Behold the superb “Harmonious Oscillator” from super high-end brand Rudis Sylva, which for the princely sum of just 260,000 Swiss Francs promises to provide you with greater accuracy than even the gravity-defying tourbillion complication.
Now I know many people out there would have just read that statement and thought; “so what”, which to a degree is probably justified. I may have well as written that Rudis Sylva had created a new computer which is faster than a Commodore 64 from the late 1980s. Good for them, but it’s still an obsolete technology. If accuracy is your number one priority than buy a $100 quartz watch from Seiko and be done with it, right?
Not even close.
The Harmonious Oscillator is a complex beauty on a number of levels; technically, aesthetically and of course mechanically, representing the unyielding pursuit of perfection in one’s chosen craft. Developed based on a calibre dreamed up by Romain Gillet, the feature of this unique movement is the mechanically interlinked double balances driven by a single escapement. This world first with two toothed balances exhibits a resonance effect from the first oscillations, which thanks to the asymmetric deployment of the mainsprings in all positions, ensure that the symmetry and energy of the mainsprings are constantly opposed, enabling instantaneous average correction in the vertical position, which eliminates the effect of gravity.
All of a sudden that $100 Seiko is sounding a lot more childish, isn’t it?
Although the piece features two stunningly crafted cages that rotate 360 degrees in 60 seconds, the Harmonious Oscillator is neither a tourbillon nor a carrousel; however, they do share some common points:
- • Every mechanism is mounted on a rotating cage, and completes a full revolution in 60 seconds.
• Every mechanism has its own escapement.
• The system improves accuracy by counterbalancing disruption of the balance isochronism due to the Earth’s gravity.
It is this last point though where we find the key difference between the three, and ultimately the defining factor which impacts directly on the accuracy of the timepiece. As a direct result of the construction and location of the balance staff on both the tourbillion (which is situated on the same line as the tourbillion cage pivots) and the carrousel (for which the balance staff is eccentric) these two systems take one minute (a full revolution) to compensate for loss of accuracy in the vertical position (effect of gravity).
The Harmonious Oscillator, however, by means of the interconnection of the balances and asymmetric deployment of the mainsprings, enables instantaneous time correction in the vertical position, as opposed to the full minute required by the other mechanisms, thus leading to greater accuracy.
To give you an idea of what this looks like we have this great video from Passion Montres, which is narrated by Rudis Sylva’s CEO, Jacky Epitaux. Unfortunately it is in French, so we apologize for that, however, we think the visual imagery will more than make up for it!
As this is a movement very much “on-show” painstaking efforts have also been taken to perfect the finishing of every aspect of this mechanical masterpiece. Designed, built, machined and then decorated using traditional methods, each component has been specifically developed for this piece. The bevelling and dashed lines are done entirely by hand. The finish consists of eliminating the edges between the surface and flanks of the piece, forming a 45 degree chamfer (bezel) which is then be polished.
Directly above the stunning complication the hour and minute are displayed on an offset hand guilloche dial using fir tree shaped gold hands. The plate under the regulator is adorned with a “clous de Paris” decoration showcasing the craftsman’s exceptional skill. To the top right of the dial you will also notice a large date display which has been made completely in-house, and will eventually have the option of a semi-perpetual date.
On the rear of the gold or platinum case back you will discover an enamelled and hand engraved sun dial. Whilst this may seem a bit unusual at first, there is actually a very strong historical link here. This dial is a reproduction of that adorning the wall of the “Les Rosées” farm, in the village of Les Bois, formerly known as Rudis Sylva. This magnificent structure is one of the most beautiful representatives of the era of the farmer watchmakers and its dial, dating from 1750, was the subject of detailed study by the Zurich Federal Polytechnical School in the 1940s.
As we indicated at the start, the pieces are available in pink gold or white gold with a price tag of 260,000 Swiss Francs.
The Final Word
What more can be said? We love this piece. Its successful realization demonstrates irrevocably the unwavering commitment of its creators to innovation and the attainment of perfection within their chosen field. Visually it extremely appealing and mechanically it is sure to satisfy even the most accomplished of watch-makers. Attention to detail is apparent in every aspect of this timepiece and in our humble opinions it truly is a mechanical masterpiece.
To find out more about the brand and this stunning timepiece, please visit their official website: www.rudissylva.com
Category: Wow Watch Wednesday