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The new watch year is definitely under the seal of creativity. Large or small, each and every brand is doing everything humanly possible to bring the consumer the utmost in new ideas for his or her money. This applies to both the outside and the inside of the watch. Highly publicized statements of recent years released by the Swatch Group have really done their job in getting other manufacturers going on movement productions of their own. Where just a few short years ago, one could count the number of manufacturers producing movements on two hands, today it is nearly impossible to keep up with the technological breakthroughs being achieved by creative companies situated at every level of the watch industry.
This also applies to the complication that is generally acknowledged as the industry’s best and brightest: the tourbillon. Invented more than 200 years ago by Abraham-Louis Breguet to compensate for the effects of the earth’s gravity on a pocket watch’s rate, this traditional complication was kept alive by a handful of brands throughout the quartz years in wristwatches of uncommonly high quality and value. Perhaps it was Nicolas G. Hayek’s purchase of the then-dusty Breguet brand with the promise of reviving this complication on a broader scale, but since the complication on a broader scale, but since the complication’s highly publicized 200th anniversary in 2001, the number of brands incorporating the tourbillon into their own wristwatches has increased exponentially. While in 2001 there may have been fewer than fifteen companies to feature such a highlight in their collections, at last count in 2005 there were more than forty doing so. And some of the brands jumping on this “whirlwind bandwagon” are doing so without having first proved their horological competence or even built up to it by first presenting complications of less grandeur. An obvious question regarding the sheer number of tourbillon movements springing up remains: What type of place in the industry cant this type of tourbillon occupy? And where can things go from here?
And that is the really interesting question. Where things go from here will, in our opinion, be in a totally different direction. Companies will begin to manufacture their own, more creative complicationsdifferent complications, creative technology that will not have Monsieur Breguet’s signature on it. And that is good for everyone.
These complications don’t have to be, and won’t be, great or even important in the larger scheme of things. Companies won’t reinvent the wheel, but they will show that Switzerland and Germany’s watchmakers are staying on a mechanical roll. And this new phase has actually already begun. Just take a look at some of the new brands, watches, and complications cropping up: Carl F. Bucherer’s TravelTec is a good example. So is the brand Hautlence. And look for a dynamite in-house progression made by Scalfaro in 2006. The list goes on
and most of this list will be found within these pages. So we hope you enjoy perusing the new collections and ideas produced by these creative heads and invite you to turn the page and begin!