Ma­chine learn­ing

In­no­va­tive me­chan­i­cal move­ments and bound­ary-push­ing ma­te­ri­als that ad­vance the ticker on your wrist.

Esquire Malaysia Watch Guide - - Contents - Words by Nick Sul­li­van

The Per­pet­ual Cal­en­dar

This is a highly com­pli­cated dream ma­chine de­signed to tell its owner the sec­ond, minute, hour, day, date, month, year and cur­rent phase of the moon un­til the end of the cen­tury, in­clud­ing leap years. When March 1, 2100, fi­nally rolls around, you’ll have to take yours back to the shop be­cause of a math­e­mat­i­cal glitch. (Con­sider it the Y2K of the watch world.) Af­ter that, it should serve you faith­fully for an­other hun­dred years. Da Vinci Per­pet­ual Cal­en­dar Chrono­graph by IWC.

The Tachymeter

Prob­a­bly the most com­mon—and least used—func­tion on a chrono­graph is the tachymeter, a ring of num­bers of­ten in­scribed on the bezel of a watch. Used in con­junc­tion with the sec­ond hand of the chrono­graph, it re­lates elapsed time to dis­tance trav­elled so that you can cal­cu­late your av­er­age speed (or, if you know your speed, indi­cate how far you’ve come). Good to know next time you find your­self trav­el­ling sans speedome­ter. BR-X1 RS17 by Bell & Ross.

Bronze

One of the old­est al­loys known to man, bronze is hav­ing a mo­ment in the world of fine watch­mak­ing, and it’s all thanks to ox­i­da­tion. Its propen­sity to tar­nish gives it a hand­somely rugged matte patina. But even bet­ter, that tar­nish pro­tects the watch from fur­ther degra­da­tion over time. Divers and ship­wrights have long de­ployed the metal for its re­silience un­der­wa­ter. On land, it’s a smart choice for those look­ing to main­tain an heir­loom piece. Chrono­graph Tachymeter Lim­ited Edi­tion by Mont­blanc.

Ce­ramic

Of all the new ma­te­ri­als to emerge in the past 35 years, zir­co­nium ox­ide—a type of ce­ramic—has had the great­est im­pact in watch­mak­ing cir­cles. Harder than steel and re­sis­tant to scratch­ing, it’s made util­is­ing the same ce­ramic tech­nol­ogy that al­lowed NASA space shut­tles to with­stand the ex­treme heat of re-en­ter­ing the earth’s at­mos­phere. But the watch isn’t just brawny; it’s hand­some, too: de­pend­ing on how it’s en­gi­neered, ce­ramic can be cre­ated in vivid colours, like this deep navy blue. Mas­ter Chronome­ter Speed­mas­ter Pro­fes­sional Blue Side of the Moon by Omega.

Graphene

Richard Mille is watch­mak­ing’s con­sum­mate show­man, and each of his strato­spher­i­cally priced time­pieces strains the bound­aries of sci­ence and art. His new­est baby is made with graphene, a form of car­bon that’s mi­cro­scop­i­cally thin and wildly re­silient. (It’s now be­ing tested for use in McLaren race cars.) Only one sixth the weight of steel and 200 times as strong, it makes for a watch that weighs only 40G in­clud­ing the strap. RM50-03 McLaren F1 Ul­tra­light by Richard Mille.

The El Primero

In the late ’60s, while Amer­i­cans and Sovi­ets were rock­et­ing to­ward the moon, watch­mak­ers were wrapped up in their own ver­sion of the space race. Zenith and TAG Heuer were com­pet­ing to make the first au­to­matic chrono­graph, some­thing of a tech­ni­cal holy grail. Chrono­graphs re­quire more oomph in the main­springs than au­to­mat­ics back then could pro­vide. Zenith got there first. The El Primero was ahead of its time in 1969, and al­most half a cen­tury later, horophiles still speak of it in hushed tones. Chrono­mas­ter El Primero by Zenith.

Cos­mo­graph Day­tona Chronome­ter by Rolex.

The Chronome­ter Al­low us to brush up your vo­cab: a chrono­graph is any time­piece with a stop­watch func­tion; a chronome­ter is a watch that meets ex­treme stan­dards of ac­cu­racy, as de­fined by COSC (Con­trôle Of­fi­ciel Suisse des Chronomètres). Each chronome­ter is tested for two weeks be­fore earn­ing the des­ig­na­tion, at which point it’s en­graved with a cer­ti­fi­ca­tion num­ber. Think of it as a watch that comes with its own di­ploma.

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