Monthly Archives: February 2011

Talk About Quartz Watches Fifty Years

More than fifty years ago, a research institute based in Neuchâtel completed its mission to produce a quartz movement that meets watch specifications. For the Swiss watchmaking industry, this is the beginning of a revolution, with good luck and bad luck.

   The advent of Bulova Accutron tuning fork watches in 1960 was a powerful signal that major changes in the field of portable timing were about to usher. The U.S. company was based on the ideas of Swiss engineer Max Hetzel, who was working for the Bulova Walbil branch at the time. Max Hetzel’s idea was to adjust the speed of the movement by replacing the balance wheel or pendulum with a tuning fork. In 1866, Louis-Clément Breguet, a grandson of Mr. Abraham Louis Breguet, experimented with this idea. He loaded a 25 cm high tuning fork into a mechanical fireplace clock.
   Max Hetzel’s idea became possible, thanks to two inventions, which are essential to the overall development of the electronic watch. The first was the 1947 transistor, which also directly led to the second decisive invention, the integrated circuit of 1958. These electronic components make portable devices powered by small batteries a reality. Bulova Accutron tuning forks confirm that electronic watches can be up to five times more accurate than the best mechanical chronographs without having to worry about power for at least a year.

One of the first Bêta 1 movements with an external aluminum case for testing by the Neuchatel Observatory

One of the first Bêta 2 movements with an external aluminum case for testing by the Neuchatel Observatory

Five years of research and development
   Gérard Bauer, then chairman of the Swiss Watch Industry Federation, was vigilant. He realized that the quiet Swiss watchmaking industry was facing a crisis. So in 1959, Gérard Bauer responded by setting up a new research institute in Neuchatel-Centre Electronique Horloger (CEH). René LeCoultre, a member of the Federation, recruits engineers and electronics experts to develop a new watch that is not lost to Bulova Accutron. Various possibilities are considered, but Bulova’s rigorous patent excludes any changes to the tuning fork system.
   In fact, since the 1920s, the principle of quartz timers is no longer a secret. The earliest quartz clocks were comparable in size to cabinets and consumed a lot of power. By 1960, the smallest quartz clocks were battery-powered and were the size of a marine astronomical clock. In many people’s eyes, it’s no wonder that they want to reduce it to watch specifications. But at CEH, some people believe in this possibility and are willing to take risks in this direction. The R & D team was recruited from American Semiconductor because Switzerland does not have enough experts in this area. In 1962, CEH decided to focus on the development of quartz movements.
   It took CEH five years to make what everyone thought impossible impossible a reality. Finally in the summer of 1967, two different prototype movements became operational. They are called Bêta 1 and Bêta 2 (the shelving tuning fork movement item is called Alpha), and they differ in terms of the miniature motor that drives the hands. In that year, a total of 11 movements of both types were taken to the nearby Neuchatel Observatory for the annual timing test. When the test results came out, Jacques Bonanomi, the director of the observatory, couldn’t believe his eyes: the new electronic movement was at least ten times more accurate than the most accurate mechanical watch chronograph movement.

In August 1967, the R & D team assembled the first Bêta movements for testing at the Neuchatel Observatory

Meanwhile, in Japan
   However, this victory has a bitter footnote. When the Swiss team looked at the results in turn, they found that following Bêta 1 and Bêta 2, a Japanese watchmaker Seiko launched its own movement. Two teams that are thousands of miles apart have been working on similar projects, but did not know each other but completed them almost simultaneously. Because the quartz oscillator is not thermally compensated, Seiko’s movement is slightly inferior. However, Seiko movement architecture is more modern and components are easier to industrialize. In fact, Seiko’s tuning-fork quartz crystal resonators (which can be produced by photolithography) and Lavet-type stepper motors are still standard specifications today.
   The ensuing crisis has caused chaos in the Swiss watchmaking industry. The reason is not only the slight technical advantage of the Japanese movement, but also the fundamental differences between the two sides on the future of quartz technology. As a country accustomed to electronics, the Japanese readily accepted the first batch of high-priced quartz watches. They know that over time, modern production methods and normalized supply-demand relationships will make products more affordable.
   On the other hand, in Switzerland, ultra-precise quartz watches are considered unique, limited to a limited number of lucky ones and sold at high prices. In addition, no watchmaking brand is prepared to abandon expensive mechanical watch manufacturing equipment and replace it with electronic movement production tools. Furthermore, it is impossible for a mechanical watchmaker to become an electronic expert overnight.

A bird’s eye view of the Neuchatel Observatory, with a time-referenced meridian telescope (existing at MIH) in the background building

Where to go from CEH
   Next, clichés have become history. By the late 1970s, the quartz crisis had lost one third of the workforce in the Swiss watchmaking industry, and this decline was not contained until the emergence of the Swatch Group in 1983. Finally, Switzerland can compete with Japan in the field of quartz watchmaking. The secret lies in highly automated production, which requires very little manpower to operate the machine.
   After the successful test of Bêta 1 and Bêta 2, CEH began to industrialize the prototype movement. The final result is the Bêta 21 movement, which was applied to watch products by some shareholder brands participating in the project. Only 6,000 Bêta 21 movements were produced, and were soon replaced by quartz movements secretly developed by brands such as Omega, Longines and Girard Perregaux.
   CEH continued to exist until 1984 as Centre Suisse d’ Electronique et de Microtechnique (CSEM), an independent, non-profit research center. CSEM works closely with Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL), part of the latter’s Institute of Microtechnology in Neuchatel. In fact, EPFL researchers and CSEM’s team share the Microcity building. Semiconductor and other electronic component maker EM Microelectronic Marin was spun off from CEH. When it was founded in 1975, its name was Ebauches Electroniques Marin, and the manufacturer now belongs to the Swatch Group.

Rolex Oyster Perpetual Sky-dweller Watch

As the newborn of the Oyster family, the Oyster Perpetual SKY-DWELLER watch presented at the Baselworld 2012 exhibition is a super innovative watch with superb technology and easy operation. Oyster Perpetual SKY-DWELLER watch
SKY-DWELLER relies on 14 patented technologies (5 of which are brand new patents) to provide global travelers with the information they need in a new way, making it easy for them to grasp the time during their journey. The features of this watch include dual time zone display, that is, the central hand of the dial indicates the local time, and an eccentric 24-hour dial to display the time in the reference time zone; it also has an innovative annual calendar device called SAROS, inspired by an astronomical phenomenon You only need to adjust your calendar once a year between February and March. In addition, there are 12 small windows around the dial to display the month.
SKY-DWELLER is the masterpiece of watch art and the result of Rolex’s exquisite technology. It is easy to operate and easy to read time. A new RING COMMAND rotating outer ring is installed between the watch case and the movement. The purpose is to quickly adjust the local time, reference time and calendar display. Just rotate the outer ring to select the function to be adjusted. Then the related functions can be adjusted quickly and bidirectionally through the winding crown, while the crown itself has only one adjustment position.
SKY-DWELLER uses the new 9001 movement, which is completely developed and manufactured by Rolex, and has been officially recognized and recognized by the timepiece. It integrates the famous characteristics of Rolex watches such as precision, sturdiness and reliability, fully showing the brand’s desire to meet watch wear The needs of those who are innovating, forging ahead with passion and creativity.
SKY-DWELLER is available in 18 ct eternal rose gold, platinum and yellow gold, all cast by Rolex’s own foundry. It also features the brand’s signature feature-a triangular pitted outer ring. Designed for noble and elegant people. The 42 mm Oyster case is graceful and elegant, and the entire watch is worthy of the perfect combination of appearance and function, and a high degree of uniformity in aesthetics and technology.
Through the introduction of SKY-DWELLER, Rolex has once again shown the world the superb craftsmanship, can design and manufacture such wonderful watches, and continue to write the wonderful legend of the Oyster series.
Oyster Perpetual SKY-DWELLER is equipped with dual time zone time display which is easy to read and easy to operate. The novel visual effects of this display give this watch a unique aesthetic.参考 Reference time on eccentric disc
During travel, the time of the original place of residence or resident work place can be read on the eccentric rotating dial of the dial, that is, the reference time, which is indicated by a fixed red inverted triangle. This 24-hour display can clearly distinguish day and night in the reference time zone (for example, a sharp distinction is made between 10 pm and 10 am). Therefore, no matter when and where they are, the watch wearer can know whether it is suitable to contact friends on the other side of the earth.
Central hand shows travel time
The time at the travel destination is indicated by the traditional hour, minute and second hands located in the center, and through the independent fast hour hand adjustment system, it is easy and quick to adjust the time by jumping, so the adjustment of the time at the travel place will not affect Hour, minute, and second indication of reference time.
Dual time zone and 24-hour display
Fixed red inverted triangle indicates the reference time. The 24-hour dial allows the wearer to clearly distinguish between day and night.
Date changes according to travel time
The date changes according to the travel time, and it is completed within a few milliseconds of midnight. Therefore, the date displayed in the small window is always the location of the watch wearer.
With innovative display methods and simple operation methods, SKY-DWELLER enables the wearer to travel from one time zone to another as he wants, while always displaying the reference time clearly.沙罗 (SAROS) Calendar
The oyster-type Perpetual SKY-DWELLER has an innovative annual calendar display, which gives this complex clockwork unparalleled ruggedness and reliability. The excellent quality of this calendar comes from a sophisticated device called SAROS. This Rolex patented device, the original idea comes directly from the inspiration from the astronomical phenomenon of the same name.
只需 Only need to be adjusted once a year
This calendar can automatically distinguish between 30-day small months and 31-day large months. The date is automatically displayed correctly throughout the year. You only need to adjust it once a year on March 1st, because there are only 28 or 29 days in February .
Intelligent system
奇 The wonder of the SAROS system developed by Rolex is that it can distinguish between 31 days and 30 days, automatically and correctly display the date, and the procedure is simple. This intelligent device only relies on the addition of four gear trains and two sets of gear trains on the instantaneous change calendar common to Rolex watches. This unusually simple new technology can give the watch’s calendar function unprecedented ruggedness and reliability.
Planetary and satellite gear trains
The word Saros comes from the Greek word, meaning the period of the relative position of the sun, earth and moon about 18 years since ancient times. The calendar system of SKY-DWELLER watches is inspired by this astronomical phenomenon. The SAROS system is designed around a planetary gear train (equivalent to the sun) fixed in the center of the movement. A satellite gear (equivalent to the Earth) meshing with this planetary gear train rotates around the planetary gear train in a period of 30 days, and this satellite gear is driven by a connected calendar disk and rotates at the same time. This satellite gear has four detents (equivalent to the moon), representing four months of 30 days (ie, April, June, September, and November).
Double jump mechanism for instantaneous change of calendar
By accurately calculating the meshing ratio between the satellite gear and the planetary gear train, before the arrival of the 30-day month, a pawl of the satellite gear will receive additional thrust from the date replacement device, making the calendar dial skip two days within a few milliseconds (ie Jump from the 30th to the 1st of the next month) to show the correct date.
Simplified month display window
月份 Each month of the year is displayed by twelve subtle style windows on the outside of the hour marker on the dial: January is at 1 o’clock, February is at 2 o’clock, and so on. The current month is marked by a sharp contrasting color. RINGCOMMAND outer ring
The Oyster Perpetual SKY-DWELLER is equipped with a RING COMMAND rotating outer ring, which can easily adjust the various functions of the watch through the innovative patented technical interface between the movement and the case.
Just turn the outer ring of RING COMMAND counterclockwise by 1, 2 or 3 divisions, then you can select calendar, local time or reference time and other adjustment functions in order. After the function to be adjusted is selected, the selected function can be quickly adjusted by rotating the crown in both directions at any time. The crown has only one adjustment position, which is very easy. Unlike the traditional adjustment mechanism, the interface developed by Rolex will not cause damage to the watch at any time.
Simple and easy-to-use interface
This simple and easy-to-use interface is a complex mechanical module containing more than 60 parts. This module is designed based on cutting-edge micromechanical technology and watchmaking technology. Its core is composed of a double cam and a number of joysticks. Depending on the selected adjustment function, the different gear sets inside the movement are meshed with each other. One cam is driven by pulling out the winding crown, while the other cam is driven by a rotating outer ring.
的 The embodiment of Rolex values
RING COMMAND outer ring reflects the new interactive relationship between the case and the movement, while Rolex fully mastered the design skills and manufacturing process of all major parts of the watch. This new interactive relationship fully reflects the values ​​that Rolex always upholds, and regards watch functionality and wearing comfort as the primary pursuit.
Elegant triangular pit pattern outer ring
SKY-DWELLER is also equipped with a triangular pit pattern outer ring that symbolizes the Rolex brand. Each oyster watch model represented by the date type or the day calendar type has become a symbol of luxury and timeless elegance. 9001 movement
The new Oyster Perpetual SKY-DWELLER 9001 self-winding mechanical movement is a concentrated expression of Rolex technology. This movement is entirely developed in-house by Rolex, has a total of 380 parts, and holds 7 patents, 4 of which are brand new patents. To date, this movement is one of the most complex movements developed by the brand.
选择 The selection wheel located on the edge of the movement makes the movement interact with the outer ring to adjust the different functions of the watch.
Official appraisal timepiece
The 9001 caliber has been officially accredited. This certification is specifically awarded to precision watches that have successfully passed the Swiss Precision Timepiece Testing Centre (COSC) test. As the heart of this watch, its balance wheel is equipped with Rolex’s patented and manufactured paramagnetic alloy blue PARACHROM balance spring.
Superior reliability
The structure of the 的 9001 movement is the same as all oyster movements, and it is accurate and reliable. As the heart of the watch, its balance wheel is equipped with Rolex’s patented PARAFLEX cushioning device, which improves the shock resistance by 50%. The balance is supported by parallel bridges with adjustable height. In addition, the design of the Salo almanac and the RING COMMAND adjustment system is also extremely rugged.
Automatic Perpetual Rotor
The 9001 movement is equipped with a module that is automatically wound by the Rolex Perpetual Oscillator. The oscillating weight continues to wind the mainspring, which can only provide energy to the watch through the swing of the wrist of the watch wearer.

Omega Invites The Stars To Appreciate The Omega Speedmaster Dark Side Watch

According to the House of Watches, the famous Swiss watch brand Omega recently teamed up with the Artists Committee, the Board of Directors, and the future Leadership Committee to celebrate a landmark timing project at the Whitney Museum of American Art ——Omega Speedmaster Dark Side Watch.

 The stars attending the event that evening were a big name, with actors Patrick Wilson, actresses Taylor Schilling and Jaime King, and supermodel Coco Rocha

 Other guests included Wes Gordon, Jodie and Danielle Snyder, Yigal Azrouël, Laura De Gunzburg, Elizabeth Kurpis, Nicole & Matthew Mellon, Thom Felicia, Lydia Fenet and Helen Schifter.

 Omega released the Speedmaster “Dark Side of the Moon” black ceramic watch at Baselworld 2014. This model features a flat convex anti-wear sapphire back, and the polished ceramic case back is engraved with “DARK SIDE OF THE MOON”. ‘(Dark side of the moon) The words’ matt chrome nitride ‘pay tribute to the glorious tradition of the Speedmaster and the classic black design style.

 As a model of Omega’s distinctive style, forward-looking innovation and avant-garde spirit, this all-black Omega Speedmaster watch is full of stylish and dynamic style, adding new vitality to the popular Speedmaster series.

 DJ Hannah Bronfman

 Although Hannah is the daughter of Warner Music Group Chairman Edgar Bronfman, she has mature personal development direction just after graduating from Bard College. She has demonstrated to everyone her creativity and party deterrence. She usually plays DJ, who also runs her record label, will also be involved in an environmentally friendly Green Owl clothing line. She has her own restaurant, Hotel Griffou, in West Village.

 Coco Rocha

 Born in Canada with a melancholic face, Coco Rocha was born with pitiful beauty in his eyes. This kind of look is catching the eyes of the international photographer Steven Messer and boarding in April Italy Cover of the edition ‘VOGUE’. Coco Rocha, although model experience is still shallow, but has won the favor of international super brands.