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Horology

Josh Shanks

A step inside of Audemars Piguet's US Service Center to see my Royal Oak receive a factory service (Part II)

Josh Shanks

Movement servicing The main watchmaking floor at AP Clearwater is a sight to be seen. Before entering, guests and employees are required to don shoe booties (to protect from dust and dirt). The watchmaking room resembles more of a clean room than a facility for repairing and servicing luxury timepieces. Each watchmaker has a state of the art workbench and all of the tools they need to do their jobs. The watchmakers are assigned their daily work by their manager and the workload is prioritized by challenge and complications to ensure the watchmaker has a wide variety of different pieces to work on throughout the week. The movement is disassembled to the main plate and parts are put into a carriage for cleaning My watchmaker, Billy Janshon, was assigned my piece earlier in the week. He has been with AP

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Josh Shanks

A step inside of Audemars Piguet's US Service Center to see my Royal Oak receive a factory service (Part I)

Josh Shanks

Intro Audemars Piguet’s legendary manufacture has been based at Le Brassus in the heart of the Vallée de Joux since 1875. They are one of the very few brands that have retained their independence from the larger conglomerates. An Audemars (Jasmine Audemars) and a Piguet (Olivier Audemars, great-grandson of co-founder Edward Auguste Piguet) still serve on the board of directors. The storied brand has a rich history of craftsmanship, ingenuity, and innovation. While AP’s main manufacture is based at Le Brassus, the brand has service centers throughout the world. These service centers provide after-sales service, accessories, and a place for owners to connect with the brand. The US service center is based in Clearwater, FL. For years, the concept of watch servicing has been a mysterious affair. Many choose to send their watches to a friend that “knows watches” or

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Le Garde Temps prototype timepiece sells for $1.46 million

On Monday, at Christie’s in Hong Kong, the prototype piece from “Le Garde Temps – Naissance D’Une Montre” sold for just over $1.46 million. This is an important step in the initiative that started ten years ago, called “Naissance d’une Montre - Le Garde Temps project” and validates the combined efforts of Robert Greubel, Stephen Forsey, Philippe Dufour, Vianney Halter and others to safeguard and transmit traditional watchmaking knowledge and skills. Back in 2006, the group selected Michel Boulanger, a young watchmaker, who was already a teacher at a watchmaking school in Paris, to transmit their knowledge to him, which in turn would help teach crucial watchmaking know-how to future generations. Michel Boulanger then began working with Phillippe Dufour, who showed him ancestral watchmaking techniques, including using and even producing traditional watchmaking tools. Over the next six years, Michel worked

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Jason Pitsch

Montblanc TimeWalker Pythagore Ultra-Light Concept

Jason Pitsch

The TimeWalker Pythagore Ultra-Light Concept is one of the lightest mechanical timepieces in the world – at a mere weight of 14.88 grams. Creating a timepiece this light required the use of a special composite material called “Innovative Technical Revolutionary Resin” (or ITR) combined with Kevlar/carbon to create the case middle, bezel, back, and crown. The material is extremely difficult to manufacture, although the advantages of using this high-tech resin results in a case that it is eight times lighter than steel and four times lighter than titanium, according to Montblanc. The case measures 40 mm x 9.7 mm. Notably, the horns of the watch are made of titanium, which have been skeletonized for further weight reduction, as well as satin-finished and treated with a black DLC coating that provides a contrast to the smooth matte finish on the bezel.

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Jason Pitsch

Big Ben scheduled to be renovated in 2017

Jason Pitsch

Big Ben, the nickname for the world’s most famous clock, is scheduled to begin a much-needed renovation in 2017. The clock hands, mechanism, and pendulum all require repair. There are also leaks, erosion, rusting and cracked masonry in the tower, which according to a story in the New York Times, do not meet fire safety guidelines. Completed in 1858, the tower holds the largest four-faced chiming clock in the world and is the third-tallest free-standing clock tower. Technically the tower is referred to as Queen Elizabeth Tower, and the mechanism inside is called the Great Clock, while Big Ben is the huge chiming bell inside. However, Big Ben is the most commonly used nickname for clock and tower at the north end of the Palace of Westminster in London. With repairs scheduled to begin early in 2017, tours of the

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Jason Pitsch

Radiomir 1940 Minute Repeater Carillon Tourbillon GMT

Jason Pitsch

Early this week, Panerai unveiled the Radiomir 1940 Minute Repeater Carillon Tourbillon GMT which features the unusual combination of a decimal repeater – and the ability to chime the time for two different time zones. This remarkable feature can be activated by an ingenious design that works by slightly rotating the crown until a black indicator dot can be seen on the side of the crown. Once it is in the position where the dot can be can be seen from the front, the wearer can then press the push-piece in the center of the crown, toggling the system between HT/LT with each push. A status indicator at 8 o’clock shows which time zone is currently active. Once the crown is returned to its normal position, so the black dot is not visible from the front of the watch, the

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Highlights from Madison Ave Watch Week on Instagram

Madison Avenue Watch Week 2016 took place from April 13-20th on the famed, Madison Avenue, specifically in the shopping district located in between approximately 53rd in Midtown, and 72nd in the Upper East Side. Madison Avenue, and Fifth Avenue (which runs parallel) have arguably the best watch luxury watch selection in the country, all within an area the can be covered relatively easily on foot. Check out our destination guide to watch stores on Madison and 5th Avenues. Below are a few highlights Instagram highlights from #MadisonAvenueWatchWeek. Did someone say #tourbillontuesday ? The new @alangesoehne Datograph perpetual tourbillon chronograph. Just stunning. #madisonavenuewatchweek A photo posted by @horologyandtechnology on Apr 19, 2016 at 10:27am PDT No pressure… (@jaegerlecoultre President, Philippe Bonay, is standing just to the right of me, addressing the rabble. 😉) #jaegerlecoultre #madisonavenuewatchweek #redbarcrew #redbargroup A photo posted by

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Jason Pitsch

The world's first analog GPS speedometer

Jason Pitsch

First conceptualized in 2009, the Omata One is the world’s first analog GPS speedometer. The instrument is designed to show speed, distance, ascent, and time of your bike in analog form, based on the scientific premise that analog dials reduce the congnitive load. Not to mention, it is so much more appealing to look at than a standard digital readout. The Omata One utilizes a 72-channel GPS computer, along with a mechanism designed by Seiko Precision Inc. to convert the GPS data into analog movements on the hands of the dial. Simultaneously, in the background, the data is being recorded for later use, such as downloading to your computer or importing into an app, such as Strava. The case measures 55 mm x 15 mm and is made of Plancast Plus 5083 Aluminum, with a PEEK polymer bezel, designed to

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Jason Pitsch

Introducing the record-setting Octo Finissimo Minute Repeater

Jason Pitsch

Bulgari introduced the world’s thinnest tourbillon wristwatch in 2014. Two years later, they have debuted another record-setting timepiece called the Octo Finissimo Minute Repeater, which is currently the thinnest minute repeater in the world. To achieve such a feat, with a minute-repeater no less, a tremendous amount of research and design was required as this type of complication is one of the most difficult to produce. And to fit a minute-repeater movement inside a 6.85 mm thick case was, of course, an incredible challenge for the watchmakers in Le Sentier. At 3.12 mm in thickness, the movement is thinner than two-quarters stacked on top of each other. Which again, we have to call out, considering this is a chiming watch. To achieve the desired level of sound quality, in such a small area, the use of titanium was required for

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Maître Cabinotier Retrograde Armillary Tourbillon

Not long after the introduction of the Ref. 57260, the most complicated watch made to date, Vacheron Constantin has unveiled yet another ultra-complicated one-off timepiece: the Maître Cabinotier Retrograde Armillary Tourbillon. Borrowing the armillary tourbillon and the double retrograde functions from the aforementioned 57260 superwatch, this contemporary timepiece has a “high-precision” manually wound movement, housed inside a (45.7 mm x 20.06 mm) white gold case. Notably, the Maître Cabinotier’s caliber 1990 movement is the subject of four patent applications in regards to 1- the instantaneous retrograde system, 2- the balance spring collet, 3- the multi-carriage tourbillon, 4- the escapement lever. One of the coolest features of this watch, both technically and visually, is the retrograde hours and minutes that fly back to zero so fast, that the use of titanium was required because of its strength and lightness. Basically, the

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