A. Lange & Söhne, Breguet, Montblanc, Patek Philippe and Vacheron Constantin. They rank among the most beautiful chronographs ever built.
Let yourself be swept away to a ticking festival of the senses… 🙂
Neither a date-indication distracts from the puristic design, nor does a chronograph-hour-counter. A running seconds counter, hours, minutes and a 30 (20)-minutes-counter are more than enough. Yes, less is more!
But the expression less is more does not apply on the movements of these chronographs.
On the contrary, the five manually wound calibres mirror the high school of classical watchmaking.
Whilst the calibre of the A. Lange & Söhne “1815 Chronograph”, the Montblanc “1858 Chronograph Tachymeter“, the Patek Philippe Chronograph Reference “5170“ and the Vacheron Constantin Chronograph “Historiques Cornes de vache 1955“ can be admired on the reverse side through the sapphire case-back, the Breguet “Tradition Chronographe Indépendant 7077” offers big cinema on the wrist on the front side.
The A. Lange & Söhne calibre “L951.5” is manufactured to the highest quality standards and fully decorated and assembled by hand. The column-wheel controlled calibre is adjusted in five positions, the plates and bridges made of untreated German silver, the balance cock engraved by hand. The balance wheel with eccentric poising weights, equipped with an in-house manufactured spiral, oscillates at 18,000 semi-oscillations per hour or 2,5 Hertz.
Breguet has fitted its new “Tradition Chronographe Indépendant 7077” model with two independent trains. The first is the going train for the hours and minutes, regulated by a 3 Hertz-balance and having a power reserve of 50 hours. For the chronograph, the second transmission has a 5-Hertz-frequency (36.000 semi-oscillations per hour) to ensure a 1/10 of a second reading on the dial. Normally, a second train implies a second barrel to provide the energy required by the chronograph. This approach nonetheless needs more space.
With the “Tradition Chronographe Indépendant 7077”, Breguet’s technicians have introduced a new type of spring perfectly suited to the chronograph function. The user when operating the reset-to-zero function provides the energy required to drive the chronograph. This energy is stored in a flexed blade spring. The power reserve of this historical type of spring amounts to no more than 20 minutes, but this is far enough for measuring short elapsed times.
The chronograph specialist Minerva in Villeret manufactures the Montblanc calibre “MB M16.29”. Montblanc had bought the latter in October 2006. The mono-pusher chronograph is controlled by a column-wheel, the movement architecture reflects the one of the historic Minerva caliber “17.29” from the year 1929. The particular large balance wheel, of course equipped with an in-house manufactured spiral, oscillates at 18,000 semi-oscillations per hour or 2,5 Hertz.
The manually wound Patek Philippe chronograph calibre “CH 29-535 PS” was launched in the year 2010. It is built with a column wheel and a horizontal clutch. Its balance wheel oscillates at 28,800 semi-oscillations per hour or 4 Hertz. It ultimately replaced the before purchased Nouvelle Lémania calibre “2310”.
Do you remember? Patek Philippe with great efforts transformed the not Geneva hallmark ready “2310” to the Patek Philippe Geneva hallmark certified calibre “CH 27-70 PS“. (Poinçon de Genève = Hallmark of Geneva)
The above mentioned Nouvelle Lémania “2310” is now ticking in a technically modified version in the Vacheron Constantin. The Geneva manufactory used the chronograph caliber in the past years together with Breguet and Patek Philippe.
Now Vacheron Constantin secured the rights to the caliber “2310” and modified it that it meets the new stricter criteria of the Geneva hallmark. Vacheron Constantin internally changed the caliber name from “1141” to “1142”. By the way, one of the modifications concerns the cadence of the balance: It was raised to 21,600 semi-oscillations per hour or 3 Hertz; originally, as you all know, the balance oscillated at 18,000 semi-oscillations per hour or 2,5 Hertz.