There is definitely something to be said for the advances in modern technology, especially when they are used to bring a traditional art to life – literally! The newly unveiled Bird Repeater from Jacquet Droz is one such example of this harmonious partnership, and the final result is nothing short of spectacular.
The Bird Repeater is a bona fide automaton; it performs specific functions according to a predetermined set of coded instructions, much like the incredible machine in the movie Hugo. Unlike that particular automaton though, this one has received the enviable benefit of the combined resources of the decorative crafts of the Jaquet Droz Atliers d’Art in La Chaux de Fonds. What does that mean exactly? It means that this is one seriously beautiful timepiece. I mean automaton.
Question: What do you do when you have state of the art facilities and a highly trained team of exceptionally innovative individuals at your disposal? Well, if you’re Christophe Claret you make stunningly complex pieces of haute horology that dazzle and amaze of course!
Case in point the breathtaking new Soprano timepiece, featuring no less than a musically accurate 4-note minute repeater that strikes Westminster Quarters on patented cathedral gongs, a 60-second tourbillon and Charles X style bridges. Need I go on? I think we both know you want one already! For the sake of posterity I will continue however, plus I genuinely enjoy talking about this superb example of micro-manufacturing ingenuity.
Regular readers of TWL (and watch lovers in general) will already be familiar with the name Grieb & Benzinger. Masters of their art, this small outfit has produced some truly stunning timepiece creations over the last few years, and their latest installment is no exception.
Animated by an extremely rare Patek Philippe Caliber RTO 27 PS movement, complete with tourbillion and minute-repeater, the Blue Whirlwind is the result of over 15-months of painstaking labor. The extremely complicated movement comprising some 336 individual components was completely disassembled and serviced before receiving G&B’s trademark special treatment, including full skeletonization, guilloche and hand-engraving.
Energy. We all need it and, much like our mechanical wrist companions, we all need ways to both generate and store it. It is for this very reason therefore that the relationship between man and mechanical watch is an inherently intimate one. After all, without the physical movements of their owners, these tiny mechanical marvels would be doomed to a completely inanimate existence.
In recognition and celebration of this special relationship, URWERK has created the UR-210, an incredibly intuitive timepiece that communicates with its owner in the most personalized way possible. In a world first the futuristic watchmaker has developed a mechanical complication capable of calculating the difference between the energy generated and the energy consumed by the mainspring over the last two hours. The outcome of this calculation is then reflected on the dial in the form of a winding efficiency indicator at 11 o’clock.
So what does that all mean?