Monday, March 28, 2016

Lange & Sohne in Sketches

Manufacture Lange & Sohne makes some very iconic timepieces and following my other post featuring The Antiqua Perpetual Calendar in sketches, I am featuring some timepieces from AL&S.

Perhaps one of the most recognised and iconic is the Lange 1.
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And the super-sized Lange 1 Tourbillon.
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And who can resist the 1815 Chronograph?
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And the first generation 1815 chronograph.
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Featured here is the dial of the older 1815 Chronograph.
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And now for the drool-worthy movement of the 1815 chronograph. Look at the column wheel on the right. And such an intricate construction.
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And I wonder during the pre-photograph days if the pocket watch would look something like this...
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And the movement of the Lange Pocket Watch. Check out that post.
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More sketches to come.

Saturday, March 19, 2016

World Timer by Patek - The 5131R

Timepieces from the house of Patek Philippe is much sought after - what more a complication with a Cloisonné enamel dial.

The 5131R features a richly coloured dial in the centre featuring the map of Asia and the Americas.

Cloisonné enamel technique is a complicated technique and I described it in my other article where I featured the Vulcain Cricket Aviator GMT Dragon. Each enamelling step is precise and the colours have to be fired at the right temperature for the colour to shine through.

What's special about the 5131R is the fact that the enamel dial gives it the colour that most other world timers won't. And because it is done with the Cloisonné enamel technique, no two dials are identical. Similar, but not identical. And the shine of the dial, well that is another attraction.

The world timer features 24 time zones and comes with a day and night dial ring.

The push button at the 11 o'clock position adjusts the time zone indicator. Engraved on the case (above the 12 o'clock) is the brand - I wish they had not done so. The purity would have made the timepiece a lot more attractive.

Although the beauty of the enamel dial is undeniable, the words engraved in the case draws a curious look - and after awhile, you realised it states Geneve at the bottom.

Powering the timepiece is Calibre 240 HU which features a micro rotor and the Patek quality seal.

Expertly finished as one would expect of a timepiece from Patek.

There are a few more timepieces that feature a world timer like the Andersen Geneve piece but what makes the 5131R special is the fact that it features a Cloisonné enamel dial. But what spoilt it for me was the engraving on the case. One look and I would have known it is a Patek. So why?

Thanks to my friend who loaned me this for the shoot. Overall, a stunning piece in rose gold and with a colourful Cloisonné enamel dial.

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

The Antiqua Perpetual Calendar in Sketches

Apps are a wonderful tool of the internet age. And I used them recently to convert some photos I had taken into wonderful sketches.

So how would you like the Vianney Halter Antiqua in sketches?
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I had featured a few of Vainney's timepieces in a few other posts. But the most iconic of all is perhaps the Antiqua featuring a three part dial with a date window. First, the time...
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Then the sub-dial at the 7 o'clock position showing the month and leap year indication.
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The date window is found to the right of that indicator.
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The last sub-dial is found at the 10 o'clock position showing the day of the week. And the movement side.
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Some pretty cool sketches I think. Hope you like them. For more on the iconic piece please check out this post on the Antiqua Perpetual Calendar.

Friday, March 4, 2016

Parmigiani Pantograph - An Unusual Complication

The Parmigiani Ovale Pantographe is a rather unique timepiece that I have not seen in any other timepiece.

I truly believe that Parmigiani is an undervalued brand - they do such great timepieces but often overlooked for more illustrious Swiss brands. Their finishing is top notch and most (if not all) houses an in-house movement. With Mr. Michel Parmigiani starting his earlier career in restoration, he has had the opportunity to work on some interesting vintage pieces that have long been forgotten. Enter the Parmigiani Ovale Pantographe.

The first thing that grabs your attention are the hands - telescopic hands! I could not stop staring at the hands of the Pantographe. Unique and perhaps the most complicated to assemble for this timepiece.

As the hands makes its round across the dial, they extend and retract like a pantograph which was an instrument which allows the user to scale up (usually) maps and drawings.

The lacquered white dial is beautifully finished as one would expect from Manufacturer Parmigiani.

On the movement size, the in-house calibre PF111 is perhaps a derivative of the PF110 found in the Kalpa XL Hebdomadaire which I had written about earlier. As with the Hebdomadaire, the timepiece comes with an impressive 8 days of power reserve and the indicator is at the top of the dial. Hebdomadaire means a week in French.

I am always impressed by the finishing of the movement on Parmigiani's timepieces regardless of the range,

When one takes a look at the hands again, it is truly impressive how they manufactured the hands and the cams that hold the extending hands together. Some feat in micro-engineering.

The thing with the Parmigiani Ovale Pantographe is that it looks simple - but nothing about the pantograph mechanism is simple. It is anything but... That's where the beauty is - a simple complication.

Many thanks to a friend who loaned me the timepiece for this article. A gem of a timepiece and a rather unusual one at that. Kudos to the guys in Fleurier.