What has always appealed to me about the Audemars Piguet…
Felix Baumgartner’s new creation for Urwerk has its roots in the EMC concept model introduced to much acclaim in 2013. A mechanical watch, the timepiece features an electronic module that measures the accuracy of the timepiece to the second.
The word “electronic” may trigger the thought of quartz to some watch experts, but in the case of the EMC TimeHunter X-Ray, the module is powered by a hand crank that is incorporated into the side of the case. The push of a button prompts the indicator to light up green if the watch is performing within accuracy limits, or red if it is performing outside the acceptable limit.
The Urwerk EMC TimeHunter X-Ray
“We have perfected one of the most reliable way of regulating a 100% mechanical watch by making mechanics intelligent,” said Baumgartner in a recent statement. “In the EMC TimeHunter we have conceived and developed a purposefully accurate movement with an unusual balance-wheel and twin mainspring barrels for a constant power output,” he continued. “We then grafted on to this mechanism an electric monitor that tells the owner how his watch is performing. With this information, he can effectively control his EMC, adjusting it to the second. Our EMC TimeHunter relies on the mechanical movement that we have designed and built in our workshops; the function of the electronic module is to challenge its performance in real time and provide the most accurate information possible.”
In fact, the challenge that was presented to the Urwerk design team was to create a watch whose accuracy can be adjusted to the unique surroundings and and daily use of the owner. The mandate: to create a watch that the owner can adjust. “If it’s not properly adjusted, even the most expensive movement remains a useless mechanism,” according to the brand. What’s up next for Baumgartner and co-founder and artistic director of Urwerk? Watch this space.