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Tag: A. Lange & Söhne

International Women’s Month might have already ended, but that doesn’t mean we stop thinking about women’s luxury watches. Here’s a list of watches we think women absolutely need in their collection to elevate their style, because jewelry needn’t be their only accessories.

A. Lange & Söhne Little Lange 1 Moon Phase Ref. 182.030 luxury watches

The Work Watch
A. Lange & Söhne Little Lange 1 Moon Phase Ref. 182.030

When you’re working those long hours, six days a week, it can be a little too easy to forget what day of the month it is. A. Lange & Söhne has their patented outsize date on almost all of their timepieces, making it easy to keep track of your meetings and deadlines with a glance.

Longines Hydroconquest Ref. L3.781.4.96.6 luxury watches

The Beach Watch
Longines Hydroconquest Ref. L3.781.4.96.6

Everyone needs their dose of Vitamin Sea once in a while. What better to go with your beach outfit than a practical but beautiful dive watch? We adore Longines’ Hydroconquest line, which was elegantly designed to withstand the salty waves in style.

Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore Self-winding Chronograph Ref. 26231ST.ZZ.D010CA.01 luxury watches

The Sporty Watch
Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore Self-winding Chronograph Ref. 26231ST.ZZ.D010CA.01

Whether your daily exercise is jogging on the treadmill or stretching on your yoga mat, it’s important that you have a watch that can keep up with you. This Royal Oak Offshore model, with its trusty chronograph and comfortable rubber strap, can do just that.

Vacheron Constantin Harmony Dual Time Ref. 7800S/000R-B140 luxury watches

The Travel Watch
Vacheron Constantin Harmony Dual Time Ref. 7800S/000R-B140

Sometimes we just want to pack up our bags and travel to our dream destination. But when wanderlust strikes, you still have to keep track of things in your home or workplace. Dual time watches, such as the Harmony Dual Time, can make it happen, even when you’re the other side of the world.

Omega De Ville Ladymatic Ref. 425.30.34.20.05.001 luxury watches

The Everyday Watch
Omega De Ville Ladymatic Ref. 425.30.34.20.05.001

When you’re too busy to even think about which watch to match with your daily getup, you’ll need a reliable timepiece that can go with almost anything. We think stainless steel and a monochromatic dial is the way to go for this kind of dilemma, and this watch can fill in that role, no problem.

IWC Schaffhausen Portofino Automatic 37 Ref. IW458101 luxury watches

The Weekend Watch
IWC Schaffhausen Portofino Automatic 37 Ref. IW458101

Going to a family reunion, or a Sunday morning brunch with your friends? You’ll need something that will match your casual tan leather bag. This Portofino has a light brown alligator strap, its tone matching the details on the face of the watch, tying your relaxed and informal outfit together nicely.

Rolex Lady-Datejust Ref. 279174

A Rolex
Rolex Lady-Datejust Ref. 279174

Like we said in our original article for men, every collection demands a Rolex, even those of women’s. With its iconic design and sheer popularity, you’ll be hard-pressed to find someone who doesn’t know the brand. Their Lady-Datejust collection was made exclusively for women—here’s the piece from that collection that we love the most.

Breguet Reine de Naples Ref. 8939BB/6D/J49/DD6D women's luxury watches

The Dress Watch
Breguet Reine de Naples Ref. 8939BB/6D/J49/DD6D

For those parties where everyone is somebody, you’ll want something that will go with your designer gown and pearl jewelry. We’re sure this timepiece from Breguet will turn heads on the red carpet. Get ready for the crowd to snap portraits of you with your wrist!

Hublot Gold White Pavé Ref. 361.PE.2010.RW.1704 women's luxury watches

The Gemset Watch
Hublot Gold White Pavé Ref. 361.PE.2010.RW.1704

Because diamonds are a girl’s best friend. Need we say more? Hublot has a long list of diamond-studded watches, which includes this stunning piece. It has a whopping 1517 diamonds set in the brand’s very own 18K King Gold.

 

Patek Philippe Nautilus Ref. 7118/1200A women's luxury watches

The Heirloom Watch
Patek Philippe Nautilus Ref. 7118/1200A

If your daughter doesn’t want your wedding gown or the family ring, you’ll have to pass something else down that will be just as valuable. For that purpose, there’s nothing better than the classic and timeless Nautilus. Made to last lifetimes, you might very well see this watch on your granddaughter’s wrist.

Timezone watches. Despite being at the top of every list detailing the watches every aficionado wants to get their hands on, travel and world timers are some of those complications that notoriously confuse watch beginners.

And that’s perfectly okay, because time zones are, in themselves, inherently confusing. UTC? GMT? Daylight savings? Yeah. We thought so.

You’ve probably heard of these sought-after timepieces called by different names: time zone watches, GMT watches, world timers, travel timers…. These various terms can be a lot to wrap your head around. After all, they are some of the more elaborate complications in the luxury watch industry. And there are so many of them.

So, simply, what are they, and why should they be a part of your collection?

Fundamentally, their functions are all similar; that is, to tell what time it is in multiple geographic locations. How they do it, however, is quite different from each other.

Travel Timers

Travel timers, also known as GMT watches, are timepieces that let their wearer tell the time in one other location through the use of a rotating bezel and a third hand, commonly called the “GMT hand.”

“GMT” stands for Greenwich Mean Time, which is the time established at the Royal Observatory in Greenwich, London—making it a time zone. Alternatively, Coordinated Universal Time (UTC), is a time standard, although most English-speaking countries use the two interchangeably. Ironically, the latter is more commonly used in aviation, which is the industry wherein the GMT watch became popular.

Whichever time the GMT hand points to will serve as the hour hand for the second time zone. For example, on this Rolex GMT-Master II, one can easily see how the times for both locations are set at 10:10. The travel timer is especially useful for those who travel frequently, and move from one time zone to another.

  • Rolex
  • Tudor
  • Baume et Mercier
  • Rolex GMT-Master II “Batman” Ref. 126710BLNR

    This black-and-blue GMT watch, dubbed as “Batman,” is perfect for those who think the “Pepsi” was a little bit too colorful.

  • Tudor Black Bay GMT Ref. M79830RB-0002

    Ever imagined the “Pepsi” with a leather strap? Tudor brings your imagination to reality with their rugged “Tiera de Siena” brown leather strap.

  • Baume et Mercier Clifton Ref. 10316

    Rather than a rotatable bezel, or even just a separate hour ring on the dial, this watch prefers to display the other timezone in a sub-dial.

World Timers

On the other hand, world timers—also aptly known as time zone watches—tell time across more than two time zones. Twenty-four, to be exact.

So how do world timers work? Most feature an adjustable ring or two with multiple locations, usually major cities within a time zone. There is also a rotating ring displaying the hours. To set the time, the wearer simply aligns their home time with the correct hour on the time zone bezel. To tell time in different locations, most world timers feature a pusher that adjusts the rings accordingly, but even without these adjustments, the wearer can check the current time in the 23 other time zones at a glance, making them an invaluable tool for those who have loved ones or business partners across the globe.

  • A. Lange & Sohne
  • Chopard L.U.C
  • Girard-Perregaux
  • Lange 1 Time Zone Ref. 116.039

    Inside the white gold case and under the silver dial sits the L031.1 movement, the same movement as with the other two models in platinum and pink gold.

  • Chopard L.U.C Time Traveller One Ref. 168574-3001

    Encased in stainless steel is the in-house L.U.C 01.05-L movement, and can be admired through the transparent sapphire caseback.

  • Girard-Perregaux 1966 WW.TC Ref. 49557-11-132-BB6C

    This 40mm world timer is powered by their self-winding mechanical GP03300-0027 movement.

ALS SIHH 2019 01 lange 1

This year, A. Lange & Söhne looks to its roots in exceptional mechanics and sleek, powerful German design for an exceptional collection that expresses the manufacture’s undeniable mastery of high horology.

Here are some of the highlights from SIHH 2019.

Zeitwerk Date

ALS SIHH 2019 02 zeitwerk date

Who’d have thought that it’s been 10 years since the inception of the groundbreaking Zeitwerk? Introduced in 2009, this easily-recognizable timepiece is reimagined this year with an additional function—a ring-shaped date display—that demanded the creation of a completely new movement. In line with the spirit of innovation and exceptional design, this watch takes an oft-overlooked complication and gives it a distinct edge, building on it in a way that only the manufacture can.

Langematik Perpetual Honeygold

ALS SIHH 2019 03 langematik perpetual HG

This year, the manufacture melds its exclusive metal alloy, Honeygold, and the self-winding Langematik Perpetual timepiece. First created in 2010, the warm-toned metal is a special mix of fine gold and other minerals specially heat-treated to make it harder than any other gold alloy. Imbued with the exceptional warmth and lustre of this metal, the Langematik Perpetual is taken to new heights even beyond its outsize date display, perpetual calendar function, and patented zero-reset mechanism.

Richard Lange Jumping Seconds

ALS SIHH 2019 04 RL jumping seconds

One look at the Richard Lange Jumping seconds is enough to understand that this timepiece is a mechanical force to be reckoned with, and the newly-released white gold and black variation on this contemporary classic is a dark, Bauhaus-inspired take on the model. Like its predecessor, the new release is all at once a tribute to Richard Lange’s contributions to the world of horology, an exhibition of the manufacture’s expertise in creating high-precision timepieces, and a modern reimagining of one of the brand’s most beautiful releases.

Lange 1 “25th Anniversary”       

 

Kicking off the manufacture’s 25th anniversary series is a watch that is the very definition of groundbreaking. First launched in 1994, the iconic model celebrates a quarter of a century of horological excellence, accuracy, precision, and design. The dominant blue and silver that runs throughout the design hark to this period’s key aesthetics, but interpreted in a uniquely A. Lange & Söhne way, while a white gold case houses the manufacture’s L121.1 manual movement. A commemorative “25” is engraved on the balance cock, viewable through the clear caseback, while the hinged cuvette is engraved with a depiction of the Lange’s historic headquarters, the names of its founders, and a relief of the words “25 Years Lange 1”. Only 250 of these beautiful pieces will be produced.

Nothing can really prepare you for the day you’re asked to put together a watch movement. Nothing.

Not a week spent mulling the idea over in your head. Not the jealous proclamations from all your friends (ranging from “You’re so lucky!” to “Can I come?”). Not even the sense of security provided by the fact that this aforementioned watchmaking workshop would be hosted by one of the most respected watch manufactures in the world, A. Lange & Söhne.

To be frank, knowing just how much skill and precision go into making their legendary watches might have made me even a little more nervous than I should have been. But, alas, one must hurl oneself into the abyss for the sake of journalism, and so I jumped, proverbial guns blazing.

The Calm

It started off easily enough. After the requisite socializing over cocktails (coffee, thankfully, was not served, saving us all the worry of caffeine-induced jitters), Robert Hoffman, A. Lange & Söhne’s head of the Zeitwerk team, walked us through the painstaking process that each of the manufacture’s watch movements—and watchmakers—undergo.

A. Lange & Söhne’s Head of Zeitwerk, Robert Hoffman

Each A. Lange & Söhne movement that makes its way into one of the 4,000 to 5,000 watches produced annually goes through two rounds of assembly to achieve something as close to perfection as possible. The first to make sure that, well, it works, and the second for the laborious process of hand finishing each of the hundreds of miniscule elements that make up the movement.

From the plates and gears to the tiny blue screws—which, contrary to popular belief are not painted but rather, heated to a temperature that turns the metal a distinct cobalt blue—no piece is left to bear the slightest imperfection. As if that weren’t complicated enough, every movement utilizes up to 10 different finishing techniques, from hand-engraving to two types of graining and many more in between.

Every A. Lange & Söhne movement is assembled twice and contain hundreds of parts
 

Seeking Perfection

It would be easy to scoff at the impracticality of this amount of effort put into something that would be hidden during daily wear, but according to Hoffman, many of the brand’s clientele are so particular about watch movements that they even have their own versions of the microscope used by professional horologists, and use them to study the quality of the pieces they’ve acquired. The microscope in question is a sight to behold, and every blemish that mars the surface of whatever is placed under it is highlighted and put on display.

 

Many of A. Lange & Söhne’s watchmakers are in their 20s and 30s
 

To achieve this level of skill, watchmakers are typically schooled for three years, and released into the workshops to first perfect their talents on bigger movements (think clocks, pocket watches, y’know), before moving on to the jobs that require slightly more finesse. It must also be said, albeit anecdotally, that female participants of A. Lange & Söhne’s regular series of workshops typically have a much easier time than their male counterparts. Just saying.

The phrase “slightly more finesse”, I came to realize, meant superhuman steadiness, dexterity and really, really good eyesight, none of which I have. Nonetheless, off we went.

Up to Bat

Because none of the participants could chalk up to having assembled a movement before, despite being avid watch wearers, we were all given simpler (read: bigger) movements to work with. Hoffman and the A. Lange & Söhne team also considerately provided watch parts and tools clearly separated according to the order they were supposed to be fitted into the main plate. Apparently, our motley crew needed all the help we could get.

With these precautions in place, I thought, how could anything go wrong?

 

A steady hand is a priceless trait in a watchmaker

Surprise, surprise. Many, many things, I soon realized, could go wrong. From potentially losing one of the tiny parts and jeopardizing the entire venture—apologies to my seatmate who ended up dropping his movement’s balance wheel when I unwisely suggested “flipping it over to see if all the parts stay in place”—to misaligning plates and even possibly snapping a screw with overzealous twisting, a certain level of grace and polish are absolutely necessary in horology.

Once you get the hang of things, however, all the anxiety melts away and what takes its place is a feeling of calm collectedness, of almost Zen-like focus. It was easy to pretend that I was one of the manufacture’s talented watchmakers as I slipped my loupe on and off, squinting to see how each piece fit together on the tiny plate before me. I can say now that nothing makes a person feel as capable as when they’re literally single-handedly installing a screw with newfound dexterity. And when a piece is finished and the tiny gears all work in perfect harmony? The feeling of satisfaction is absolutely magical.

Art & Craft

The entire session lasted the better part of an hour. We were told a skilled watchmaker could assemble and dismantle a simple movement in about five minutes. But no matter; each participant was aglow with pleasure from having accomplished what they set out to do. In my case, it was to break nothing. Mission accomplished.

 

Some of A. Lange & Söhne’s 2018 Novelties

Watchmaking, from designing to assembly, is a noble craft, and practiced in its highest form, as A. Lange & Söhne has done for more than 170 years, it is elevated to art. To be a watchmaker of this caliber is to be part of an elite group that creates beautiful machines that measure and reflect our progression and existence through time itself.

In this sense, a watch is not as much a timekeeping device as it is a symbol of our drive to seek perfection and make sense of our existence. As much a work of wearable art as it is a machine, a watch, made with passion, is a clear testament to the creativity and expertise of each pair of hands that built it from start to finish, turning metal and stone into feats of engineering. A watch, then, is a symbol of how far we have come as a people—and what could be more amazing than that?

Patek Philippe Nautilus 5711 anchor

Luxury watches have a tendency to develop cult followings. These are the popular luxury watches that people are willing to wait in line for; not because they’re limited edition (because why people want those is a given). These watches are on every wish list because of reasons beyond simple supply and demand.

Rolex Submariner 116610LV

Photo courtesy of Rolex

Although most, if not all, Submariner models have a waiting list—no surprise considering it’s one of the most iconic divers on the market—there is one that stands above the rest when it comes to desirability.

Aptly nicknamed The Hulk because of its green cerachrom bezel and green sunburst dial reminiscent of the Marvel superhero, the unusual color of the Submariner 116610LV has catapulted it to the top of Rolex lovers’ must-have lists.

Jaeger LeCoultre Master Ultra Thin Perpetual

Photo courtesy of Jaeger LeCoultre

One of the most iconic models of JLC is the Master Ultra Thin, which sprung from the idea of creating ultra thin movements and timepieces that started the partnership of Antoine LeCoultre and Edmond Jaeger.

The main reason why the demand skyrocketed for this model, particularly the silver dial version, is the blockbuster movie “Dr. Strange” (sensing a theme here?). When Benedict Cumberbatch played the titular role, he wore this watch in a few pivotal scenes of the movie and, as Marvel is Marvel, people took notice. Cue cult status for the Master Ultra Thin.

A. Lange & Söhne 1815 Chronograph

Photo courtesy of A. Lange & Söhne

This particular piece features a flyback chronograph with a pulsometer dial, so generally speaking, the 1815 Chronograph is a traditional and straightforward watch. Simple? Not really. Flip the watch over and you’ll understand what the fuss is all about: the in-house caliber L951.5 in all its glory. Regarded as the most beautiful movement ever made, it looks like a miniature city viewed from above, truly a masterpiece.

IWC Pilot’s Watch Chronograph Edition “Le Petit Prince”

Photo courtesy of IWC

When you think of a pilot’s watch, the first brand that comes to mind is IWC. The large case and dial make for a very legible watch, and the chronograph function is a great addition to an already good looking timepiece.

However, the “Le Petit Prince” takes the original idea and takes it to a whole new level. Inspired by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry’s novel of the same name, and created for the benefit of his foundation, it features a blue sunburst dial, brown calfskin strap made by Santoni, and an engraved caseback featuring The Little Prince himself.

Audemars Piguet Royal Oak

Photo courtesy of Audemars Piguet

The design that gave birth to the luxury sports watch and saved mechanical watches from the quartz crisis. Designed by the godfather of watch designers, Gérald Genta, it made a surprising splash, considering it was only made of steel and had a simple time and date complication.

Patek Philippe Nautilus 5711

Photo courtesy of Patek Philippe

This watch is considered by many to be the perfect all-around watch. Its clamp down construction makes it possible for you to take it to the beach for a swim. Its clean lines mean you can wear it to a meeting. The slim case can be worn under a cuff for black tie events—but it’s still bold enough a statement when worn jeans and a plain shirt. All of this is backed up by its relevance in the rebirth of the mechanical watch industry and the birth of the luxury sports watch.

Rolex Cosmograph Daytona 116500LN

Photo Courtesy of Rolex

The Daytona needs no introduction. It’s arguably the most iconic Rolex line. Ever.

The reference no. 116500LN is the latest addition to the popular Daytona line, featuring a black cerachrom tachymeter bezel, a white dial, and a black subdial outer track. The color contrast is reminiscent of the vintage Daytona 6263, a popular choice for vintage Rolex collectors.

From Basic to Better

Understanding innovation in luxury watch materials first requires knowing what properties these materials bring to the table. Their properties are the starting point that innovations spring from. These are generally concerns of lightness, durability, resistance to corrosion or scratching, and aesthetics. Watch materials fall under five categories: metals, ceramics, polymers, composites, and metalloids.

Panerai Luminor Marina 1950 3 days Automatic Titanio luxury watch materials

The Panerai Luminor Marina 1950 3 days Automatic Titanio uses a titanium case, which is half the weight of stainless steel, is corrosion-resistant, and anti-magnetic, and skin-friendly. 

Metals

For general engineering purposes and in watchmaking, metals are used for their strength, hardness, toughness, lightness, and durability. Metals bear heavy loads, resist high temperatures and pressures, endure a lot of wear and tear in cyclic loads, but where timepieces are concerned, these stresses and demands take place on a smaller, more human level. For example, Jacques Cousteau’s Rolex Submariner and Buzz Aldrin’s Omega Speedmaster only needed to be durable enough to undergo the pressures of undersea diving and the intense g-forces of space travel. As they are, metals and their properties already bring a lot to the watchmaking table.

Stainless steel is the workhorse of watchmaking metals. Alloyed with chromium, stainless steel forms a thin film, invisible to the human eye, that retards oxidation while maintaining a smooth finish on the surface. The material is likewise durable enough to accept a number of finishes: brushed, satin, matte, reflective, mirror, and so on. Lastly, stainless steel can endure the wear and tear of human use, lasting entire lifetimes.

Titanium offers additional improvements over stainless steel. First, it can bear up to five times the load ordinary steels can bear. Second, titanium weighs around half the weight of steel at the same volume. Thus a titanium watch case would offer the same durability as a stainless steel case but at a lighter weight. There are, however, certain stainless steel alloys that are more durable than titanium, but these are used for industrial purposes and hardly in watchmaking. Like stainless steel, titanium has an oxide layer that forms on its surface, making it both corrosion resistant and hypoallergenic—ideal for accessories.

Metallic properties and watch components

Flipping over a A. Lange & Sohne Saxonia, for example, would readily illustrate how metallic properties come into play in horology. The hand-polished, chamfered, or beveled parts all attest to the various metals malleability and ductility. The Glashutte waves and the circular, sunburst, and brushed finishes show how metals can, with expert skill, display a number of finishing touches that come together in one aesthetic effect.

Precious metals like gold, platinum, or sterling silver gain added hardness when electroplated with rhodium. By itself a precious metal with a high melting point and low malleability, rhodium is usually alloyed with nickel, palladium, and gold to become the white gold seen on many luxury timepieces. With sterling silver, it adds tarnish resistance and added shine. If used to set diamonds, its reflective qualities make them appear larger and to advantage.

Meanwhile, blued steel—seen on timepieces mostly as watch hands or screws—partially protects steel from oxidation by applying a surface layer of magnetite, the black oxide of iron. Chemical bluing creates a homogenous shade of blue throughout the metal’s surface; because horology requires some nuance from its materials, the preferred method is thermal bluing by hand. This involves laying the screws or watch hands on a tray, which is lined with brass filings to keep the temperature relatively constant, and heating the tray to around 220° C. The components acquire the blue shade to varying degrees—thinner areas acquire the blue shade more readily than thicker areas, resulting in several subtle shades of blues and purples.

A. Lange & Söhne 1815 Annual Calendar movement luxury watch materials

A. Lange & Söhne is known for its use of precious materials and the degree of finishing it gives all parts of the watch—including the parts that won’t be normally seen, such as in this 1815 Annual Calendar. 

Innovations in horological metals

A few years ago, tantalum was a dark horse in the watch case materials category. It is now generating a fair degree of interest, with its appearance on several timepieces: Hublot’s Big Bang Tantalum Mat, Audemars Piguet’s Royal Oak Leo Messi Edition, and the Panerai Luminor Marina series, among others. As a rare and hard metal, highly corrosion resistant and bioinert, tantalum lends itself well to haute horology. Aesthetically, a timepiece with a tantalum case or bezel would eschew the usual shine of other precious metals and convey a stealthy, matte-gray instead.

Ceramics

While this category includes non-metal inorganic compounds like glass, diamond & sapphire crystals, and graphite, this also includes engineering ceramics that have been used in watch cases and other watch components. Ceramics are the hardest class of materials known. They are around three to four times stronger than stainless steel. Ceramics resist wear and tear easily, maintaining a smooth surface and low friction for a long time. They are also lighter than stainless steel or titanium. With their low density—as low as that of aluminum—and their high hardness, ceramics are an ideal material for watchmaking.

However, ceramics are prone to breaking when hit with a strong enough impact. Ceramics are strong when they come under compression, but their strength is reduced by up to 15 times when under tension; ceramics are not as flexible and ductile as metals. All the same, timepieces with ceramic cases or components are less likely to encounter high-force impacts as say, ceramic aerospace components or industrial tools. Used in a timepiece, ceramics are guaranteed to last several lifetimes, maintaining their smooth finish and low-friction operations.

Rolex Submariner luxury watch materials

The Rolex Submariner uses a ceramic insert, called Cerachrom, for its unidirectional rotating bezel. The material is extremely hard, corrosion-resistant, scratch proof, and its color is unaffected by ultraviolet rays.

Innovations in horological ceramics

Rado set the precedent by being the first to use engineered ceramics for its timepieces. This blends oxides, carbides, nitrates, and zirconium to create a durable, scratch-resistant material that can be shaped into watch cases.

It is for these properties that ceramics find use in many luxury watch bezels, as seen on several Rolex lines, Hublot’s Big Bang, Panerai’s Luminor 1950 series, Omega’s Dark Side of the Moon—all timepieces that require the durability and resistance of ceramics to keep up with their wearer’s active lifestyles.

The Roger Dubuis Excalibur Aventador S is a perfect example of what can be done using forged carbon. It possesses shapes that cannot be molded into place using traditional methods. 

Composites

Carbon fiber was a big hit when it was first used in watches. It was high-tech and advanced, lightweight and strong, and the depth of the checkerboard pattern was mesmerizing to look at. But manufacturing processes have changed. Now, we have forged carbon, a material that looks similar to granite because of its manufacturing process. Instead of layering carbon sheets on top of a mold and injecting resin like a traditional carbon weave, forged carbon is made out of fiber paste mixed with resin squeezed to produce any shape or form possible. It is strong all around but may not be as strong at a specific direction like traditional carbon; the carbon weave can be tuned to be strong at a specific direction. However, forged carbon is easier and cheaper to produce.

The Patek Philippe Aquanaut Travel Time Advanced Research is a special release of Patek Philippe to showcase their craftsmanship using different materials, including Silicon, which is used on the escape wheel and pallet fork.

Metalloids

The latest innovation in watchmaking is the use of a metalloid called, Silicon. Not to be confused with Silicone, which is a liquid or rubber-like synthetic material. Silicon, on the other hand, is a natural element that has both metallic and non-metallic properties. It’s the 2nd most abundant element in the Earth’s crust and it is used in bricks, glass, & in electronic devices. So you might be wondering what use does Silicon have in watches. Well, it plays an integral part in the movement, specifically the balance spring, lever and anchor wheel. It’s anti-magnetic, corrosion resistant, unaffected by temperature changes, generates very little friction, and can be shaped into any form.

This piece was originally published in the print version of Lucerne Luxe Magazine, and condensed for brevity.

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