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Horology

Jason Pitsch

The History of the Breguet Type XX

Jason Pitsch

Overview Wristwatches have a rich history in aviation, and by the time World War II started (1939), soldiers and aviators used wristwatches – more than pocket watches – to calculate everything from flight time to artillery distances to longitude to troop movements. B-uhr, Navitimer & GMT Master In (1941), Lange & Sohne, who was the primary supplier of wristwatches to German combat pilots, could not deliver enough watches to fill the demand. So, the German government demanded five manufacturers to build B-uhr (“Beobachtungs-uhr” or “Pilot”) watches which were anti-magnetic, highly legible, and able to be chronometer certified. The five companies who produced the original pilot watches are IWC, Lange & Söhne, Laco, Wempe, and Stowa. 1911 Breguet biplane aeroplane Type R.U1 No.40. located at the Musée des Arts et Métiers, Paris Over a decade later, Breitling launched the Navitimer in

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Jason Pitsch

Moritz Grossman Atum Enamel

Jason Pitsch

This month Glashutte based watchmaker Moritz Grossman announced a new time only limited edition watch that features a unique movement that has some of the brand’s proprietary technology inside and is finished to perfection, as well as a beautiful enamel dial. On the front, the two-part fire baked white enamel dial of the Atum Enamel has the scales and numerals printed in black, with the exception of the Roman numeral XII which is printed in royal blue to match the strap, and distinctive Assegai-shaped hour and minute hands (like you see from Laurent Ferrier) that are manually crafted from steel, and then annealed to a brown-violet hue. Driving the three-hands, and visible through a sapphire caseback, is a manually wound movement with the brand’s signature Grossmann winder with a pusher that allows the movement to be wound by pushing a

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Breitling launches second watch with proprietary Breitlight case

First introduced last year at Baselworld 2016, with the Avenger Hurricane, this week Breitling announced its second watch collection to utilize the company’s high-tech proprietary polymer case material “Breitlight.” Breitlight® is registered trademark of Breitling which the manufacture claims is 3.3 times lighter than titanium and 5.8 times lighter than steel, yet significantly harder. The company also says it has “exceptional resistance to scratches, traction, and corrosion; anti-magnetic, anti-allergenic properties; as well as a warmer ‘touch’ than metal and a slightly mottled effect accentuating its originality.” While the case looks similar to a forged carbon fiber, which was pioneered by Audemars Piguet, however, likely due to its brittle natural the company eventually moved to ceramic which is far less susceptible to damage, as you can see with their diver from 2013 and the latest Royal Oak Perpetual Calendar in ceramic

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Ulysse Nardin Innovision 2

Marking ten years since the launch of the Innovision 1 – which boasted ten horological innovations – the Innovision 2, a halo/concept timepiece, was unveiled at SIHH 2017, with ten new innovations. Dual constant escapement Following in the footsteps of the Dual Direct escapement of 2001, which set new standards in efficiency, the new Dual Constant makes an even greater leap forward. This sophisticated constant force escapement makes ingenious use of a complex silicium structure with locking elements and flexible silicium blades that are not dependent on the mainspring. This means that friction is reduced, and the small pulses of energy transmitted to the balance wheel and hairspring are equal and constant over time. The result? Mechanical accuracy that is second to none. Direct silicium bonding The InnoVision’s escapement element is made from a process in which Deep Reactive Ion

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Jason Pitsch

REVIEW: TAG Heuer Carrera Mikrograph 100th Anniversary Special Edition

Jason Pitsch

The first watch capable of measuring 1/100th of a second Invented by Charles-Auguste Heuer in 1916, the Mikrograph stopwatch (not designed to tell the time) was the first watch to measure elapsed time with 1/100th of a second precision, thanks to a chronograph mechanism that beats at 360,000 vibrations per hour (50Hz). Almost 90 years later, the modern version of the legendary Mikrograph was resurrected by TAG Heuer, based on the same idea of using a 360,000 vph chronograph mechanism, but this time combined with the ability to indicate the time as well. This represented the first of the 1/100th of second chronographs to use the dual balance movement design which separates the timekeeping regulation (28,8000 vph - 4Hz), power, and transmission – from the chronograph regulation (360,000 vph - 50Hz), mainspring, and transmission. And in 2005, when the Carrera

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Jason Pitsch

SIHH 2017: Panerai LAB-ID Luminor 1950 Carbotech 3 Days

Jason Pitsch

Created by Panerai’s Laboratorio di Idee, the LAB-ID Luminor 1950 Carbotech 3 Days features a carbon fiber composite case, a completely new deep black dial, and a movement needing no lubrication for 50 years. The 49 mm carbon fiber case, referred to as Carbotech, has already been in use on previous models, such as the Luminor Submersible 1959 Carbotech 3 Days Automatic that we reviewed in 2015. The 49 mm Luminor 1950 case has the same dense, uneven black surface, which is composed of very thin sheets of carbon fibre that are pressed together at a controlled temperature under very high pressure. What is all new, is the dial which is covered in carbon nanotubes, and the movement which works perfectly without any lubrication for 50 years, according to Panerai. The dial has Panerai’s the classic sandwich construction, with a

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Jason Pitsch

SIHH 2017: Rotonde de Cartier Minute Repeater Mysterious Double Tourbillon

Jason Pitsch

Ahead of SIHH 2017, which takes place in January, Cartier has previewed three new timepieces: the Rotonde de Cartier Skeleton Mysterious Hour, the Panthère Joueuse, and the Rotonde de Cartier Minute Repeater Mysterious Double Tourbillon. It is the most complicated of the timepieces, the Rotonde de Cartier Minute Repeater Mysterious Double Tourbillon, that is the most exciting horologically. The new haute horology watch is shown in a 45 mm x 11.15 mm grade 5 titanium case, that weighs under 50 grams. It is also available in also available in two platinum variants, with diamonds. Driving the hours and minutes, the mysterious double tourbillon, and the minute repeater is Cartier’s in-house developed caliber 9407 MC, which as you can see, is fully exposed on the dial side. In the center, you see the sword-shaped hour and minute hands. At 10 o’clock

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Jason Pitsch

Chopard L.U.C. Full Strike

Jason Pitsch

Following the 2006 launch of the L.U.C. Strike One model which chimes the hour, Chopard Manufacture has unveiled an in-house minute repeater that chimes the minutes, quarter hours, and hours. Technically speaking, the all-new L.U.C. Full Strike features one of the most innovative minute repeater designs on the market. A design that took 6 years to develop and produce, and is the subject of 3 pending patents. The most notable feature of this unprecedented minute repeater wristwatch is the specially manufactured monoblock sapphire crystal which acts both as a traditional crystal that protects the dial side of the watch and as the gongs. The use of transparent gongs that are an integral part of the front sapphire crystal, allowed Chopard to craft a case that is small relative to other minute repeaters (42.5 mm x 11.55 mm). Moreover, according to

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Jason Pitsch

Japan's first automatic mechanical watch

Jason Pitsch

The origins of Seiko began in 1881 when Kintarō Hattori opened a watch and jewelry shop in Tokyo’s Ginza district. A little over a decade after opening the shop, in 1892, Hattori started manufacturing clocks under the “Seikosha” name, which roughly translates to “the house of exquisite workmanship.” The Laurel, produced in 1913, was the company’s first watch, and also the first wristwatch made in Japan. However, it was not until 1924 that the first watches produced under the Seiko name were introduced. The Laurel was the first Japanese wristwatch, created in 1913 before the brand Seiko was used In 1956, Seiko introduced its first watch with a movement that was designed fully in-house. The Seiko Marvel incorporated Seiko’s “Diashock” shock absorption system – and that was just the beginning of many years of innovations to come from Japan’s oldest

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Jason Pitsch

Armin Strom Mirrored Force Resonance Fire

Jason Pitsch

Last week, at the Salon QP in London, Swiss watchmaker Armin Strom premiered a new complicated timepiece, called the Mirrored Force Resonance, that uses a dual regulation system designed to increase precision through a phenomenon known as resonance. Resonance is not something new, in fact, it is a phenomenon known about as early as the 17th century, when Christiaan Huygens (1629-1695), inventor of the pendulum clock, first discovered that two separate pendulum clocks, when hung from a common beam, synchronized, thanks to resonance (two oscillating bodies in close proximity influence each other and eventually synchronize). Abraham-Louis Breguet later also explored resonance and subsequently created a double pendulum resonance clock. According to Armin Strom, there are three main benefits of resonance. First, it creates a stabilizing effect on timekeeping which improves accuracy. Second, it conserves energy. Third, it reduces the negative

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