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Happy “Perpetual Calendar Day”

Today is known to some as “Leap Day” and to others as “Perpetual Calendar Day!” In honor of “Perpetual Calendar Day,” a complication seen in several timepieces at de Boulle, let’s take a look back at this fascinating piece of horlogerie.
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de Boulle – Proud Authorized Dealer ROLEX Dallas, TX

de Boulle Diamond & Jewelry is proud to be an Authorized Dealer for ROLEX timepieces. The fine Swiss watch brand just doubled down with confidence in their impressive timepieces’ performance by adding on years to every timepieces warranty.

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Roger Bannister’s 4-minute Mile Stopwatch Goes to Auction

On May 6, 1954 Roger Bannister finally smashed the four-minute mark for mile times. The runner’s record breaking laps were recorded by this watch as well as just a few more to confirm the record-setting pace in history books.

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Uncovered United States Naval Issue Tudor Submariner

It has been well recorded throughout history Tudor Submariners involvements as the official timepiece of the French Marine Nationale, it has been much less clear the involvement in the United States Navy. It has been recorded the Tudor Submariners were used by certain units in the 1950’s and 1960’s but recently a relic from the past has been uncovered shedding more light on the watches history. What makes this find so special is that it has both issue number as well as case back engravings.

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Heavenly Exploration with Jaeger-LeCoultre’s Master Grande Tradition Tourbillon Cylindrique à Quantième Perpétuel

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Brevity has never been a specialty of Jaeger-LeCoultre and their latest perpetual calendar the Master Grande Tradition Tourbillion Cylindrique à Quantième Perpétuel is no exception! After you give yourself a few moments to let the name sink in, the timepiece is a pure beauty and offers far more than you might imagine at first glance.

The gorgeous granual blue dial, modeled after the celestial canopy on a perfectly clear night is sure to be the first element to capture your attention. Further exploring the celestial beauty can be seen at 3 o’clock a perpetual moon phase, which is integrated with the perpetual calendar system.

At the watches 12 o’clock position you will see the traditional perpetual indications along with a complete zodiac calendar. At the 6 o’clock hour you can see the stunning in-house tourbillion with cylindrical balance springs. Unlike other tourbillion the Quantième Perpétuel unit does not have the negative effect on the power source like we you would typically find with a perpetual calendar. Additionally, unlike many tourbillion, the case is constructed entirely of titanium, making it lighter than most others and managing the power in the most effective way.

The pre-programming on this timepiece are simply outstanding allowing the calendar and moon phases to be adjusted simultaneously. From our experiences with a perpetual, this is a great feature.

With a 22k self-winding rotor showing a reproduction of the gold medal won by Jauger-LeCoultre in the 1889 Paris Universal Exhibition, the Quantième Perpétuel is a watch to be worn.

 

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Girard-Perregaux 1966 with Guilloche Dial

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Last year the Girard-Perregaux 1966 collection grabbed our attention as a very functional and wearable offering. Furthermore the 1966 Limited Edition in enamel was a simply incredible piece due to the intricate miniature detailing and cloisonné work. A year later, Girard-Perregaux has revealed the 1966 with a guilloché dial.

 

The technique ‘Guilloché’ refers to engraving a dial in hollowed, concentric patterns utilizing a large hand-turned rose-engine lathe. The new model employs this process to give the flinqué dial a webbed appearance, with each arabesque section beginning at the center and ending at the hour markers.

 

Along with the ‘Guilloché’ engraving, a raised bezel gives the 1966 further depth. The watch features a wonderful balance between the engravings, black printing, pink gold batons and feuille hands. Additionally the date window is carved out, and the effect of matting creates a highly inclusive design.

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One of the outstanding features of the Girard-Perregaux’s 1966 watches is their face size. Typically we have seen dress watches at 40-41mm range, but the 1966 has ever so slightly downsized to 38 mm. Those few mm make a world of difference for many wrist sizes out there along with simple design cues.

 

Within the new 1966, the caliber GP03300 beats at 4 Hz. It is a self-winding manufacture movement that is finished with circular graining, Geneva stripes and an 18k gold rotor. The power reserve measures in at approximately 46 hours. Along with the mens watch, the 1966 is offered as a 30 mm ladies’ model with a bezel set with 60 diamonds. The men’s and ladies’ models are both offered with black alligator straps, curved to follow the contours of the case.

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The Girard-Perregaux 1966 with guilloche offers a number of wonderful features. The combination of pure design with classic artisanal work and reserves its size to a formal 38 mm.

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F.P. Journe Grande Sonnerie

In the world of watch making, specifically high complications the grande sonnerie lives on its own pedestal. Both the grande sonnerie and petite sonnerie hold an elevated place, far above even split-second chronographs, perpetual calendars and above even the once considered untouchable tourbillion. While the first complications emerged in the 1940s the first grand sonnerie wasn’t born until1992 at the capable hands of no one other than Philippe Dufour. Only recently did Patek Philippe unveil their first grande sonnerie timepiece. In the world of watchmaking it is a very small fraternity who is capable of producing such a piece. They are in fact that special, and François-Paul Journe unveiled his Sonnerie Souveraine in 2006, on his own.

Defined a sonnerie is a watch which features an active striking mechanism that chimes the quarters and hours without activation from the user. A grande sonnerie strikes the hours and the quarters each quarter. For example, at 2:15, with a grande sonnerie, the watch would create two chimes (dongs) for the hours, and then one strike (ding dong) for the first quarter. At 2:30, the watch would emit two chimes for the hours, followed by two strikes for the two quarters. A petite sonnerie watch would strike only the quarters, at 2:14 you would hear just one chime for the first quarter. In comparison, a minute repeater, strikes the hours, quarters, and minutes, but it is activated by the wearer.

The trick behind the grand sonnerie is the power consumption, whereby a minute repeater is not faced with this issue making it an easier to construct. In a repeater, the chime mechanism is recharged by a slide prior to sounding. On the other hand, a sonnerie, siphons away power from the timekeeping mechanism throughout the day. The Sonnerie Souveraine by F.P. Journe is a grande and petite sonnerie as well as a minute repeater.

Take into account that F.P. Journe’s first wristwatch, wasn’t a simple watch, it was a tourbillion – the very first wrist-bound tourbillion with remontour d’egalite, ever. This watch was revealed in 1999, and just one year later, Mr Jorne would begin work on his sonnerie. It took six years before the Sonnerie Souveraine would be revealed to the public. Keep in mind F.P. Journe watches are developed by one man, François-Paul Journe. This project took six years to develop, however it should also be taken into consideration Journe released a number of other pieces during this time.

You might expect the Sonnerie Souveraine to be highly complicated to wear by the user but this is perhaps its most impressive characteristic, it is in fact, extraordinarily straight forward. Technically speaking however, the watch itself is highly complicated, requiring six years of development and during the creation of the watch F.P. Journe received ten patents for the new design required for its construction. During this build process the Sonnerie Souveraine was actually the first timepiece to be made in its entirety within the Journe downtown Geneva manufacture.

The idea however behind this watch isn’t to be a halo piece that lives inside a safe, rather it was designed to be a functional real world wristwatch. Even the case was designed with functionality in mind, made with steel construction, which as it turns out has the best resonance traits. The Sonnerie Souveraine is however sensationally complicated to produce and takes a single watchmaker over three months to assemble all 582 pieces. Despite the complexity in building the watch, the use couldn’t be more straightforward. The button at two o-clock activates the minute repeater. The button residing at four o’clock alters the watch from grande to petite mode, or switches the watch into silent mode. The time is read on the right hand side of the face while a power reserve dial can been seen at 11:30. That is all there is to it.

After taking the first prize in the 2006 Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève, it received ten patents during its development and only four are built per year and it is the prized watch of one of todays greatest watchmakers, few would argue over the watches value.

Upon purchase the Sonnerie Souveraine is not labeled with a series number, but the owner’s name on the case and the movement. According to Journe this gives the watch its own soul and own identity. To ensure your watch may be serviced for years to come each timepieces comes delivered with extra internal components.

 

ORIGINAL ARTICLE ON www.hodinkee.com