Of all the inventions that have helped improve the precision of mechanical watches, none is more important, or less well-documented, than the development of the regulating organ. To help bridge that gap, we retrace the history of escapements from the earliest devices to the very latest silicon regulators. Part nine: silicon escapements.
In 1969 TAG Heuer launched the first ever automatic chronograph in a water-resistant square case. Half a century later, the Monaco is still in the race. Two of five anniversary models have been revealed, at the Monaco Grand Prix and the 24 Hours of Le Mans.
"Memovox reminds, notifies and awakens" – a 1950 advertisement alerted the public to the merits of Jaeger-LeCoultre's new alarm watch. Classically elegant, resolutely functional, it would be the first in a long line of timepieces that still stand out today.
In 2009, La Chaux-de-Fonds and Le Locle were declared world heritage sites for their unique urban planning, designed to facilitate watch production. Giving extra cause to celebrate, a request has been made to add mechanical watchmaking to the UNESCO list of intangible world heritage.
Like anywhere else, China's watch enthusiasts have their favourites. Patek Philippe's Nautilus Ref. 5711, the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak 15202, and pretty much anything by Richard Mille or Rolex have proved hugely popular these past four to five years. In contrast, models that sell well in other countries don't always appeal.
In honour of the partnership between Jacques-Barthélémy Vacheron and François Constantin, initiated 200 years ago, the Manufacture is celebrating the many collaborations that have marked these two centuries of history. This tribute, in the form of a travelling exhibition, is joined by "Les Collectionneurs", a curated selection of vintage watches by the brand.
Inspired by Italy's famed Mille Miglia race, since 1988 the eponymous collection from Chopard returns each year in limited editions. A combination of style, elegance and precise mechanisms, the brand has it all mapped out.
Of all the inventions that have helped improve the precision of mechanical watches, none is more important, or less well-documented, than the development of the regulating organ. To help bridge that gap, we retrace the history of escapements from the earliest devices to the very latest silicon regulators. Part six: modern escapements.