UR­BAN REPLANNING

Augustman - - Contents -

City gen­tri­fi­ca­tion is a part of our lives. Here are some cities with in­spired changes

Ac­cord­ing to Pi­aget’s watch mar­ket­ing and cre­ation di­rec­tor Franck Touzeau, the plan to cre­ate Pi­aget’s high­light piece for this year took a decade of plan­ning and de­vis­ing. Back in 1976, Pi­aget had al­ready been ex­per­i­ment­ing with quartz time­pieces. The Beta 21 had been the com­pany’s first foray into the tech­nol­ogy. Tak­ing it fur­ther, it de­cided to cre­ate an ul­tra­thin quartz move­ment, which was the 7P in 1976. This year marks the 40th an­niver­sary of the 7P move­ment, so the com­pany de­cided to ex­per­i­ment with the quartz os­cil­la­tor once more as a high watch­mak­ing prod­uct.

But how to in­no­vate on a quartz move­ment? The plan was to cre­ate an au­ton­o­mous one that would not be re­liant on a bat­tery for power. So Eric Klein, the move­ment de­signer be­hind a large num­ber of Richemont’s base cal­i­bres and the renowned ValFleurier man­u­fac­ture, de­vel­oped an automatic electro­mechan­i­cal move­ment, the 700P to of­fer to col­lec­tors in a lim­ited edi­tion this year.

Electro­mechan­i­cal move­ments are not new, but never be­fore have they been of­fered in a haute de gamme watch­mak­ing time­piece. Pi­aget’s Em­per­ador Coussin 700P brings along with it the exquisite craftsmanship of the mai­son and the style of the brand. If you weren’t pay­ing at­ten­tion, you might not even re­alise at first glance that the watch bears a quartz os­cil­la­tor.

There’s lit­tle dif­fer­ence be­tween a stan­dard move­ment and this, ex­cept there’s an elec­tro­dy­namic gen­er­a­tor that con­verts me­chan­i­cal en­ergy from the bar­rel to elec­tri­cal en­ergy which is passed through a quartz crys­tal. This vi­brates at 32,768Hz, and it’s then re­duced to 5Hz and thus used to count the time at a more rea­son­able pace. The choice of 5Hz is to main­tain a rea­son­able amount of power re­serve in the bar­rel while keep­ing high ac­cu­racy, and Mr Klein ex­plains that the watch has a pre­ci­sion stan­dard of 0/+2 sec­onds. The­o­ret­i­cally, this could in fact be im­proved if the os­cil­la­tor was counted down to more than 5Hz, and that leaves us with the pos­si­bil­ity of fu­ture high speed com­pli­ca­tions us­ing the 700P’s de­sign to de­liver this pow­er­ful im­pe­tus. Cool? Yeah, we think so.

Pi­aget Em­per­ador Coussin XL 700P

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