Introducing Rudis Sylva

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    Administrator Ernie Romers's Avatar
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    Apr 2005

    Picture Introducing Rudis Sylva

    "Harmonious oscillator"

    The Harmonious Oscillator
    Developed based on a calibre dreamed up by Romain Gillet, this system with mechanically interlinked double balances driven by a single escapement will be able to win over watchmakers with a keen eye for performance.

    With innovative technicity, this design can boast a more accurate setting capacity than a conventional tourbillon, thanks in particular to the asymmetric deployment of the mainsprings in all positions, hence the name "Harmonious Oscillator". This world first with two toothed balances exhibits a resonance effect from the first oscillations. The tourbillons run inside a cage with pure but stylised decorations.

    Mika Rissanen, a watchmaker specialising in grand complications working for the Rudis Sylva brand, is the author of this patented invention. The technical specifications are as follows:

    · Two complete toothed balances are interlinked. This combination ensures the same amplitude. The symmetry and energy of the mainsprings are constantly opposed, enabling instantaneous average correction in the vertical position, which eliminates the effect of gravity.
    · Frequency: 21,600 vibrations/hour (3 Hz)
    · The cage turns 360 degrees in 60 seconds
    · Cage diameter: 17.40 mm
    · 2 flat and symmetric mainsprings
    · 2 specially shaped toothed balances made from special material
    · Pallet fork positioned at 90 degrees
    · Manual winding mechanism
    · Power reserve: around 50 hours

    The Harmonious Oscillator is neither a tourbillon nor a carrousel; however it does have some common points:
    Every mechanism is mounted on a rotating cage, and completes a full revolution in 60 seconds
    The system improves accuracy by counterbalancing disruption of the balance isochronism due to the Earth's gravity

    What are the major differences between the Harmonious Oscillator and a tourbillon or carrousel?

    The 3 devices have a complete balance. For the tourbillon, the balance staff is situated on the same line as the tourbillon cage pivots, whereas for the carrousel, the balance staff is eccentric. These two systems take one minute (a full revolution) to compensate for loss of accuracy in the vertical position (effect of gravity)
    The Harmonious Oscillator, by means of the interconnection of the balances and asymmetric deployment of the mainsprings, enables instantaneous time correction in the vertical position. In the same position, the tourbillon - provided it is in a totally stable position - needs a minute to correct.

    In conclusion, the Harmonious Oscillator offers far better accuracy than conventional tourbillons or carrousels. This mechanism is close to perfection in terms of setting.

    Movement finish
    Designed, built, machined and then decorated by craft methods, each component has been expressly developed for the Rudis Sylva piece. The bevelling and dashed lines are done entirely by hand. As there is no beveller training system, this manual operation depends exclusively on the craftsman's talent. The authenticity of hand bevelling can be seen in the cleanness of the inward and outward corners, which no machine can reproduce with such precision. This finish consists of eliminating the edges between the surface and flanks of the piece, forming a 45 degree chamfer (bezel) which will then be polished. This operation deburrs "machine-processed" components, which besides their unaesthetic nature, could adversely affect the operation of the movement. Polishing also limits corrosion. This finishing process requires great meticulousness and offers the finest aesthetics.

    The regulator cage bridge has an innovative and extremely complicated decoration. The piece has a black-coloured 45 degree bevel, giving this highly visible bridge clear proof of the perfection of the work undertaken by the Rudis Sylva brand.

    Large date / Hour and minute
    The large date has been given an innovative design. Made completely in-house, it will eventually have the option of a semi-perpetual date.

    The hour and minute are displayed on an offset hand guilloche dial using fir tree shaped gold hands. The hands are fitted via the barrel staff. This design is not new, but it has proven essential in order to free space in the cage of the harmonious oscillator.

    Hand guilloche work
    On the hour and minute indicating dial, as well as the plate under the oscillator, you can check out the art of hand guilloche work, performed by Georges Brodbeck in his Saignelégier workshop. On the upper part, the guilloche craftsman has made a subtle play by decorating the dial with tapering trapezoids. This decoration is achieved by linear and rotational movement of the piece. The plate under the regulator is adorned with a "clous de Paris" decoration with very fine hand guilloche work, thereby bringing out the richness of the regulating part.

    The enamel sun dial
    The gold or platinum case back is adorned with an enamelled and hand engraved sun dial. This dial is a reproduction of that adorning the wall of the "Les Rosées" farm, in the village of Les Bois, formerly known as Rudis Sylva. This magnificent structure is one of the most beautiful representatives of the era of the farmer watchmakers and its dial, dating from 1750, was the subject of detailed study by the Zurich Federal Polytechnical School in the 1940s.

    The engraving
    In the 19th Century, the engravers from our mountains had multiple fields of activity: medals, stamps, bank notes, prints, image reproduction, jewellery and watchmaking.

    2 centuries later, the development of mechanical, chemical or laser engraving industrial techniques has completely altered the engraver's daily work. Only extremely haute horlogerie pieces are now entitled to the craftsman's touch.

    The La Chaux-de-Fonds craftsmen Sylvain Bettex and Bertrand Degiorgi have applied their finest work to the hidden face of the timekeeper. Purists will appreciate the chisel work, which cuts to the heart of the flawless lettering with regular bevelling and perfect symmetry, revealing moreover a polished cut completely free from burrs.

    This chisel modelling outstrips the "handicraft" of any machine work, and further distinguishes a watch born out of regional talents.

    The enamelling
    Tucked away in a farm in the peaceful hamlet of Les Barrières, Sophie Cattin Morales practices the art of enamelling in her timeless workshop. As a child she lived on the Les Rosées-Dessous farm that houses the "Ultima Forsan" sun dial dating from 1750. So it was an obvious step to call on her talent to enhance the reproduction of the fresco on the back of the Rudis Sylva watch.

    Like a farmer-watchmaker of yesteryear, Sophie, leaning over her window sill, works the enamel bathed in natural light. With her mastery of the traditional technique, she transforms the pieces of raw enamel, grinding them in an agate mortar until the desired grain is obtained. Then she washes them to eliminate any foreign bodies, before finally undertaking the enamelling itself. The enamels are applied using a brush in the champlevés in the gold piece.

    Dried out, and then fired in a kiln at around 840 degrees, the enamelled half-moon is then stoned to obtain a flat surface, and then put back in the kiln to undergo a final operation, known as glazing. After the enamel surface has been glazed to give it a shine, it undergoes a final polish. Making the colours eternal, unalterable by light: this is the power and privilege of the art of enamelling.

    The harmonious oscillator, by Rudis Sylva, is nothing other than one of the many examples of watchmaking and craft skills in the Jura Mountains. The wider watchmaking world will no doubt appreciate it.

    Pink gold or white gold model: 260’000.- Swiss Francs

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    Last edited by Ernie Romers; March 27th, 2009 at 23:52.
    Best regards,

    Ernie Romers
    Founder and former site owner,

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