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The Brands That Built Your Watch Parts

Have you ever wondered how the different parts and functions of your watch came to be? Here are some notable brands and figures that have pushed the boundaries of watchmaking.

 

Luminor Marina 1950 3 Days PAM 1312 watch parts

Panerai – Crown Bridge

An external feature you can identify from afar, the crown bridge is a signature Panerai design feature, and is still regarded as one of the most ingenious inventions in watchmaking. Mostly seen on divers’ and pilots’ watches, Panerai’s patented crown bridge has inspired and been reimagined by other companies, which pay homage to the functionality and design of the iconic original.

Vulcain 50s President's Watch Cricket President 160151.325L watch parts

Vulcain – Internal Alarm

Only a few watch brands have this interesting, quirky function in their designs. Of these, Vulcain is the least popular, but this watch brand boasts a number of historical and noteworthy novelties—for example, the Presidents watch with the cricket alarm calibre. Though not the first to introduce the concept, Vulcain is credited for being the first to have a fully functional alarm strong and loud enough to wake its wearer.

George Daniels Four-Minute Tourbillon Wristwatch watch parts

George Daniels – Co-Axial Escapement

George Daniels has created some of the most extraordinary and technically advanced watches ever, and the Co-Axial escapement is a testament to his mastery of watchmaking. Daniels redesigned the Swiss lever by adding another escape wheel, resulting in its increased efficiency. It creates less friction, meaning the life of the movement is prolonged due to the absence of wear and tear.

Louis Moinet Memoris Chronograph watch parts

Louis Moinet – Chronograph Function

For years, Nicolas Rieussec was considered the inventor of the chronograph… until 2013 when the Louis Moinet pocket chronograph was discovered and history was rewritten. According to historians, Moinet created the modern chronograph in 1816, seven years before Rieussec famously created a chronograph for King Louis XVIII. Today, Rieussec is credited with developing the first commercialized chronograph and for coining the term.

Breguet Classique Tourbillon Extra-Plat Automatique 5367 watch parts

Breguet – Tourbillon

Some of the most thought provoking creations in horology came from Abraham-Louis Breguet, and the most exquisite of all is arguably the tourbillon, which acts as a deterrent against the effects of the Earth’s gravitational pull. Since the tourbillon was invented for pocket watches, it ensured that while in a upright position, most likely inside the pocket, the escapement rotates to counteract the positional errors caused by being stuck in the same position. Now that wristwatches are de rigeur, we are the tourbillon, thanks to our constant movements, making the complication a beautiful, albeit less than practical, feature in watches.

Rolex Oyster Perpetual watch parts

Rolex – Perpetual Winding and Water/Dust Proof Case

Because of all their technical innovations in watchmaking, many of which are still widely used today, Rolex’s reputation is held in high esteem by many watch aficionados. From improving on John Harwood’s original invention of the automatic winding movement which, admittedly, had limitations, to the water/dust proof case, embodied most prominently by the brand’s Oyster. Many features now taken for granted trace their early days back to the Swiss manufacture, thanks to Rolex’ spirit of ingenuity and ability to implement beautiful but practical features in their watches that have made them the most popular watch brand in the world today.

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