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Globes and Spheres - Happy Earth Day

Globes and Spheres Happy Earth Day

Imagine having a tiny Planet Earth rotating on your wrist… a fantasy made possible thanks to the mechanical feats and craftsmanship of these watches

Watchmakers love Earth, if only because of the challenges thrown up as science has probed its many mysteries, starting with the Copernican Revolution of the sixteenth century (be wary of neo-geocentric theories popping up in online searches!). Building on progress in astronomy, Pope Gregory XIII decreed a change to the calendar in which a year equals exactly 365.2421897 days – useful for the development of perpetual calendar mechanisms. Then, in the late nineteenth century, the world was divided into time zones with Greenwich as the prime meridian, giving rise to world time and dual time functions. The question being, how have watchmakers transposed these advances into mechanisms?

Illuminating Earth

The Récital 22 Grand Récital from Bovet shows the Sun (its rays symbolised by the tourbillon), a hemispherical Earth and a spherical Moon in orbit, a triple representation known as a Tellurium Orrery. Five patents have been filed for the movement, whose complications include a perpetual calendar. The globe representing Earth makes one anti-clockwise rotation in 24 hours, mirroring our planet. Bovet’s artisans have engraved and hand-painted this globe in mesmerising detail, down to the wispy clouds. Luminescence incorporated into the miniature painting brings the scene to life at night, a technique that Bovet introduced as a world-first on its 2017 Butterfly.

The continents also radiate on the dial of Montblanc’s Geosphere, where two domed globes make a complete rotation in 24 hours to indicate world time.

Exploring Earth

The 2021 version of Greubel Forsey’s GMT Sport gets a clean new look, without the brand’s usual bezel engravings and with accents on the display and movement in a single shade of blue. This is the first Greubel Forsey watch with a fully integrated metal (titanium) bracelet, positioning it firmly in the sports watch league. An invitation to explore Earth in every which way, a terrestrial globe shows the time in three dimensions (as on earlier versions of the GMT). Rotating once every 24 hours and doubling up as a day/night indication, it makes for a more intuitive way to read off world times (less time thinking equals more time travelling).

Happy Earth Day

GMT Sport © Greubel Forsey

Super-light Earth

Jacob & Co’s Astronomia Maestro is certain to turn heads, as well as the planets, with its constellation display, tourbillon and carillon minute repeater. Rich in significance, and with the precious addition of a one-carat diamond for the Moon, this composition crafts Earth from magnesium – three times less dense than aluminium – for gravity-defying lightness.

Happy Earth Day

Astronomia Maestro © Jacob and Co.

Earth is a bubble

One of the more atypical (semi-)spherical watches, the Bubble was a bestseller in Corum’s catalogue from 2000 until 2005, making its comeback in 2015. Water-resistant to 200 metres, the oversized “bubble” crystal – 2cm thick and 11mm high – produces a magnifying effect which Corum uses to fabulous creative effect. The multiple interpretations include a Corum Big Bubble Magical that has Earth on its dial. However, one of the most out-there versions has to be the Corum Big Bubble Anima Matteo, in collaboration with DJ Matteo Ceccarini, with its giant iris: the universe is watching you!

Happy Earth Day

Corum Bubble © Corum

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The Bovet Manufacture upholds the tradition of decorative arts applied to its delicately engraved, chased, enamelled, engine-turned or hand-painted cases, dials and movements, thus passing on the...

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Corum takes aesthetic daring to the heights of technical perfection. Through a number of collections, drawing on the fundamentals of traditional watchmaking, the manufacture continues to pursue its...

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Jacob & Co. is an artistic visionary Maison that displays boundless creative freedom. Setting a completely new tone, both in terms of design and complications, it celebrates being different.

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Synonymous with excellence in craftsmanship and design, Montblanc has been pushing the boundaries of innovation ever since the Maison first revolutionized the culture of writing in 1906.

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