About Fine Watches
DISCOVER THE ART OF TIME
The Dawn of Timecraft
It may begin as legacy, a storied inheritance passed down through generations. Or perhaps, it takes the form of a gift, thoughtfully presented on the occasion of a special birthday, wedding, or graduation. For some, it begins as a personal quest, fueled by an earnest desire to possess the very finest things available in life.
Yet it is inevitably our childlike wonder that truly sparks an infatuation with fine timepieces. At the moment we first discover the exquisite craftsmanship, the superlative attention to detail, and the inimitable grace of these incredible devices, time seems to stop. In that moment, a new obsession begins.
In time, nuances of the horologic arts come into sharper focus, and our individual tastes reveal themselves. Like with fine wine, a connoisseur’s appreciation emerges, guided by an ever-expanding wealth of knowledge.
Soul of the Movement
It is curious to note that accuracy, while important, is not the main indicator of a timepiece’s value. Electric-powered, quartz movement watches offer superior accuracy to those with manual and automatic mechanical movements. But while some aficionados may collect quartz-powered watches, inevitably, the most highly sought-after watches feature mechanical movements.
Mechanical, hand-wound watches date back to the 16th century, where they first evolved from spring-powered timepieces created a century earlier. These manual movements are the most traditional of all, and are commonly found in very conservative, expensive, and highly collectible watches today.
To timepiece connoisseurs, the value of today’s exquisite timepieces is rooted in over 600 years of expertise, refinement, and innovation. In effect, today’s collectible timepieces represent a culmination, where centuries-old technology meets state-of-the-art craftsmanship.
All Wound Up
At the heart of the manual, or “hand-wound” movement, is a winding mechanism that stores the energy needed to drive the watch without electric power. While some manual watches may need to be wound once every couple of days, some high-end watches are able to store energy for months at a time.
When you wind a watch, you rotate a stem called the “crown,” which engages and rotates a mainspring, causing it to store energy in the form of tension within the length of its coiled, spring-steel body. The stored energy is then carefully doled out by a series of gears that parcel it precisely to second, minute, and hour hands. To ensure that the energy is spent evenly, an escape wheel (or “escapement”) and balance wheel carefully regulate the stored energy, determining the timepiece’s overall accuracy.
This is where the “magic” happens, and it is here that the passion for horology begins.