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Throwback Sunday: Six Watchscape features from before we were born

by Peter Chong on March 10, 2019
Watches

How can that be? Before we were born? Of course, we mean before Deployant started publication, but how is that possible? Well, this site went live in 2014, but the Chief Editor have had a blog which he had been running since 2008. So we ported some 500 articles over to populate this website right from day 1. Here are six of the best Watchscapes from that era.

Watchscapes

Watchscapes is the word I coined back in 2008 when I first realised that deep macro photographs of watches have similarities to landscapes. Especially extreme ones where the details complete dominate the entire frame, sometimes causing one to lose the context that one is looking at part of a watch, and was just gazing and admiring nature. Here are six of our best from before 2014.

In the spirit of watchscapes, the accompanying photograph to each watch shows only part of the watch, and we hope that it you suspend your imagination for a while, you can imagine yourself within the watchscape.

Greubel Forsey Double Tourbilon 30 Technique

We begin at the beginning. The watch which started us thinking about Watchscapes. It was indeed the Greubel Forsey Double Tourbillon 30 Technique and the Invention Piece No 2. I photographed both in a single session.

The Double Tourbillon implies two tourbillons. And this Greubel Forsey is equipped with such an escapement. Two tourbillons in one…with an outer tourbillon rotating at one revolution per 4-minutes, and an inner tourbillon running at the rate of 1 minute, this watch looks like its skeletonized, and indeed to reveal again the multi-level movement watchscape.

Greubel Forsey Invention Piece No 2

The other watch which inspired the watchscape moniker is the Invention Piece No 2.

In this model, we see two double tourbillons, one at the traditional 8 o’clock position and another at the traditional 2 o’clock position. Each of the double tourbillons features an outer tourbillon which rotates at the rate of one revolution every 4 minutes in which another tourbillon, inclined at 30 deg angle makes one rotation every minute. And the two doubles coupled with a differential to make quadruple.

Philippe Dufour Simplicity

Next up, we have the Dufour Simplicity, which is such a wonderful treat to the eyes. The attention to detail is outstanding, and the finishing of the watch is out of this world.

I guess not much more need to be said of this iconic watch.

For those interested in photography, the photograph above was taken with a kit 50mm Canon lens reversed to make it a macro lens. The lens was just held in place, and not attached, so was shot wide open at f/2.8. Depth of field is understandably very shallow, but I was amazed that the resolving power of the cheap lens.

Jaeger-LeCoultre Gyro Tourbillon in Rose Gold Final Edition

The Jaeger-LeCoultre Gyro Tourbillon was first introduced in 2004, and was only originally available in platinum. It was a historical landmark for JLC as it was the first uber high end watch offered by the maison. The gyro tourbillon was the brain child of Eric Coudray, who had imagined a tourbillon in a spherical cage, spinning on three axis.

If one were to place a marker on one point on the cage, over time, that point will trace out an entire sphere. This shows us that the gyro tourbillon, spinning on all three axis, eventually reaches all positions possible. Equalizing gravity in all positions.

The Gyrotourbillon has spun off several additional iterations in the form of the Gyro Tourbillon 2, the Gyro Tourbillon Reverso Tribute, and the latest which was announce in 2019, the Gyro Tourbillon Minute Repeater Westminister Chime.

Urwerk UR 1001

The UR-1001 is a very unique time piece. Created by the Urwerk team, it is the culmination of all 15 years of Urwerk. Designed to be the Mothership to all Urwerk watches, this watch is known as the Zeit Device, uses a conucopia of indicators – with satelites on turrets, upon retrograde indication.

Ultra complicated. And extra large, the watch is about the size of my palm but much thicker and way heavier. The volume provides the requisite space within the case to showcase 3 dimensional indications.

Special Lange Zeitwerk for a Children’s Charity

This is a special inclusion. The A. Lange & Söhne Zeitwerk lends itself to watchscapes very easily. In fact every Lange does. The latest iteration, the Zeitwerk Date is perhaps the darling of this year’s SIHH. But the Zeitwerk Striking Time and Minute Repeater are also crowd favourites.

This particular watchscape is the original Zeitwerk with some special executions. The white gold case and grey dial are unique, as are the engravings on the case back and the white gold balance cock. The purpose for this piece unique is also special. The watch was auctioned off in an event in Singapore, and the entire proceeds are donated to the Kidz Horizon children’s charity.

Concluding thoughts

We hope you have enjoyed this blast from the past, and encourage you to open the links to read the entire article to discover my thoughts then and also to see more photographs of the same watch.

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