ELEC­TRIC DREAMS

A closer look at the cal­i­bre 1210

Singapore Tatler - - STYLE -

A bat­tery in a nor­mal quartz watch would have to be re­placed once ev­ery three years at most, which is im­prac­ti­cal for a lux­ury watch that should ideally be passed down through gen­er­a­tions. To tackle this, François-paul Journe de­signed the Élé­gante’s electro­mechan­i­cal cal­i­bre 1210 to go dor­mant when not in use, thus con­serv­ing en­ergy. An in­tel­li­gent mo­tion de­tec­tor senses when the watch is in use. Once it stops mov­ing, the move­ment will go into standby mode, with all the me­chan­i­cal el­e­ments (such as the gear train, ro­tors and hands) stop­ping. A heart-shaped mi­cro­pro­ces­sor, vis­i­ble through the case­back, con­tin­ues to keep time, and once the watch comes back into use, the move­ment will come back to life, with the hands tak­ing the short­est path to the cor­rect time. This en­ergy con­ser­va­tion in­no­va­tion means that the bat­tery on the Élé­gante can last for eight to 10 years when con­stantly worn, and up to 18 years on standby mode. Journe also in­sisted that the cal­i­bre 1210 not be hid­den be­hind a solid case­back like other quartz move­ments. He made sure that the move­ment is a beauty to be­hold, tak­ing two years to fig­ure out how to make the back plate of the move­ment out of red gold in­stead of yel­low gold. The dif­fi­culty comes be­cause the red gold al­loy doesn’t con­duct elec­tric­ity nearly as well as yel­low gold, thus af­fect­ing the func­tion of the move­ment. All told, the cal­i­bre 1210 took eight years to de­velop.

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