VENTURA SPARC MGS - World's First True Mechanical Automatic Digital Watch at Watchismo
Published: April 20,
2012 | 19:36
After years of research and development, the world's first mechanical automatic digital watch is a reality!
Ventura SPARC MGS
No batteries included, no batteries required
Ventura invented the Automatic Digital Watch in 2000. The movements of the wrist activate a rotary mass which relays the momentum to a micro-generator; the electric energy gained in the process continuously feeds an optoelectronic time-module. The Micro-Generator-System of the new SPARC MGS was developed to achieve maximum performance. Placing the MGS side-by-side next to the time-device enabled a larger and heavier oscillating mass. This array also permits the viewing of the mechanism from the top, giving the SPARC MGS its characteristic appearance. The miniature power-station sustains a state-of-the-art micro-processor and a 250-segments 12-digit liquid-crystal display. The latest operating system EasySkroll v.2.0 allows later upgrades, another first in wristwatches. The multiple functions of the SPARC MGS are intuitively operated by a single scroller.
Watch is supplied in "V-Winder" automatic winding wood box
Pat. pending. dimensions: 60.00 mm x w 38.00 mm Powered by MGS®-11 (Micro Generator System), no battery. Heavy duty Tungsten oscillating mass Digital Model Mvt. VEN_10 with EasySkroll® operating system v2.0. Energy management with sleep mode and movement detector. LED back light. T1/date, T2/date, alarm for T1+T2 100 Year perpetual calendar, chronograph, count down, user-selectable 12 or 24h time 3 date formats, Durinox® (tempered steel) black case 2 sapphire crystals water resistant 3 bar (30m/100ft)
1. MGS®-11 - The owner’s wrist movements cause an oscillating mass to turn approximately 4’000 times per day on average. 2. Gear Train - The oscillating force is transferred to a precision gear with an attached Barillet 3. Barillet - The Gear Train tensions the spring of a Barillet about 17’000 times per day; each time the spring is fully tensioned, it releases its force to a micro-generator 4. Micro-Generator - The Micro-Generator transforms mechanical momentum into electric energy and sends a spark (SPARC®) to an accumulator 5. Accumulator - The accumulator stores the electric energy and powers the Cal. VEN_10 movement 6. Cal. VEN_10 - Ventura’s exclusive caliber with its EasySkroll® operating and scrolling system is entirely operated by the wrist-movements of its owner
Automatic Digital Wristwatch, case and bracelet, two sapphire crystals, water resistant 3 bar, with exclusive deluxe wooden gift casket in piano-lacquer finish. with v-winder included
2nd gen Micro-Generating-System (MGS), EasySkroll® v.2.0 OS, VEN_10 digital module, LC display backlight by LED
Time1 + date1, time2 + date2, alarm, chronograph, countdown, 100 years perpetual calendar with day (5 languages), date, month, year, 12/24h format, 3 date-formats
MGS® power management, manual power off, automatic sleep mode (LC display "off", functions "on"), motion-sensor to monitor watch movements, automatic backlight control to prevent over-use
Power reserve: ~ 45 days , > 5 years (manual switch-off mode) H (6 ~ 12h) 56.30 mm x W (9 ~ 3h) 38.00 mm x T 8.90 / 12.20 mm Weight: ca. 200 gr.
A. Lange & Söhne Zeitwerk - Mechanical Digital Jump Hour
Published: May 07,
2009 | 12:01
The Lange Zeitwerk watch 140.029 A. Lange & Söhne - White gold
Often, it is a new face that ushers in new times. That was the case after the rift in Europe had healed and the LANGE 1 paved the way for the comeback of A. Lange & Söhne. Fifteen years ago, it enriched the realm of horology with a fundamentally new concept and unprecedented technical finesse. As a design icon, it has long conquered its place at the pinnacle of timelessness. Now, with a mechanical, precisely jumping hour and minute indication of singular clarity, Lange presents another milestone. So yet again, a new face ushers in the next era in timekeeping. Its name: Lange Zeitwerk.
The Lange Zeitwerk watch 140.032 A. Lange & Söhne - Pink gold
“I shut my eyes in order to see” – the creative maxim of famous French painter Paul Gauguin was adopted by Lange’s calibre engineers and designers as they resolved to explore uncharted territory and, from an unbiased viewpoint, devise a watch that would be evolutionary and progressive in every respect. Ultimately, progress is always a result of curiosity. The question at Lange was: “Can the principles of a mechanical watch and a modern time indication format be persuasively combined?” The answer is the first mechanical wristwatch with a truly eloquent jumping numeral display. It is a watch that reinterprets time in an era of change. It not only endows time with a new face but also defines a new direction in watchmaking. It is a timepiece that embodies the spirit of time and simultaneously transcends it. Indeed, it is a watch that lets its owner experience a totally new sense of time.
The Lange Zeitwerk watch 140.025 A. Lange & Söhne - Platinum
A fresh design concept underscores the paradigm shift: The German-silver time bridge unfolds its wings across the entire width of the dial to prominently frame the large numerals of the laterally aligned windows that present the hours and minutes. It extends down to encircle the subsidiary seconds dial as well, uniting all three levels of time measurement in a harmonious setting. With its easy-to-grip bevelled flutes, the knurled crown points up and away, predicting an upswing movement. And in the upper third of the dial, the continuous power-reserve indicator reliably tells the owner when it is time to re-energise the movement.
With its emblematic name, the Lange Zeitwerk is a watch that stands for uncompromising clarity. Thanks to the unparalleled size of its numerals, it tells the current time at even a cursory glance. With a whispered click and within fractions of a second, the minute display advances step by step until the watch initiates the big jump at the top of the hour. At this point, all three numeral discs switch forward simultaneously and instantaneously by exactly one unit. Here, timekeeping is elevated to the status of an event. The perfect moment for the showdown is at 11:59 – “high noon” in a widescreen format. The seconds hand embarks on its leisurely trajectory along the periphery of the subsidiary dial. Time seems to slow down as its course is deliberately observed. Thirty seconds to go. Mounting suspense. Then: ten… three, two, one – click – 12:00. One small step for a watch, but a giant leap for horology.
Beneath the extraordinary face, an equally revolutionary movement with a diameter of 33.6 millimeters fully occupies the space inside the 41.9-millimeter gold or platinum case.
The significant amount of energy required to simultaneously advance all three numeral discs once every hour is delivered by a newly developed barrel with an extra-strong mainspring. Its patented design literally turns the venerable wind/unwind principle upside down. Thus, the mainspring barrel bearing with the higher friction rating is involved when the watch is being wound, but the barrel wheel always turns in the minimized-friction bearing as the mainspring gradually relaxes. This makes more torque available for powering the watch as well as the ensemble of discs with the hour and minute numerals.
A constant-force escapement between the barrel wheel and the balance
A constant-force escapement, also patented, between the barrel wheel and the balance acts as a pacemaker for the jumping advance of the hours and minutes – in its compactness, the mechanism is quite likely unprecedented. The forces that occur when the numeral discs are accelerated and braked are far beyond the magnitude normally encountered in a movement. To absorb them, a fly governor was integrated in the mechanism. As it rotates, its vanes must displace air like a fan; it is this resistance that dissipates much of the energy and assures gentle switching.
At the same time, the constant-force escapement makes an important contribution to stabilizing the rate of the movement: across the entire 36-hour autonomy period, it drives the balance with nearly uniform power, regardless of the state of wind of the mainspring and unaffected by the energy-consuming switching cycles that take place in one-minute intervals. Incidentally, a balance wheel with eccentric poising weights and a hairspring manufactured in-house constitute the high-precision beat controller.
As progressive as this watch with the “A. Lange & Söhne” signature may be, it remains a staunch advocate of classic horological values. A glance through the sapphire-crystal caseback reveals the lavishly decorated L043.1 manufacture calibre that in addition to all its technical novelties of course also features a three-quarter plate, a hand-engraved balance cock, and screwed gold chatons – each element is an endearingly familiar and regal asset of every Lange watch.
With its graceful appearance and intrinsic values, the Lange Zeitwerk is not only a seminal timepiece, it also makes a strong statement about the personality and the style of its owner. It delivers a new experience in time – whether with eyes wide open or shut.
Young British designer Duncan Shotten has created this inventive mechanical digital prototype clock. For those of you that appreciate Harry Winston Opus 9 reinterpretation of a digital watch as a mechanical timepiece, then you gotta dig this kid's clock.
Numbers are printed on vertical sliders and only reveal themselves when shifted into perfect alignment with the 'display box'. when not aligned they look like random, alien forms and represent the negative of the number that is required.
The sliders are gradually cranked up using motors coupled to intricate mechanics in accurate time. upon reaching the last number (e.g. the 9th minute) the same motor disengages the ratchet’s 'stopper' and the slider then falls to the first number again.’
Vintage Watching - Two Very Rare 1970 Helmet Jump Hour Watches
Published: May 15,
2008 | 23:10
Holy crap, I've seen one of these before but fellow eccentric vintage jump hour collector Ruud has found two of them at once! You'll hear more and more about his amazing collection of vintage digital jump hours in time to come... Now if I could only convince him to share the wealth, hell, I'm probably the only other person in the world who would actually want this ridiculous rarity.
A vertical drum display not unlike the 1974 Jaz Derby Swissonic (featured-->here) Or my favorite of all time, the 1950s Patek Philippe Cobra (featured-->here)
Raising The Bars - OPUS 8 Mechanical Digital by Harry Winston Rare Timepieces & Frédéric Garinaud
Published: April 15,
2008 | 02:21
In this world of mechanical pissing contests, the Opus 8 from Harry Winston Rare Timepieces streamed out very far at Baselworld.
Inspired by early electronic LED watches of the 1970s (like the first Hamilton Pulsar), creator Frédéric Garinaud (of Renaud & Papi) & CSH developed the Opus 8 with a new twist on mechanical-digital watches. Time is shown by pulling the side-lever down which in turn activates mechanical pixels to rise up from the digitally segmented dial displaying the hour of the day, am/pm, and indication of minutes by rising five minute markers located in a vertical scale next to the primary display.
My attempts to describe this to you might be complicating matters from what might be best explained with images. I should also compare the functions to the contouring rods of the Pinpression toy (shown below) but instead of pressing the pins against your hand or face, the time is reflected by the precisely placed pegs of a music box-style mechanism.
Rumor has it that these were sold out before they being presented (from an edition of 50). Max Büsser's original vision (Opus 1-5) continues to have a lasting impression with this innovative series.
The minute scale and time-display lever (and logo)
What impresses me most of all has nothing to do with the watch itself but the story of how the Opus 8 was created by neither a watchmaker or a designer but instead a visionary with an absurd and genius idea...
Biography of Frédéric Garinaud;
Born in southwest France in 1971, for Frédéric Garinaud the road to watchmaking and Opus 8 had an interesting and unlikely origin. Neither watchmaker nor designer by trade, Garinaud got his start in the French naval academy where he specialized as an on-board mechanic. In 1999, Garinaud attended the Conservatoire des Arts et Métiers in Lyon to formalize his graduate studies and began working as a development manager for special machinery in a galvanoplasty laboratory. In 2001, he joined Audemars Piguet (Renaud & Papi) as a technical office manager. In 2005, paving the way for his current role, Garinaud founded the watchmaking specialties unit - la Cellule des Spécialités Horlogères (CSH). Aiming to bridge ultramodern training with watchmaking tradition, the unit combines all of the trades involved in watchmaking -- from drawings to timing, to development and construction, and even micro-mechanical manufacture, decoration and product assembly. Garinaud wanted to bring to high-quality watchmaking some of the product developments that have enriched and advanced our consumer world, including: microelectronics, clothing design, ecology and innovative materials.
Five years ago, Frédéric Garinaud came up with an idea: To invent a hybrid timepiece that would bring together complicated mechanics and digital electronics. Around the same time, Garinaud first learned of the Opus concept developed by Harry Winston and began dreaming of an innovative piece to bring to the brand, which would come to be known as Opus 8.
Interested in developing his hybrid idea, Harry Winston met with Garinaud in early 2007 and presented him with a new challenge: Why not transform the hybrid display into a digital display? Garinaud immediately returned to his design table to create a prototype design.
Arriving at Basel 2007, armed with rolls of design drawings and his team from the Cellule des Spécialités Horlogères, the “Magician” revealed his latest tricks, presenting his preliminary plan for Opus 8. Though the brand was initially unconvinced, Garinaud continued to work his innovative magic 10 days later, he would receive an important and enthusiastic call. Harry Winston had accepted the plans. The Opus adventure had begun.
This Opus 8 project also reminds me of the remarkable mechanical mirrors of artist Daniel Rozin. The mirrors reflect the viewer with a wide array of wooden rods, tiles, metal balls and many other materials. See his amazing work in the videos below;
OPUS 8: THE ART OF DIGITAL EMOTION REINTERPRETATION OF A (R)EVOLUTION Rooted in the Pop Art moment of the 1970s, Digital Art and Technology have revolutionized our way of life and continue to influence contemporary art and culture. Allowing artists to create works of extreme complexity, these same advances in digital technology have also transformed the art of modern watchmaking. Armed with the avant-garde and innovative spirit that defined this decade, Opus 8 represents a continuation of this technological and artistic (r)evolution...
A MECHANISM INSPIRED BY A GAME An exceptional and advanced timepiece, Opus 8 utilizes hand-wound mechanical movements to create a modern, digital time display. Inspired by pin art games, which create 3D impressions of objects pressed against them, the numbers in the display will only appear “upon request,” activated by a bolt on the right hand side of the case. Nothing appears until the mechanism is wound.
A plate joins together small segments, both mobile and fixed. Just underneath is a disc driven by the movement, which turns independently in real time. When the mechanism is wound, the pieces adjust to display the time. As the plate descends, the small segments remain visible, “blocked” by the crystal, allowing the hour to be read for 5 seconds. Technically, all functions are related, enabling everything to be displayed on demand – the minute hand turns the hour that then turns the AM/PM function.
The dial’s microbead blasted coating is similar to that of a calculator, while the segments are made of black anthracite with polished sides. As innovative in materials, as in mechanics, the sides of the segments are crafted of amorphous carbon. A material more commonly known in Formula 1 racing, Garinaud’s team successfully adapted it to use for watch microparts. The specialized material has an extremely low friction coefficient and highly resistant coating. Wear, blockages and material discharge become almost non-existent.
THE INNOVATION’S MAGIC In addition to a modern, sophisticated technique, Opus 8 features a strikingly original dial display. On the left is a four-digit hour display – two for the hour and two for the time of day (AM/PM). When it is 20h00, the watch will display 08PM. On the right is an innovative minute counter, with a layout and display from bottom to top. Set in 5 minute segments (precision being secondary), the 5 minute indicator is an arrow-shaped ring. The hour and minute numbers recalls the symmetrical hexagonal typography found in liquid crystal mechanics.
A VERY “SEVENTIES CASE” With its imposing rectangular dimensions – 43mm wide, 41mm long, 13 thick – Opus 8’s bold, graphic shape resembles a retro-style television set. The case front has a resolutely digital display with its 4mm-thick domed crystal blocking the segments . With the display winding bolt located on the right and the winding crown on left, the mechanism has a movement rotation of 180 °. The display of the hour is not possible during winding. In the middle, an opening allows us to admire the heart – the balance. The movement’s back is decorated like a printed circuit, with lines leading to the various time elements. At the top, the hours (H) and the minutes (M). On the left, the periods of the day (AM/PM), and on the right, the 48-hour power reserve indicator (PRI). At the bottom, two lines indicate the co-designers of the watch, Garinaud & CSH (Cellule de Spécialités Horlogères), and the serial number.
OPUS 8 TECHNICAL DESCRIPTION
MOVEMENT: TYPE: Mechanical, elliptical, with mechanical digital display module, Manual winding DISPLAY: Hours, minutes (every 5 minutes), AM/PM. FREQUENCY: 3 Hz MAIN DIAMETER: 35 mm DISPLAY MODULE: 35.5 mm by 22.5 mm JEWELS: 44 COMPONENTS: 437 SEGMENTS: 138 POWER RESERVE: 48 hours FUNCTIONS: On the face: Digital display indicated by segments: Hour (AM/PM) and minutes (every 5) On the back: Digital display indicated by discs: Hour (AM/PM) and minutes (every 5) Power reserve also indicated on the back of the watch CASE: MATERIAL: White gold DIMENSIONS: WIDTH: 45.8 mm LENGTH: 33.5 mm LEFT: Crown for setting the time and winding RIGHT: Winding bolt for digital displays DIAL: Display module: black anthracite segments with polished sides Side of segments crafted from amorphous carbon Hours, minutes and letters in digital form CRYSTAL: Anti- reflective Sapphire, 4 mm WATCHSTRAP: Leather WATER RESISTANCE: 30 meters LIMITED EDITION: 50 pieces
The Opus program was launched by Maximilian Büsser & Harry Winston in 2001, to encourage a new interest for unlimited freedom and innovation in technical watchmaking. Partnering with independent watchmakers, each year the Opus program develops rare timepieces never before seen or imagined within the industry.