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.
Articles on the subject: History & Masterpieces
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.
The American Society for Testing and Materials defines ceramic as "an article having a glazed or unglazed body of crystalline or partially crystalline structure, or of glass, whose body is produced from essentially inorganic, non-metallic substances and either is formed from a molten mass which solidifies on cooling, or is formed and simultaneously or subsequently matured by the action of heat."
The Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso saw daylight in 1931 in response to the need to shield the dial against knocks. Now 80 years old, it has (re)discovered a new vocation: personalisation.
Cartier Time Art,* which will travel worldwide after opening in Zurich, traces the history of time measurement at Cartier from its origins in Paris in 1847 to today.
Travel back in time to 1884 and Rome, where Sotirios Bulgaris, a Greek silversmith who had emigrated to Italy, ran a small silversmithing shop. In 1905, he moved his business to the city's prestigious Via Condotti (now the company's flagship store).
In an article published in Swiss daily Le Temps, Pierre-Yves Donzé, a research fellow at Osaka University, demonstrates that the 1975-1985 crisis in the watch industry had nothing to do with the advent of Japanese quartz watches. Rather, since the end of the war, Switzerland had been "resting on its laurels."
Were it not for Swiss Horological Art, the exhibition staged from September 9th in the Swiss Cities Pavilion at Shanghai World Expo, the relationship between the fair and watchmaking would no doubt have escaped us.