Famous hourly inventions, included in the history

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At various times, various publications have appeared in various glossy magazines about various novelties, inventions in the watch industry. As well as their authors, but less well-known discoveries in this area have remained behind the scenes, although they also deserve attention. 


Famous hourly inventions
Omega 145.022 Speed-master Professional

Thanks to large-scale PR-companies, conducted by Swiss firms for journalists of popular publications, consumers have learned that TURBYON was created by Abraham-Louis Breguet. But the fact that the master almost all his life was forced to justify himself before his contemporaries and prove that the tourbillon is very useful is known by few. If we talk about its benefits at the present time, the opinions are completely ambiguous and the disputes are being held to this day. Although the watch story knows a lot of discoveries that were of great importance. The names of their authors are known only to a few.

The spring of a spring

In 1659, Christian Huygens invented the “balance-spiral” system, which took as a basis the law on the oscillation of the pendulum, discovered by Galileo. We can say that the history of modern watches begins precisely from this moment. But the appearance of the winding spring did not produce such a sensation, but the significance of this invention cannot be underestimated. The first hours, made with the use of a spring, were created in 1504 in Nuremberg. Watchmaker Peter Genlen used his invention in a portable chronometer. It was equipped with a spring, and not a massive weight, which enabled the master to place the clockwork in an iron box of small dimensions.

Armand Nicolet

Armand Nicolet M02 Chronograph
Armand Nicolet M02 Chronograph

Describe how the Henley’s chronometer is possible since it has survived to the present day. On one axis a small wheel was fixed, it turned the wheel of a larger diameter with the help of a key. The wheel was fixed on one axis with a drum with a winding spring. We can say that this design resembled a reduced copy of the flywheel-folio, which was responsible for adjusting the accuracy of the tower clock, and was equipped with two loads, rather than the modern balance. The clock of Genline had only one arrow-hour, which indicates the relative accuracy of the stroke.

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Invention of the second hand

A distinctive feature of the first pocket watch was the absence of glass, the presence of a one-hour hand and special markup with voluminous overhead indices, and not figures. This made it possible to determine the time even in total darkness with the help of fingers. Around 1700, the clock was equipped with an arrow showing the minutes. And already at the end of the eighteenth century in 1780, Thomas Mujj created the first clock on which there was a second hand. It was worn on the shaft of the wheel of free anchorage descent (the well-known invention of George Graham, the teacher of Muja), which was located at the “6” mark. Since then, it has become possible to determine the time to within a second.



British master George Graham invented not only a free anchor descent, which can be considered a prototype of modern mechanisms, his authorship belongs to another discovery that allowed watch movements to serve for a long time and be very reliable. This invention – stones, their number is in the marking of any caliber. What is the role of watch stones? They are designed to perform the function of bearings that connect trunnions axles and bridges. In order to withstand the pressure of a thin and sharp axle pin, only rubies, diamonds and sapphires are suitable, since they have the highest strength. Before the application of ruby stones, the axes acting on platinum wiped holes in them, it is natural that this caused the clock to fail. Masters George Graham, Pierre and Jacob Defobr received a patent and began to use precious stones. Clock, in the mechanism of which rubies were installed, were quite expensive, and only wealthy people could buy them. Only in the beginning of the twentieth century in 1902 began to grow artificial rubies – corundums. After this and to this day in the mechanism of hours 15 or more stones.


The name was given to this device by two Greek words: Chronos – time and graph – I write. On horse racing, held on the Champ de Mars in the French capital, September 1, 1821, the watchmaker of King Nicolas-Mathieu Riessek was a timekeeping, using a chronograph created by himself. On this device, which was called the “second chronograph,” he was granted a patent for a period of 5 years.


Breitling Navitimer Rattrapante
Breitling Navitimer

The mechanism with a cylindrical descent was placed in a box of mahogany, and the dial was marked with 61 seconds. The accuracy of the measurements could be calculated up to 1/5 of a second due to the fact that each second compartment was in turn divided into five parts. The dial was dialed in one minute. The chronograph was started and stopped by a conventional plant.

The seconds and their shares could be calculated in this way: at the beginning of the start, the timekeeper applied a risk of ink directly to the dial, the same risk was applied at the end of the jump, and the minutes were counted and recorded all this time. But it was necessary to clean the enamel of the dial, before again calculating the time interval. The renaissance chronograph was widely used by athletes.

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Swiss watchmaker Adolf Nicole in 1844 received a patent for a mechanism in which the shooter returned to its original position. This became possible thanks to the invention of a cam in the form of a heart, this method allows the arrow to return at the moment of starting from any point to the zero position. Almost twenty years later in 1862, he introduced an improved chronograph, the mechanism of it worked on this principle.

The first split-chronograph was introduced in 1879, and already in 1883, a sample appeared that had two buttons. The beginning of mass production of wristwatches in the early twentieth century almost coincided with the appearance of wrist chronographs, first one-buttoned in 1910, and already in 1939 Breiling released the first two-button chronograph.


Zenith Pilot Type 20
Zenith Pilot Type 20

One of the most famous inventors in the watch sphere is Abraham-Louis Breguet, a Swiss-French master, whose finds number several revolutionary discoveries. Breguet – the author of a tourbillon, he also started making guilloche dials. But, as history shows, he managed to achieve great heights in improving and improving existing ideas, although this also requires talent and knowledge. As an example, you can finish the work with the anchor descent, which was conducted by Graham and Mujj. The master made it as it can be seen in modern watch movements. In addition, Breguet perfected the opening of Abraham-Louis Perellet, by the way, the Perellet brand was named after him. Perelle was a disciple of Breguet and began the first to apply a rotating rotor for an automatic spring plant. Breguet used this find,

Watchmaker John Harwood patented a self-winding movement for wristwatches in 1924. It should be noted that his discovery did not cause much attention, and the only Rolex in 1932 decided to redeem the patent, and a year later released the model Oyster Perpetual, considered the prototype of all self-winding watches existing today.


Brand new Kolber Geneve Watch
Brand new Kolber Geneve Watch

There is no unequivocal opinion as to whether the famous Cartier trading house is an independent watch manufacturer or whether this brand making jewelry ornaments simply placed orders and issued them under its own name. But the company does not make a secret of the fact that many of Cartier’s successes are closely related to Jaeger LeCoultre. The cooperation of the Alsatian manufacturer Jeziers and Louis Cartier began back in 1957, the company purchased from it on an exclusive basis flat watch mechanisms. It can be said that thanks to this cooperation many world-famous Cartier creations became famous in the early twentieth century: diamond-shaped watches, almond-shaped, and oval models. It is then that Cartier begins to decorate their products and use cut diamonds and cabochons.

Of course, one can argue about what innovations in the watchmaking industry belong to Cartier, but unequivocally the fact that each time wearing and removing a wristwatch with a butterfly clasp on a leather strap.

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