Most innovative watch makers

Thread: Most innovative watch makers

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  1. #1
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    Most innovative watch makers

    Hello there watch-type people! I am new, but I do have a company credit card, and its behind the bar.

    I am patent attorney, so I am interested in innovation and new ideas. I am looking for my first decent watch, and have been snooping around the various brands to see which ones appeal to me, and in particular which ones break new ground in technology. Obviously watch movements are a central part of watches, but technical innovation in this area seems to be conspicuously lacking, generally speaking. Obviously there is the co-axial escapement in the new Omegas which is of interest, but so many other brands just seem to plump for off the shelf ETAs - hence the current panic about their withdrawal from availability.

    Sinn is a brand which immediately appeals to me because it trumpets quite a few innovative features, most of which are the subject of patents.

    Are there other brands which promote new technological ideas over other things? I am not that interested in low end digital watches here - my budget is around the £2K mark.

    At the moment I am most interested in an 8500 Omega, or a higher-end Sinn with all its funky features.

  2. #2
    Member Paradigm's Avatar
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    Re: Most innovative watch makers

    Well, I think for truly new features (and not just minor improvements/changes to already existing features/movements or copies of high end innovations) you need to look at the very very high end. But when you look at those price tags, it's quite likely they've got a patent for jumbo sized tags along the way as well.

  3. #3
    Member Ray MacDonald's Avatar
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    Re: Most innovative watch makers

    Seiko Spring Drive comes to mind. Most of mechanical watch technology dates from the 19th century or earlier and was essentially complete by the 1950s. The coax escapement is a nice refinement.

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    Member scm64's Avatar
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    Re: Most innovative watch makers

    If you like tool watches, Sinn is certainly one to look at. I love each of mine and once I have a Klassik 1746 and/or a Sinn 6000 I might be done with them.

    Half the fun is the search, so don't be in a rush, but Sinn is certainly one to look at. You will get plenty of opinions here, that's for sure. (cue the Seiko Spring Drive guys, lol).

    Have fun looking.









    Steven
    Florida, USA




    Sinn 103 St Sa LE
    Sinn 757 UTC
    Sinn U1
    Sinn 6100 Regulatuer
    IWC Aquatimer
    NOMOS Tangomat Datum
    Stowa Marine Original, 80th anniversary LE
    Stowa Seatime
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    Ocean 7 LM-2 GMT SE PVD
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    Seiko Chronograph Sports 150
    Citizens Eco-Drive Calibre 8700 BL8000-03A
    Citizens Eco-Drive Largo Perpetual Calendar
    TX 730 w/ FlyBack Chrono
    Poljot Sturmanske Chrono
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  6. #5
    v76
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    Re: Most innovative watch makers

    In terms of true innovation, there's not a whole lot to think of - the Seiko Spring Drive for sure, and a couple of innovations by Tag Heuer lately (the cal. 360 for one, and the Grand Carrera Pendulum intrigues me, must admit) even though Tag hasn't been one of my favorites in the past. However, you'll find plenty of very interesting solutions (or small improvements) to existing problems in mechanical timekeeping ... so many spring to mind - The Omega co-ax, Breguet's newly unveiled high beat (72,000 vph) chrono, AP's unique escapement in the Jules Audemars, the Si escapement being developed in parallel by many companies - from as high on as AP to as humble as Damasko (in various guises). I believe most of the future developments will come with materials - mostly wear reduction and parts which don't need lubrication, and that may herald the dawn of truly "high beat" mechanical watches for those with deep pockets
    Last edited by v76; March 25th, 2010 at 01:20.
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  7. #6
    Member h2xmark's Avatar
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    Re: Most innovative watch makers

    if you want totally new movement ideas take a look at the Tag Heuer V4, its a belt drive watch. Another totally new movement is the Tag Heuer grand carrera pendulum which uses magnets instead of a hair spring, but this watch is only a concept watch at this time. The Longines column wheel watch is very nice with a new movement you might take a look at.
    Last edited by h2xmark; March 26th, 2010 at 01:23.
    Tag Heuer Carrera vintage calibre 1
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    Burett neo icon auto
    Movado elliptica
    Invicta 9937 auto

  8. #7
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    Re: Most innovative watch makers

    Sinn contain ETA movements, which you do not like. But I think the other Sinn inventions make this make standing above the other "ETA encasers".
    If your budget is $2000, you might have a problem finding a watch with your criteria.

  9. #8
    Moderator Public Forum John MS's Avatar
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    Re: Most innovative watch makers

    Quote Originally Posted by Rev Fred View Post
    Hello there watch-type people! I am new, but I do have a company credit card, and its behind the bar.

    I am patent attorney, so I am interested in innovation and new ideas. I am looking for my first decent watch, and have been snooping around the various brands to see which ones appeal to me, and in particular which ones break new ground in technology. Obviously watch movements are a central part of watches, but technical innovation in this area seems to be conspicuously lacking, generally speaking. Obviously there is the co-axial escapement in the new Omegas which is of interest, but so many other brands just seem to plump for off the shelf ETAs - hence the current panic about their withdrawal from availability.

    Sinn is a brand which immediately appeals to me because it trumpets quite a few innovative features, most of which are the subject of patents.

    Are there other brands which promote new technological ideas over other things? I am not that interested in low end digital watches here - my budget is around the £2K mark.

    At the moment I am most interested in an 8500 Omega, or a higher-end Sinn with all its funky features.

    It's going to be all but impossible to find breakthroughs in movement design. The last leap forward in mechanical watch technology ocurred in the 1940's when Eterna perfected the roller bearing supported automatic rotor. The battery powered quartz timed IC controlled movement was perfected for mass prodution in the 1970's. Watch makers have used both designs to do some interesting things but the movements themselves are relatively mature. The quartz movement offers more possibilities for driving interesting new features. Check out the Citizen Cosmosign and Campanola lines.

  10. #9
    Member poboxw's Avatar
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    Re: Most innovative watch makers

    i vote for Damasko's coming inhouse movement with pioneered use of materials among other techs
    Or Seiko's spring drive watches, which i found augmented the mechanical nature of automatic watches nicely with essentially replacing the mechanical escapement with an electromagnetic one.
    If you've got a six figure budget then Mont Blanc's metamorphosis is a very interesting piece with a mechanically changing dial face for the chronometer function (kinda ugly though)

  11. #10
    v76
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    Re: Most innovative watch makers

    If you've got six or seven figures to spend, there are any number of boutique brands doing amazing/crazy stuff with mechanical complications/showcasing innovation - Patek Philippe, Breguet, Chopard, Audemars Piguet, A. Lange & Sohne, Jaeger LeCoultre and many other established/revered marques. Among independents you have Voutilainen, Roger W. Smith, F.P. Journe, Dufour, Maitres du Temps, Dewitt and the pretty unique designs of Urwerk and MB&F ... there are many others too ...

    But a really different manner in which watches function ... without the balance, or hairspring (or something to replace them) or totally different escapement design, that's tougher to find. The Seiko SD is a pretty radical departure from how watches normally function ... I would consider it a true innovation. I think the basic Ananta SD can be had for close to Pound Sterling 2k.
    Last edited by v76; March 25th, 2010 at 04:53.
    Collection:
    A few of this and some of the other ...


    "I worked my way up from nothing to a state of extreme poverty" - Groucho Marx

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