The reason for being of the Mirrored Force Resonance is to display the interesting functionality of the resonant balances while improving the watch’s overall precision. Click on “read more” and discover this new timepiece …
When I last week saw Armin Strom´s Mirrored Force Resonance I asked myself: Is this l´art pour l´art or a major milestone for Swiss watchmaking?
It is a major milestone for Armin Strom to have designed, developed and manufactured such a watch and to be able to still sell it for a reasonable price. But it is also l´art pour l´art since the visual impression is more significant then the improvement in accuracy. Please do not misunderstand me, this is not a disparagement of the great accomplishments the team of Armin Strom and its technical director Claude Greisler did, I just try to correctly position the watch.
Now this is only my humble opinion. I invite you now to discover the Mirrored Force Resonance and to let me know what you think.
The phenomenon of synchronized motion in horology has fascinated watchmakers since the time of Christiaan Huygens (1629-1695). Huygens, inventor of the pendulum clock, was the first to discover the resonance of two separate pendulum clocks, which he logically surmised should keep slightly different time. When hung from a common beam, however, the pendulums of the adjacent clocks synchronized; subsequent researchers confirmed that the common wooden beam coupled the vibrations and created resonance. The two pendulums functioned as one in a synchronous manner.
In the eighteenth century, Abraham-Louis Breguet demonstrated his mastery of the phenomenon with his double pendulum resonance clock.
The advantages of resonance are threefold: 1. A stabilizing effect on timekeeping (advantageous to accuracy). 2. A conservation of energy (think of a professional cyclist riding in the shadow of another cyclist in a racing situation). 3. A reduction of negative effects on timekeeping accuracy due to outside perturbation such as shock to the balance staff, which in turn keeps the rate more stable and increases precision.
An outside shock that slows one of the balances down increases the speed of the other one by the same amount; both balances will strive to get back in resonance, thereby averaging and minimizing the effects of the outside influence as they find their rhythm.
To provide an idea of how difficult the horological execution of this concept is, an exhaustive list of watchmakers that have successfully used resonance in an extremely limited number of timepieces includes Antide Janvier (1751-1855), Abraham-Louis Breguet (1747-1823), so few modern clock- and watchmakers that they can likely be counted on one hand.
>> I asked Claude Greisler to describe us his Mirrored Force Resonance …
“Alexander, the resonant Caliber ARF15 is a classically constructed manually wound movement that was conceived, manufactured, assembled, and regulated in-house. It beats at a 3.5 Hz (25,200 A/h) frequency, allowing the observer to really appreciate the patented, resonant regulators in action. The movement is resolutely modern, with a novel, yet impeccably executed finish providing a roomy and stable stage for the real show: the symmetrical twin display of seconds, which are bound by a single spring.”
>> Claude, how long did it take you to develop the spring?
“The resonance clutch spring needed to realize the Mirrored Force Resonance’s twin display of seconds was so technical that we were left with no choice other than to create what it needed in house. Like Calibre ARF15, the resonance clutch spring comprises only a traditional horological material: steel. I spent spent fully two and a half years with my team perfecting the shape and characteristics of the spring: calculating, optimizing, simulating, testing, and improving again and again until the spring had the optimal, unique form needed to connect the two sets of oscillators, each comprising twin balance wheels and balance springs.”
>> How do the balance wheels oscillate? Clockwise and the other counterclockwise? How do they react to shocks?
“The two connected oscillators make their revolutions in opposite directions, which is eminently visible on the dial side of the watch, one rotating clockwise and the other counterclockwise. So the animated elements look much like they are performing a magic trick. If the 48-hour power reserve has been exhausted and the movement requires a fresh injection of energy through winding, the twin balance wheels need approximately 10 minutes to become synchronous. In case of any outside influence in the form of shock, it takes only a few minutes for the two balances to find their resonant rhythm once again. This is because it is not the balance wheels that we have connected using the resonance clutch spring, but rather the balance spring studs, which receive the impulses.”
>> What is the push-piece at 2 o`clock for?
“The case band pusher at 2 o’clock resets the luminous twin seconds’ displays to zero, simultaneously resetting the twin balance wheels.”
>> Is the Mirrored Force Resonance protected by a patent?
“The Mirrored Force Resonance is the most complicated timepiece that we manufacture, so it is not surprising that a patent has been registered on it.”
>> Claude, whats the reason for being of the Mirrored Force Resonance?
“Alexander, the raison d’être of the Mirrored Force Resonance is to display the interesting functionality of the resonant balances while improving the watch’s overall precision. The resonance clutch spring provides the watch with a fascinating and patented animation of the way it functions. This remains in line with our philosophy as a brand: no nonsense, just good, proprietary mechanics presented in an impeccably finished and interesting way. The resonance clutch spring is exciting in another way, too: it visually proves this timepiece’s resonance.”
Claude put it very well when he formulated: “The resonance clutch spring provides the watch with a fascinating and patented animation of the way it functions”.
In the end this is what a wristwatch at this level needs. No one buys such a watch to tell the time. Armin Strom´s Mirrored Force Resonance is an emotional timepiece that tells a story and it is watchmaking cinema for the wrist. One can enjoy the scene again and again without getting bored at all. The gain of accuracy is a matter of secondary importance. If I need to read the precise time from a watch I can do this with a much cheaper or with a digital one.
Do you agree? Let me know!
Armin Strom´s Mirrored Force Resonance at a glance:
|Manufacture movement||Armin Strom calibre ARF15
Manual-winding, resonance clutch spring, twin display of seconds, off-centre time indications
Frequency: 25,200 A/h (= 3,5 Hz)
Number of components: 226
|Case||18 carat rose gold
Sapphire crystal and case back with antireflective treatment
Diameter: 43.40 mm
Height: 13.00 mm
Water resistance: 50m
|Dial ring||Black with founded appliques|
|Straps||Delivered with a genuine brown alligator horn-back strap and 18kt rose gold ardillon buckle as well as an additional brown rubber strap. A double-folding clasp in 18kt rose gold is available as an option.|
|Edition||Limited to 50 pieces|
|Retail price||67.000 CHF including 8 % VAT|
Armin Strom Calibre ARF15 characteristics
|Functions:||Hours, minutes, twin display of seconds|
|Winding mechanism:||Manual winding|
|Impulse:||Two independent, symmetrically mirrored regulators|
|Plate and bridges:||Plate and bridges are decorated at the highest quality level|
|Regulating system:||Two independent regulation systems that stabilize each other connected by a resonance clutch spring|
|Frequency:||25,200 A/h (= 3,5 Hz)|
|Number of jewels:||43|
|Number of individual parts:||226|
|Power reserve:||48 hours|