Specially created for racing car divers, the Ferrari Challenge watch features a completely transparent movement. Swiss watch manufacturer Quinting has integrated in its clock mechanism technical characteristics which belong to the high technology of racing cars. This watch was born from the 4th impossible mission accepted and carried out by the watchmakers of the Quinting manufacture.
Before commissioning this project, three impossible missions were accepted and carried out by the watchmakers of Quinting: it is in result of 7 years of research and development and investments of several dozens of millions of Swiss francs (the first and second missions) that the first transparent chronograph was born. The third mission has required 9 other years of additional research and development.
- The first impossible mission: To create the first chronograph movement in the world transparent at one hundred percent, mysterious at one hundred percent, this mission that was confided to the greatest specialists in the Swiss watchmaking failed. After seven years of research and development this mission was crowned with success in 2000 thanks to the watchmakers of Quinting.
- The second impossible mission: To create the first and unique sapphire movement in the world or in other words a movement composed of the parts made of a precious transparent material but not of metal. This complex mission was carried out in 2000.
- The third impossible mission: To create at one hundred percent mysterious movement that makes turn the seconds hand as if it were suspended in the air. This mission was also carried out with success in 2002.
The 4th impossible mission was carried out by the watchmakers of the Quinting Manufacture in 2007. The mission was suggested by Ange Barde, a racing driver who holds an amazing prize list. Ange Barde was looking for a watch manufacture which was able to create a watch which could support all the restraints of the high racing car. He has turned toward Quinting and asked to create a watch that could be equal to these performances.
- To create a watch that can withstand all the constraints imposed by the racing cars.
- To create only unique pieces.
- To make turn a car inside the transparency movement of Quinting. But each timepiece will have its own movement.
6 racing drivers are the owners of these watches. Quinting had engraved their blood group on each watch. On the case of each watch is engraved a number between 1 and 60, which represents one minute of the sixty of one hour. This number indicates the minute when the two cars will be superposed to make only one. If it is the number 5 which is chosen, the cars are superposed every hour and 5 minutes (1.05pm, 2.05pm, 3.05pm…). Like that every timepiece is unique.
The restraints were the following:-
- To increase the lifetime of the wheels, improve their precision and their adhesion: To achieve this objective the Quinting manufacture has realised a worldwide premiere. It has put, as in the racing cars, some tyres on the sapphire wheels and then toothed them. Thus adhesion, precision as well as the lifetime have strongly increased.
- To counterbalance the forces (acceleration, effect of gravity): To achieve this objective the Quinting manufacture did not keep to the beaten track of other manufactures that apply the system of tourbillon created by Abraham Louis Breguet in 1801. In the days of Abraham Louis Breguet watches, these pocket watches of the wealthy men, were not worn on the wrist but in the waistcoat pocket. The timekeepers remained all the time in vertical positions. Their parts were subject to the effects of gravity thus causing errors in the rate of the watch. In order to increase precision the inventor brought to reality his idea to put the regulating organs (the balance and the spiral spring) as well as the escapement (that supplies energy to the balance) in a small mobile cage that makes one turn around its own axis in one minute. And rotation of the whole mechanism around the same axis thus allowed compensating the effects of gravity. Since the wrist watch appeared almost nobody has worn pocket watches. The continuous movements of hand play the role of tourbillon and this small horological complication has became useless.
– But nevertheless it keeps its value as a poem. The way taken by the manufacture is the one of the contemporary man of the third millennium. Abraham Louis Breguet found the solution how to eliminate errors caused by the effect of gravity, Mr Pascal Berclaz from Quinting found the solution how to compensate all the errors not only those caused by gravity but also the errors that result from the movements of the man’s hand who plays golf or violoncello or pilots a space shuttle. His watch is not subject to the effect of gravity but to other forces. To realize this the Quinting manufacture has created a worldwide premiere, the first transparent movement in the world with counterbalancing forces in which two parts move in opposite directions or in other words the wheels of the seconds turn as the seconds hand and other wheels rotate in opposite direction. Thus if one set of wheels accelerates the other one decelerates and thanks to the mysterious Quinting system the forces will be counterbalanced.
- To create only unique timepieces: Quinting and Ange Barde have decided to create only unique timepieces. Indeed, all the watches seem to be the same but they are in reality all different. There are 60 unique watches. The number 60 represents the number of minutes in one hour. On the case of each watch is engraved a number between 1 and 60. This last one indicates the minute when the two cars are superposed to be just one. For example, if you choose the watch number 5, the two cars will be superposed every hour and 5 minutes: 12.05pm, 13.05pm, 14.05p… The racing drivers who ran for the Challenge Ferrari title, including Ange Barde, had their blood group engraved on the case of the watch instead of the minute.
A watchmaker in the watch
A big number of horological masterpieces are hidden in museums owing to the extreme fragility of their movements. How many jewellers and owners of the greatest complications were obliged to return their jewels to the watchmakers because of the defective wheels? To solve this problem the Quinting manufacture placed a watch mechanism inside the watch, which will be able like magic to readjust the wheels of the chronograph counter. From this fact comes the expression “a watchmaker in the watch”.
To realize this feat the wheels were assembled on the clutches allowing thus in case of strong constraints to disengage the wheels. You will see when the hands of the chronograph are not any more at 12 o’clock the watchmaker of your Quinting watch has disengaged the wheels and the watch underwent a shock. To ask the watchmaker to engage the wheel again you should simply press the push buttons and as if by magic the mysterious watchmaker will readjust at your request the counters at 12 o’clock. This marvel of the watchmaking tradition that embodies also the Swiss traditional watchmaking manufactured at one hundred percent at the workshops of Quinting.