10 Watches with Particularly Visible Mechanism

Factory Watch With Watches By Audemars Piguet, Cartier, Armin Strom, Breguet & Co.

Previously, readability and elegance were the most important requirements for dial design.But then, in the 1970s, the cheap quartz clocks came, and the renaissance of mechanical watches a few years later.

Now the need grew to see something of the main attraction of the clock: its mechanics. Glass floors slowly settled through. But when you wore the watch, you could not see what was happening behind the dial. Today, mechanical watches are prestige objects and anything but self-evident. It is therefore no wonder that the technology is becoming more and more visible from the beginning: the number of clocks, in which the work becomes a design element, is growing.

Watch # 1 With Particularly Visible Mechanism: Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Tourbillon Extra-Thin Openworked

One way of showing the mechanics on the front of the watch is the Tourbillon as a visible dial plate. In 1801, the great watchmaker, Abraham Louis Breguet, had developed this rotating cage for the balance to compensate for the unilateral influence of the gravitational force on the balance. The complicated mechanism, however, was only built about 100 times in the 150 years after its invention. And, of course, he was usually placed on the back and not visible from the front. According to Theeliteswatches, at the end of 1986 Audemars Piguet introduced a watch with Tourbillon, which impressed in several respects. It was the flattest Tourbillon watch, and even had an automatic elevator. And you could see the rotating Tourbillon cage in a round dial. Today the visible tourbillon has become a standard. Only Patek Philippe hides the complication for traditions still on the back.

In 2017, Audemars Piguet introduced a new version of a flat Tourbillon watch: the Royal Oak Tourbillon Extra-Thin Openworked . With this extra-plane model you can see the tourbillon as well as the bridges and plate of the 2924 hand-lift caliber. They were handcrafted and fined. The Royal Oak Tourbillon Extra-Thin Openworked is available in rose gold with a print run of 50 copies at a price of 238,200 euros, as well as in a limited edition of 100 pieces for each of 199,800 euros.

Clock # 2 With Particularly Visible Mechanism: Cartier Mysterious Hour Skeleton

In addition to the original hand-crafted shape of the skeleton clock, there is also a more industrialized form. The workpieces are not sawn and machined by hand, but the shape of the recesses is already produced in the computer and is executed by the milling machines in production. The simple variant consists in transforming existing works in such a way that everything superfluous is eliminated. In addition, there are also opportunities for creative work. A particularly nice solution for this is Cartier with the Mysterious Hours Skeleton succeeded: This model has a dial, with which only the typical Roman hour notes have stood still. They surround a minuterie, in which the hands seem to hover for hours and minutes. These are mounted on two toothed sapphire glass panes. Cartier skeletonized the hand-held caliber 9983 MC  so that only the absolutely important components are left.The watch costs 71,500 euros.

Clock # 3 With Particularly Visible Mechanics: Armin Strom Mirrored Force Resonance

The  Armin Strom Mirrored Force Resonance shows on the front parts of the mechanics, which normally lie on the back. Armin Strom, formerly known for his artful handcrafted works, has made sure that the tradition of the work that is visible from the front is continued. The Mirrored Force Resonance shows two disturbances on the dial page, which are synchronous with each other and belong to the ARF15 manufac- turing caliber with manual lift. The factory has two spring houses, which are located on the back. Each one is connected to one of the unrest through its own gear. The background of this design is the phenomenon of synchronized movement, which is designed to ensure even more precise clocking of the movement: the two unrest are coupled to each other by a spring so that each one receives the movement of the other and adjusts them to each other until both oscillate at the same frequency. Because of the two unrest, the time display consists of an hour and minute indication, but also of two small seconds, one of which runs counter-clockwise and the other counter-clockwise – corresponding to the balance it is driven by. The work is protected by a 43.4 millimeter pink gold case. The watch is available with two unrest for 67,100 euros.

Clock # 4 With Particularly Visible Mechanism: Girard-Perregaux Neo-Bridges

It is also possible to intervene in the design of the work itself. If you have done something special, then you like to show it. A brand that received prizes for its spectacular work design in the 19th century is Girard-Perregaux. The tourbillon, built from 1867, with three gold bridges, impressed with its symmetry and the perfect craftsmanship. In 1991, the brand revived this specialty – in a wristwatch and turned, so that one can marvel at the harmonious purchase building from the front. The current Neo-Bridges is the logical and modern continuation of the historic clockwork. The focus is on the new automatic caliper GP08400 with micro-motor. The latter is at the same level with the spring house and additionally ensures symmetry on the dial. The modern processing of the work by satining and PVD coating ensures an absolutely contemporary look. 45 millimeters the titan housing of the 24,200 euro expensive clock.

Clock # 5 With Particularly Visible Mechanics: Breguet Tradition RÉPÉTition Minutes Tourbillon

Also Breguet makes in his traditional models mechanics accessible. The traditionintroduced in 2005 with manual lift followed models with automatic, tourbillon and second dial for a second time zone, so that a proper collection was created. A small decentralized dial is used for all variants of the skeleton clock for time display. A new model was introduced to the Baselworld 2016, which also shows its factory on the dial page. TheTradition Répétition Minutes Tourbillon  is powered by the  Manufaktur caliber 565DR with automatic hoist and 80 hours of gear reserve. It has next to a minute repetiton over a tourbillon. With a 44-millimeter-sized rose or white gold case, the model costs 444,700 euros.

Clock # 6 With Particularly Visible Mechanism: Roger Dubuis Excalibur Spider Automatic Skeleton

Its automatic Manufaktukturkaliber RD820SQ has Roger Dubuis designed right from the start as skeleton movement. It is therefore not opened until after the construction. TheExcalibur Spider automatic skeleton is currently being used  effectively. Not only the movement, but also the treble ring of the dial, the hands and the 45 millimeter case are skeletonized here. However, the titanium housing offers a compressive strength of up to five bars. The new Excalibur Spider automatic skeleton is based on bold color contrasts with DLC coatings, vulcanized rubber and wristbands in blue, black and red. Only 88 specimens are available from the colorful skeleton clock. Cost: 74,500 euros.

Clock # 7 With Particularly Visible Mechanism: Richard Mille RM 50-03 Tourbillon Split Seconds Chronograph Ultralight Mclaren F1

Technically inspired design is also found in Richard Mille. His philosophy is that one can always see the work from the front. The technical-futuristic appearance of the skeleton clock is achieved not least by the use of innovative materials and techniques. Thus, for the first time, Richard Mille built a carbon-fiber circuit board and designed a work in which the bridge and circuit board were replaced by metal tubes. The RM 50-03 Tourbillon Split Seconds Chronograph Ultralight McLaren F1  sets the brand on a material mix of titanium, carbon and graphene. Graphene is a modified form of carbon and six times lighter and 200 times more stable than steel. Thus, the RM 50-03 McLaren F1 is the lightest mechanical chronograph in the world with a total weight of just under 40 grams. Also in themanufactory caliber RM 50-03, Richard Mille uses titanium and carbon and skeletonized many components. The handrail caliber features a tourbillon and a touring chronograph. At twelve o’clock the remaining energy of the 70-hour gear reserve is displayed. The designers were inspired by the fuel displays of a McLaren racing car to design this ad. The cost of the watch limited to 75 copies is approximately 1.2 million euros.

Clock # 8 With Particularly Visible Mechanism: Corum Golden Bridge Rectangle

In 1980, Corum  introduced the Golden Bridge model for the first time. The Golden Bridge Rectangle is the latest version of the icon. The hand-held caliber CO113 isvisible through two sapphire glasses . On each side of the work are six Roman numerals in red gold. The case of the skeleton watch also consists of rose gold and measures 29.5 millimeters to 42.2 millimeters. The Corum Golden Bridge Rectangle costs 39,900 euros.

Watch # 9 With Particularly Visible Mechanics: Blancpain L-Evolution Carrousel Saphir

For more transparency, Blancpain provides the L-Evolution Carrousel Saphir. Here, even the circuit boards and bridges of the manufactory caliber 22T with sapphire glasshandrail. The wheels seem to float freely in the room. Their power flow from spring to balance is easy to follow. The carousel is a complication similar to the tourbillon, which differs only in the somewhat more complex indirect drive of the cage for the balance. The Danish railway company Bonniksen devised the mechanism in 1892. However, the long rotation time of the cage of 27 minutes or more provided an unsatisfactory result. Blancpain has shortened the turnaround time to one minute and thus improved the system. The 43.5-millimeter case is made of tantalum, the white gold stripes. Saphir glass windows are also available on the sides. The price of the watch is 239,500 euros.

Clock # 10 With Particularly Visible Mechanics: Arnold & Son Time Pyramid

In the Time Pyramid of Arnold & Son, it looks as if the wheels and balance of the A & S1615 hand-held calibrator are floating freely between the two sapphire lenses . In reality, however, some wheels are mounted on one side only and the unusual build-up with the outer ring as a circuit board as well as the dial plates as supporting bridges for the optics. The models were controlled by John and Roger Arnold as well as historical skeletal, pyramidal clocks from England. The balance of the new Time Pyramid is at the Twelve, including the following in line the wheels. The strict symmetry continues down at the side with the two spring houses; both also have their own gear reserve display. The thickness of the work also increases from the top downwards. Overall, the plant remains at a depth of 4.4 millimeters but surprisingly flat at a diameter of 37 millimeters. The factory caliber is protected by a 44.6 millimeter white gold case. The skeleton watch costs 41,500 euros.