Tourbillon pocket watch

Tourbillon pocket watchUp Close Patek Observatory Tourbillon Pocket Watch No.

Of the hundreds of watches offered this auction season in Hong Kong, arguably the biggest bargain when taking into account sheer horological value and historical importance is the Patek Philippe observatory tourbillon pocket watch with movement number 198 312 that will be sold at Phillips.

Patek Philippe only made about 100 tourbillon pocket watches starting in the 1860s to the mid 20th century, primarily for observatory time trials, which were then a vital marketing tool.

Consequently, most tourbillon pocket watches were not sold, and instead submitted over and over again to observatory contests.

It is believed only about 10 or so tourbillon pocket watches were ever sold, and this is one of them.

According to the archive extract, the watch was sold, somewhat surprisingly, in 1934, during the Great Depression.

The extract also notes the sale only came after it was submitted to the Geneva Observatory twice in 1929 when it won first prize, and then in 1931 when it received an honourable mention.

Observatory tourbillon pocket watches were a spare-no-expense creation, produced by the most talented craftsmen using the most expensive materials.

This watch for instance has its regulator scale plate, which is screwed onto the tourbillon carriage, made of solid gold, as are the wheels of the gear train.

And the balance is split and bimetallic with gold adjusting screws, the top of the line balance wheel of the time.

The decoration of the movement is lavish and extraordinary.

All of the visible flat surfaces of the steel components are black polished, while the jewels and screws sit in polished countersinks, and the list goes on.

the movement has obviously been serviced, occasionally roughly, over its 80-year history, it remains in excellent condition, retaining all of its elaborate, original decoration.

Needless to say, the watch was produced by an all-star team.

The tourbillon carriage was the work of Hector Golay, and not the better known James C.

Pellaton as stated in the Phillips catalogue.

Mr Golay s tourbillons are distinguished by the inward curved arms of the carriage and bridge, which contrast with the straight arms found on Mr Pellaton s tourbillons.

The other horological star involved in building this tourbillon was François Modoux, a top régleur , or regulator, whose job it was to adjust the movement.

Because observatory trials were such important events, talented régleurs were amongst the most sought after watchmakers, and were paid several multiples the salary of ordinary watchmakers.

Notably, the Patek Philippe observatory tourbillon no.

198 423 that took the top award at the Kew-Teddington observatory s toughest time trial, known as the Craftsmanship Test, also had a tourbillon carriage made by Mr Golay, and was regulated by Mr Modoux, along withe fellow superstar régleurs André Zibach and Henri Wehrli.

Despite the incredible movement inside, the dial is plain, as is the case for all of Patek Philippe s observatory.

This dial is white vitreous enamel in two pieces, with the seconds sub-dial sunken, and the hour numerals as well as hands in Breguet style.

The movement number is painted in enamel on the sub-dial, as is the case for all Patek Philippe tourbillon watches, even its modern day wristwatches.

And the case is 18k yellow gold, and 47.

5mm in diameter, but relatively thick for a pocket watch of this size.

This watch was originally sold at auction in 2009 by Patrizzi Co.

, the short-lived venture established by Antiquorum founder Osvaldo Patrizzi, for the princely sum of SFr310,000 to a prominent Swiss collector who has now consigned it to Phillips.

In comparison, the estimate now is a mere HK 1.

5m, or US 128,000 to US 192,000 a bargain for a watch of this calibre.

It is lot 840 in the Hong Kong watch auction that takes place on November 27.

Found Two Incredible Pocket Watches From Girard-Perregaux, Including A Tourbillon With Three Bridges Over 150 Years Old.

The romantic notion of a handmade watch is one that doesn t stand very much exposure to the present world of watchmaking.

For many decades, the overwhelming majority of components found in series produced watches have been produced by multi-axis milling machines, and if today you visit pretty much any watch manufactory from the smallest to the largest, you ll see that most parts are being made by computer controlled CNC machines.

There are any number of practical reasons why this is so, of course and in general, everyone has benefited, including consumers but it s interesting to look back occasionally to watches made at a time when handmade meant just that and when the skill of the hands doing the making was instantly visible.

These two pocket watches, from Girard-Perregaux, represent the absolute acme of the art of watchmaking in the 19th century, and a range of manual skills that in some cases at least are for all intents and purposes extinct.

The romantic notion of a handmade watch is one that doesn t stand very much exposure to the present world of watchmaking.

For many decades, the overwhelming majority of components found in series produced watches have been produced by multi-axis milling machines, and if today you visit pretty much any watch manufactory from the smallest to the largest, you ll see that most parts are being made by computer controlled CNC machines.

There are any number of practical reasons why this is so, of course and in general, everyone has benefited, including consumers but it s interesting to look back occasionally to watches made at a time when handmade meant just that and when the skill of the hands doing the making was instantly visible.

These two pocket watches, from Girard-Perregaux, represent the absolute acme of the art of watchmaking in the 19th century, and a range of manual skills that in some cases at least are for all intents and purposes extinct.

The two pocket watches we ll be looking at were both loaned to us for this story by the Girard-Perregaux Museum, which was opened in 1999 in the Villa Marguerite in La Chaux-de-Fonds.

They come from a very early period in the history of the company Girard-Perregaux in this watch, with the arrowhead-and-rod configuration seen in many modern Girard-Perregaux watches.

The movement is constructed of brass, steel, jewels, and German silver maillechort .

The bridges this shape was patented by Girard-Perregaux in 1884 are made of a somewhat more expensive material platinum.

The movement is organized in a very straightforward and visually appealing fashion.

It s worth mentioning, by the way, that by and large during the 19th century, Swiss watchmakers did not use a very wide range of movement layouts, and the whole idea of innovating in the shape and configuration of a movement s bridgework was one that a lot of the Swiss industry just wasn t interested in, as it had little to no effect on the actual precision of a watch.

You can t help but feel, though, when you look at this watch, that the layout is so visually logical that it really underscores the maker s devotion to precision, and a collective emotional commitment to the quality of the work.

The mainspring is to the right, center wheel in the middle, and the very large diameter balance to the far left.

Notice that as the power flows through the train, the diameter of the pivots goes down dramatically.

The mainspring barrel pivot is pretty large as the amount of pressure exerted by the mainspring on its bearings is at its greatest at this point, with strength being the main priority.

However, even seen from this distance, the balance pivots are all but invisible as here, side-load is almost non-existent, and reducing friction to an absolute minimum is the main goal.

Above, we re looking at the heart of the watch the balance and balance spring.

Their materials, construction, and shape are extremely technically specific, and represent specific technical solutions to very old problems in watchmaking.

The balance spring in a watch provides what s called the restoring force in other words, it does the same thing for the balance that gravity does for a pendulum.

You start to understand why a balance spring is essential to accuracy when you realize that the harder the gear train kicks the balance via the escapement the harder the balance spring pushes back technically, we say that the restoring force is always proportional to the perturbing force.

This means the balance frequency should be independent of power a condition known as isochronism.

There are two reasons, however, that in reality the balance spring can never be perfectly isochronous temperature, and gravity.

Temperature changes the elasticity of the steel from which the balance spring traditionally tempered to a cornflower blue color is made.

What you need, therefore, is a way to change the amount of effective inertia of the balance so that as the spring loses elasticity when it gets warmer the balance loses effective inertia, and vice versa.

Traditionally in watchmaking, this was done with what s called a compensating balance so called because it compensates for the effects of temperature on the balance spring.

A compensating balance is actually made by welding together two metals with different coefficients of expansion typically, brass and steel.

The balance is ring-shaped, but it s actually two semicircles, fixed to the arms of the balance at one end, and free to flex at the other.

The balance arms move inward when it warms up, reducing the effective inertia of the balance the usual analogy is to a figure skater drawing their arms inward to increase their speed of rotation when the elasticity of the spring is reduced, and vice versa.

The screws on the balance are actually there for two purposes first, for poising the balance that is, to compensate for any tiny heavy or light spots along the rim and second, for regulating the watch, or adjusting its frequency.

You can do this with a regulator that uses a sweeping index and two index pins to change the effective length of the balance spring as is done in most watches today but the purer approach is to not use a regulator, which interferes with the free motion of the spring and compromises it as an oscillator component.

Instead, you just use mean-time screws on the balance.

This whole process requires an absolutely tremendous amount of time and skill.

In 1890 it would have gone something like this.

First, you have to make the balance itself.

Then you make the spring, which has to be of the correct length, temper, and strength.

You then poise the balance statically you make sure there are no light or heavy spots, and you compensate for light or heavy spots through a painstaking process of either adding tiny washers under the poising screws, or removing metal from their undersides, until the balance is perfectly poised you d do this by putting the balance on its pivots on two knife edges made of ruby or agate and seeing if it rolled at all .

Then you manually pin the spring to the balance and begin adjusting to temperature.

You do this by heating and cooling the watch and making observations of its rate over a period of many days, and you adjust the degree of temperature compensation by moving screws closer to, or further from, the cuts in the balance.

Needless to say, this can mess up the poise of the balance so you have to be able to adjust one thing without disturbing another.

You also need to adjust the balance to positions crown up, right, left, down, and in the flat positions dial up and down , which may involve anything from shifting the position of the screws, making minute adjustments in the inner and or outer attachment points of the balance spring, making near-invisible changes to the shape of the balance pivots, and so on.

Now consider that this was all done by hand and eye, largely with simple hand tools, and that it took years of training to be able to do this work, and weeks for each watch, and you begin to understand why a good watch in 1890 was expensive.

The skills needed to do this sort of work could probably be reconstructed if you really wanted to and were awfully stubborn, but there s no company left that I m aware of that would even consider bothering and yet, it was for many decades absolutely indispensable to achieving real accuracy and rate stability.

Though the ability to make a bimetallic balance hasn t totally vanished.

If you re going to do this sort of work it probably helps if you lead an extremely regular and deliberately uninteresting life, which helps explain how watchmaking took hold so well in Switzerland.

The 1890 pocket watch is a very hard act to follow but fortunately the next watch we have is in every way just as interesting to put it mildly .

This is one of the very, very first three-bridge tourbillons from Girard-Perregaux.

As with the JJC pocket watch, we unfortunately don t know the identity of the original owner though his initials are on the cover JCG.

The name of the retailer is on the dial a Spanish dealer, named Hermann Piaget, whom we are told by Girard-Perregaux museum director Willy Schweitzer was located in Cordoba.

Pocket Watch Tourbillon GMT Ceramica – 59mm.

Please note that images are stock photographs and that colors and sizes may not exactly correspond to actual products.

selected accessories for Pocket Watch Tourbillon GMT Ceramica – 59mm.

Visit your nearest Boutique.

Officine Panerai has a very exclusive Boutiques worldwide, which offers to all Panerai enthusiasts the opportunity to discover the collection of the Florentine brand.

Technical details.

POCKET WATCHES.

PERFECT HARMONY OF DESIGN AND CRAFTSMANSHIP.

In the first decades of the twentieth century the Panerai Boutique was a point of referencefor those who were looking for a pocket watch, a fact witnessed by the Italian inscription Pocket watches of the main Swiss brands engraved on the glass window of the Boutique in Piazza San Giovanni in Florence.

It was during the First World War that wristwatches began to spread gradually, transforming the pocket watch from a daily accessory to a rarity treasured by connoisseurs and collectors.

HIGH-TECH CERAMIC.

The ceramic used in Pocket Watch cases is a high-tech zirconium oxide powder ZrO2 containing 3 binder and colouring pigments.

This high-tech ceramic has many advantages, such as extreme hardness and long-term resistance against wear and corrosion.

2005 S calibre.

2005 S skeleton hand-wound mechanical movement with a diameter of 16 lignes and 31 jewels, is characterised by the exclusive Panerai tourbillon that rotates perpendicularly to the axis of the balance, completing two rotations a minute instead of one, as in traditional tourbillons.

This rate of rotation ensures greater accuracy and better compensation of the effects of gravity on the movement this tourbillon is an Officine Panerai registered patent .

Consisting of 277 components, the movement is the result of the exceptional work of Officine Panerai s master watchmakers and, thanks to its three spring barrels, guarantees the Radiomir Tourbillon GMT Ceramica 48mm a power reserve of six days, indicated by a hand that can be seen through the case back.

To enhance the beauty of the Panerai skeleton movement, the watch has no dial the numerals and indexes are engraved on the flange.

Карманные Officine Panerai Special Editions 2013 Tourbillon GMT Ceramic Pocket Watch PAM 00446.

Карманные часы Officine Panerai Special Editions 2013 Tourbillon GMT Ceramic Pocket Watch PAM 00446 с двойным временем и турбийоном выпущены в корпусе из керамики.

Размер составляет 59 мм, водонепроницаемость 30 м.

Внутри корпуса установлен механизм с ручным заводом, Калибр P.

2005 S, обеспечивающий запас хода 6 дней.

На черном скелетированном циферблате отображаются часы, минуты, секунды, запас хода.

Часы комплектуются керамической цепочкой.

Часы выпущены ограниченной серией 50 шт.