fact are rolling tubes! Granted this is a CAD rendering but the real watch will be shown in a few days at Baselworld in Switzerland. I'll be in Basel so stay tuned to The Watchismo Times for the first photos...

The Meccanico Press Release;

The inventors and designers of Haute Horlogerie enjoy a rare privilege: the luxury of choice. Existing constructional principles and concepts can of course always be revisited and reinterpreted but a design team can also decide to strike out in an entirely new direction. Founder and president of de GRISOGONO, Fawaz Gruosi naturally favors the second approach. With the MECCANICO dG, the Geneva-based house's latest entry, de GRISOGONO is introducing a design that projects hallowed horological traditions far into the future. With its 651 components, the MECCANICO dG's mechanical movement is one of the most intricate made today. A Haute Horlogerie timepiece with two distinct timezones, it is the first to display both analogue and digital time by mechanical means. This world first - and de GRISOGONO patent! - features a highly complex time mechanism inside a particularly contemporary design.

For his company's fifteenth anniversary, Fawaz Gruosi, founder and president of de GRISOGONO, was determined to break new ground and explore an area no watch manufacturer had ever ventured into: a digital display driven by an exclusively mechanical system. Although it took considerable confidence and even a touch of rashness to involve himself with a project of this kind, Fawaz Gruosi never looked back, intent on leading the brand into uncharted and definitely challenging territory.

With its patented double time display, both analogue and digital, the MECCANICO dG design inaugurates a totally novel concept in mechanical Haute Horlogerie. A single mechanical movement, twin timezones, two types of display - the MECCANICO dG embodies a major innovation, combining for the first time in the history of horology a digital time display and a mechanical power supply.


The digital display is a child of the quartz era. At the time, electronics seemed to have won the day and mechanical timekeeping was under threat. Three decades later, magnificently intricate mechanical movements are more in demand than ever and Haute Horlogerie enjoying unprecedented success. The intervening years saw traditional watchmaking recover and reinvent itself. Generating invention after invention, creating ever more stunning, gloriously finished designs, traditional watchmaking has conferred objet d'art status on its most cunningly complex timepieces. Yet up to now, it had never revisited the digital time display. With the MECCANICO dG, this reluctance is now a thing of the past. The design propels horological history forward into a new dimension.

The MECCANICO dG can be described as a dense cluster of microsystems featuring extremely elaborate cam and gear assemblies. Its exclusive de GRISOGONO handwound mechanical movement comprises 651 components. It is composed of an analogue display of the hours and minutes on the upper dial and a digitally displayed second timezone on the lower dial. The mechanically operated digital display of the second timezone shows tens of hours, single hours, tens of minutes and single minutes, all displayed by mobile microsegments driven by an assemblage of 23 cams connected to a set of gears and a triggering and synchronization system.

The time information is displayed by an array of 23 horizontally and vertically positioned microsegments. Vertical segments are 9 mm high and weigh at most 25 milligrams while the horizontal segments measure 2.90 mm in length and weigh only 10 milligrams. The segments have four faces: two opposing visible faces fitted with colored strips and two opposing unmarked faces. Time changes are effected by 90° rotations of the required segment or segments. Involving one to twelve segments, time changes are lightning fast.


The MECCANICO dG's exclusive Haute Horlogerie technical design is matched by striking contemporary styling. Its intricate mechanical systems are visible through its transparent dial plate. Also featuring colored strips, the analogue time display's hour markers seem suspended in thin air so as to reveal the underlying mechanism. Like every de GRISOGONO movement, the MECCANICO dG's own caliber is meticulously finished and its components blackened. The words “de GRISOGONO” and “Swiss Made” are inscribed directly on the movement while the back of the watch features a nameplate bearing the name “MECCANICO dG”.

Despite the power needed to action the double analogue and digital display and the torque required to effect the instantaneous rotation of the digital display's microsegments, the MECCANICO's handwound mechanical movement, exclusive to de GRISOGONO, provides a power reserve of some 35 hours, visible through a cambered sapphire backplate on a 90° sectoral display on the movement's reverse side.

The MECCANICO dG case does justice to its exceptional movement. Notable for generous dimensions (56 x 48 mm) and camberedlines, water-resistant to 30 meters (~ 100 feet), this pioneering design is available in a choice of styles: titanium, titanium and red gold, titanium and rubber and titanium and platinum. In keeping with the design's futuristic allure, its correctors and the crown guard are fashioned from vulcanized rubber. Its analogue display is set by the crown opposite 3 o'clock while the second timezone is set by a pair of correctors - for hours at left, for minutes at right. Also crafted from vulcanized rubber, the strap is fitted with a deployment clasp buckle featuring the de GRISOGONO crest.

Launched to mark an exceptional horological year at de GRISOGONO, the MECCANICO dG is being produced in a limited edition of 177 watches in titanium and 177 in white gold.

  • Reference DG 042
  • Caliber Exclusive to de GRISOGONO
  • Movement thickness 11.45 mm
  • Movement dimensions rectangular: 38.10 x 34.70 mm
  • Number of components 651 for the movement, 70 for the case
  • Jeweling 77 (movement and display)
  • Frequency 28,800 v.p.h. (4 Hz)
  • Power reserve about 35 hours
  • Indications Hours, minutes and second timezone
  • Case titanium; 5N red gold; titanium and gold; titanium and platinum, titanium and rubber
  • Water resistance 30 meters (~ 100 feet) = 30 atm.
  • Hands “dauphine” style in 18K red gold
  • Strap black natural rubber
  • Clasp Double deployment construction in titanium and 5N red gold.

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

via Horomundi

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The Most Accurate Watch in the World

The Accurate, a watch that fosters humility in the wearer by featuring a mirrored dial to reflect the viewer together with a semi-subtle Memento Mori reminder of your inevitable mortal timeframe. The hour and minute discs spell out "Remember" and "You Will Die".

The dial and rim of the glass on the Accurate is mirrored, so that the wearer is reflected in the watch face (so that there is no ambiguity about who the message is aimed at). The Accurate is a link to the venerable tradition of the Memento Mori - an object designed to remind us that life is brief and that we should seize the moment while we are here.

A statement from artist/designer Crispin Jones about the design of "Mr. Jones Watches":

"Today everyone has a mobile phone to do the really functional timekeeping, this means that the wristwatch is free to do something a bit different. The watches I design reflect and comment on society, both on the role that time plays in all our lives and also on the social impact of technology. Of course because I would like people to wear these watches, I also work very hard to make them beautiful objects in their own right."

Now Available for $145 here-->Link

Also featuring the "Mantra" (below)

The Mantra alternates a very positive statement (e.g. "you are amazing") with a very negative one (e.g. "nobody likes you").Every hour the watch displays one positive message and one negative message (the wedge that you read the statement through is also the hour hand).

Over time The Mantra makes the arrogant person more humble and makes the humble more confident.

The Mantra is inspired by the psychological theories of Émile Coué who promoted the practice of conscious autosuggestion, that is the repeition of positive statements to heal the body or mind; most famously with the phrase "Every day, in every way, I'm getting better and better."

MJW Mantra $145 -->Link

And the MJW "Decider" (below)

The Decider is a watch that helps you make decisions: as the seconds tick round you see either the word "YES" or "NO" displayed on the watch face; when you need to make a decision you simply look at your watch for your answer.

If you are inclined to cheat then you can pull out the winding crown which stops the mechanism temporarily giving you an answer with no ambiguity.

The watch can also answer a more complex question - when you receive it tell the watch what you want to know, then wait until the battery runs out - whatever the watch stops on YES or NO is your final answer...

The Decider doesn't necessarily make the right decision every time, but as the American motivational speaker Brian Tracy puts it, "Decisiveness is a characteristic of high-performing men and women. Almost any decision is better than no decision at all."

or as another contemporary philosopher puts it: "A wrong decision is better than indecision." Anthony 'Tony' Soprano, in "The Sopranos"

Decider $145 -->Link
Animation of watch in motion->link

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Tuesday, March 25, 2008

MB&F introduces Limited Edition Titanium Horological Machine No.1 - The HM1 Ti

I had a blast trying on a MB&F HM1 (and HM2!) late last year and decided to buy one if Max would give me an installment plan of $100 a month for 1500 months. Sadly, I am still sans Horological Machine.

But now I have my heart set on the Ti, a just-announced limited edition of ten HM1 in Titanium casing. Maybe a layaway plan this time Max?

From Max just a few hours ago...
"We will be unveiling on September 7th HM1-Ti, a very special 10 piece limited edition of “Horological Machine No1” . Out of the 100 HM1 movements to be crafted between 2007 and 2009, only 10 will conjugate this amazing Titanium case (a real feat to achieve) with a new sapphire dial partially unveiling the Tourbillon system and the amazing hour/minute floating synchronizing wheel."

HM1-Ti is an extremely sophisticated timepiece on many levels: visually, technically and emotionally. As much, if not more, art and sculpture as micro-engineering.

HM1-Ti is an avant-garde three-dimensional timekeeping machine broken free from constraints imposed by traditional horology.

The relatively light weight belies the architectural volume of HM1-Ti's grade 5 titanium case; a case whose complex modular construction enables every part to be independently

The radical three-dimensionality of the case construction may turn heads; however, the
totally original and highly intricate movement inside, with its 376 parts and 81 functional jewels, ensures that HM1-Ti will turn minds as well.

The challenge of applying a variety of multi-faceted fine finishes to the difficult-to-work titanium has been rewarded by the vibrant juxtaposition of light reflecting off the contrasting highly polished and matte-satin surfaces.

An extra-wide custom tapered strap, complemented by a bespoke white gold and titanium folding buckle, completes the timepiece and reinforces the highly technical nature of the case.

HM1-Ti is a limited edition of 10 pieces

Raised central one-minute tourbillon, separate hours and minutes, seven-day power reserve.
Balance oscillating at 28,800 bph.
Automatic winding.
Four mainspring barrels in parallel.
Number of jewels: 81 (all functional).
Number of parts: 376 (including jewels).

Left dial: Hours
Right Dial: Minutes and Seven-Day Power Reserve

Titanium Grade 5 - Limited Edition of 10.
Dimensions: length 41mm, width 64mm, height 14mm.
Number of parts: 48.

Sapphire crystals:
Dial side with anti-reflective treatment on both faces.
Display back with anti-reflective treatment on single face.

Open dial with etched sapphire Hour and Minute bridges.
Power reserve displayed by rotating disk.

Strap & Buckle:
Extra wide black hand-stitched alligator strap with white gold/titanium folding buckle.

Presentation box:
Bespoke ETRO pin-stripe flannel and leather designer carry bag hosting the presentation

See Also;
All Horological Machine Posts-->Link

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Sunday, March 23, 2008

Semi-Precious Leak - Richard Mille's RM018 "Hommage to Boucheron"

Soon to be announced Richard Mille 018 "Hommage a Boucheron" with purported precious stones for the mechanism.

Reminders of Mille's original Mauboussin concepts developed in the Nineties with Renaud et Papi.

See Also;
All Richard Mille Posts-->Link

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Thursday, March 20, 2008

Vintage Watching - A Bumper Crop of New Old Watches

Just compiled a collection of oddities and obscurities from the forties through the seventies! So fresh to the site that not all the descriptions have even been written!

Visit the new collection here-->LINK

All kinds of rare oddball stuff!

Some highlights; 1960s Omega Dynamic, 1950s White Gold LeCoultre, 1970s Wittnauer Futurama Retrograde.

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