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Horology

Jason Pitsch

Zenith Defy Zero-G

Jason Pitsch

Zenith’s new Defy Zero-G features a redesigned version of the company’s patented gyroscopic “Gravity Control” mechanism, and beats at high-rate of 5Hz, hence the “El Primero” designation. The Defy Zero-G is a relatively small watch at 44 mm x 14.85 mm, thanks to the miniaturization of the gyroscopic regulator, which has been reduced by 30% in size compared to previous iterations. Similar to how a marine chronometer works, this gyroscopic system ensures the regulating organs (balance wheel, balance spring, escapement) are always in the optimal horizontal position. Ideally, this should increase chronometric performance, much like a tourbillon is designed to do. This is a 5Hz high-beat El Primero movement, which allows for 1/10th of a second accuracy. However, while displaying the time with this level of precision is technically possible, this particular watch has a small seconds display at

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Jason Pitsch

Rolex GMT-Master II in steel with Pepsi bezel and Jubilee bracelet

Jason Pitsch

As you might have heard, Rolex introduced a new steel version of their ceramic Pepsi bezel GMT today at Baselworld 2018. The new Oyster Perpetual GMT-Master II has the same case diameter as before at 40 mm, and the bezel is the same ceramic Pepsi-colored version that was introduced with the white gold GMT-Master II in 2014, there are however a few notable changes apart from the fact that it’s now available in stainless steel. There is a Jubilee bracelet with five-piece solid steel links, with polished center links, satin-finished outer links with polished edges, and a 5mm Easylink comfort extension. Additionally, the case lugs and sides have been subtly redesigned, and there is an all-new GMT movement. Other than that the watch still has the same 18K white gold applied hour markers and 18K white gold hands, with blue

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Jason Pitsch

Vaucher Manufacture Fleurier caliber 6710

Jason Pitsch

This month, after 6 years of development, Swiss movement maker, Vaucher Manufacture Fleurier, announced an all-new premium chronograph caliber that will be exhibited at Baselworld later this month. The high frequency 5Hz (36,000 vph) caliber VMF 6710 is an integrated chronograph movement (as opposed to an add-on) with an optimal configuration that includes a column-wheel (the smoother, more premium option as compared to a cam and lever), vertical clutch (which eliminates the jumping of the seconds hand at start as well as preventing loss of timekeeping accuracy during chronograph operation compared to a horizontal clutch), and triple return-to-zero hammer. Interestingly, the clutch is off-centered and drives the chronograph seconds and minutes, but to enhance efficiency, the chronograph hours are powered directly by the barrel. Measuring 30 mm x 6.95 mm, the movement consists of 315 parts, 42 of which

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Jason Pitsch

Maximus, the world's largest tourbillon

Jason Pitsch

With a 27 mm diameter tourbillon cage, according to Kerbedanz, the Maximus is the world’s largest tourbillon wristwatch. The press release actually claims this is a flying tourbillon, however, looking at the supports for the cage, you can tell it’s not the “flying” variety which is only supported from one side (as this is clearly supported from both sides). To house such a large tourbillon is a case measuring a not insignificant 49 mm, and although there is no mention of the thickness, judging from the profile shot, it’s at least 20 mm, so perhaps it’s the world’s thickest tourbillon as well. In total caliber KRB-08, which is manually wound and beats at 2.5Hz (18,000 vph), has 415 components, 73 of which are dedicated just to the tourbillon cage. The cage is crafted in titanium (weighing in at 1.35 grams)

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Jason Pitsch

Introducing the Frederique Constant Hybrid Manufacture

Jason Pitsch

Last night in New York City, Frederique Constant unveiled a timepiece that they dubbed as a “revolution” in the Swiss watch industry. Personally, I think “unprecedented” is a more apt description. Basically, the Swiss-based company has taken one of their signature 42 mm steel cases, with a traditional analog watch dial, and one of their in-house automatic mechanical calibers, and merged it with an electronic assortment that consists of an electronic step motor, printed circuit board, Bluetooth antenna, accelerometer, analytics module, and a 3V rechargeable battery. The result is a mechanical timepiece that has smartwatch type functions such as activity and sleep tracking, which are viewable via a smartphone using the custom-built app. Interestingly, in addition to past traditional watches with smart functions that the company has launched, thanks to the analytics module, the watch can also measure the beat

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TAG Heuer Museum in Motion

Starting earlier this month in Miami, TAG Heuer began the first leg of their “Museum in Motion” tour which will travel to 8 cities with important historical timepieces from the company’s museum in La Chaux-de-Fonds, Switzerland, and some on loan from collectors’ personal collections. “Key timepieces include an original 1965 Carrera, made specifically for drivers and sports enthusiasts alike and the 1970 Calibre 12 Carrera featuring a bead-of-rice steel bracelet. Other notable pieces include the 1968, 1970 and 1974 Autavia models, the 1968 Camaro, the 1970 and 1975 Monaco, the 1977 Manhattan and the 1974 Calculator, among many more. Special editions include a 1979 Kentucky, which features a horseshoe-shaped case designed as a tribute to the Kentucky Derby, a 1972 Montreal, which was named as a tribute to the Formula 1 Montreal circuit, and a 1968 ‘Easy Rider’ also known

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Construction Underway on 10,000 Year Clock

Conceived in 1989 by Danny Hillis, a polymath inventor, computer engineer, and designer – the idea for the 10,000 year clock was first published in Wired in 1995. At the time, many people thought Hillis’ idea was crazy but more almost three decades later the full-scale 10,000 Year Clock is finally coming to fruition. With the help of Amazon CEO, Jeff Bezos, $42 million has been invested to make the project a reality. Construction of the 10,000 Year Clock is currently underway in a remote West Texas mountain, along with huge clock parts being machined offsite. Getting to the clock requires a lot of effort as the nearest airport is several hours away by car, and the trip to the mountain requires a long hike over rugged terrain. Designed as a symbol for long-term thinking, the mechanical Clock mechanism will

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Jason Pitsch

Photo Report: Abraham-Louis Breguet Points of Interest

Jason Pitsch

Abraham-Louis Breguet is one of the most prolific watchmakers of all-time. Even though he was born in Neuchâtel, Switzerland in 1747, he lived in Paris, France for much of his life, which is also where he died in 1823. Breguet invented the perpetual winding rotor, the tourbillon, and many other horological innovations – at a time when CNC machines did not exist – and these inventions are still widely in use to this day. From Marie Antoinette to Napolean Breguet to Louis XIV, Abraham-Louis Breguet was the watchmaker to nobility. And once you see many of the key points of interest where Breguet left his mark, it becomes easier to understand the impact that he made on horology – and the incredible legacy he left behind. Please enjoy the 70 captioned images we created during a week long trip from

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Ulysse Nardin's first automatic Freak

Ulysse Nardin’s Freak Vision is the first – from the collection that debuted in 2001 – to incorporate an automatic winding movement within the design that consists of a distinctive baguette-shaped movement and features a flying carrousel rotating around its own access. The Freak Vision has an ultra-light silicium balance wheel with nickel variable inertia blocks (patented) and silicium micro-blades that stabilize the amplitude and significantly increase accuracy. There is a new 3D carved upper bridge, a new box type domed sapphire crystal which allows for a thinner middle and bezel, and the case has new horns, bezel, and rubber elements. A new “Grinder” automatic winding system, which Ulysse Nardin claims “revolutionizes energy transmission, surpassing existing systems for efficiency by a factor of two,” generates energy with even the slightest movement of the wrist. “The oscillating rotor is linked to

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Jason Pitsch

A Baume with a 120-Hour Power Reserve?

Jason Pitsch

The launch of the new Baumatic caliber BM12-1975A reminds me of when the Tissot debuted the Powermatic 80 in 2013. At the time 80-hours was a huge power reserve, especially for a watch costing under $1,000. Five years later, while the price is higher, the Baumatic comes with a 50% larger power reserve (120-hours), higher accuracy (COSC chronometer level -4/+6), higher quality components, a more advanced free-sprung balance wheel, silicon hairspring, significantly better finishing, and so on. The caliber beats at a modern rate of 4Hz (28,800 vph), has 21 jewels, is anti-magnetic to 1500 gauss, and has a design similar to an ETA 2824, although the Baume caliber is a bit wider and thinner than the ETA. Naturally, Baume can design future movements with added functionality around this ValFleurier manufactured 5-day movement. Not to mention, since ValFleurier is owned

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