Monday, November 12, 2012

The Grand Complication 5 from Peter Roberts

It's always fund to learn about something new, and the “Concentrique” Watch
Grand Complication 5 from Peter Roberts is a prime example of that.
Courtesy of Peter Roberts Watches
Peter is the Technical Director to Bremont - perhaps you've heard of them ; )

I'll see if I can impose on him for an interview one of these days, but in the meantime, let's talk about this watch.

To begin with, this is a limited edition of 40 pieces.  It can be had in two versions - steel and bronze, or 18 K white and rose gold.  The story behind the watch is particularly intriguing as it is, to a large extent, based upon his "school days" as a WOSTEP student.  In many ways, this watch has been over 40 years in the making.  Mr. Roberts first conceived of, designed - and produced the first ever 5 - handed wristwatch as a student at WOSTEP.  Below is the original -
Courtesy of Peter Roberts Watches

For this watch - based entirely upon theory mind you - Peter used a Valjoux 726.  The goal was to be able to utilize five hands originating from the center shaft.  Yes there were drawings, and as we often used to say about manned space flight - it is possible, but up to that time, nobody had done it.

Here is how he did it - and credit for this next passage goes to the Peter Roberts Watches website -

The book contained drawings of every dial type and configuration, the final illustration showing five hands from the centre shaft. His instructor told him that it was only theoretical, and that, to his knowledge, no watch had ever been made with more than four hands from the centre.

Undeterred, Roberts used the Valjoux 726 - one of the finest manual chronograph movements ever made - as its base, and turned it into a certified chronometer with five hands indicating hours, minutes, seconds, date and a second time zone. It featured screw-down crowns on the winder and both pushers, and a mineral glass back - uncommon in 1972. What has enhanced his reputation among the cognoscenti is the knowledge that the number of hands on Roberts’ chronograph has only been matched commercially by very few products from large concerns, such as the Maurice Lacroix Cinq Aiguilles, launched in 2000, and the Ulysse Nardin astronomical watches. 

It's hard not to be romantic about watches.  So, the question out there is who will the lucky 40 owners be?

Here are the specs -

Time of day, including hours, minutes, seconds
Full Chronograph, including seconds, minute recorder, hour recorder
24 Hour GMT indicator + second time zone with bezel
Full calendar, with date, day, month

Valjoux 88 base – Hand finished “Concentrique” – unique mechanism Column wheel
Manual winding
Power reserve: 46 hours
19 Jewels
Diameter: 13 ‘’’ 29.5 mm
Height: 7.35 mm

Diameter: 42 mm
Steel case: Stainless steel and bronze
Gold case: 18K rose and white gold
Crystal: Sapphire with anti-reflection coatings
Back: Sapphire crystal
Water resistance: 100 metres
Strap: 22 mm Autumn Brown – Finest quality leather – hand-stitched 

Three subsidiary dials displaying – Running seconds/ minute recorder/hour recorder
Main Colour: Black + Super-LumiNova® Sub-dials colour: Silver

Running seconds/minute recorder/hour recorder: Black Running hour/minute hand: Red + Super-LumiNova® 24 Hour hand ( GMT): Yellow + Super-LumiNova® Date hand: Orange
Chronograph seconds: White + Super-LumiNova® Aperture displays: Day + Month + Moonphase

No comments:

Post a Comment