The HERITAGE WATCH MANUFACTORY is a brand new star in Swiss traditional watchmaking. The company is headquartered in the Swiss city of Neuchâtel and makes high-precision mechanical watches in strictly limited quantities. Characteristic of these chronometers are their extraordinary longevity and a timekeeping accuracy that completely redefines the previously held understanding of precision in mechanical watches. In order to produce these chronometric masterpieces, the Manufactory, established in 2010 and in private possession, works exclusively with movements it has itself conceived and constructed in years of development.
|FIRMAMENTUM by HERITAGE WATCH MANUFACTORY|
Heritage Watch Manufactory : Company Profile
The Heritage Watch Manufactory produces extremely precise mechanical wristwatches. In order to guarantee the outstanding accuracy and extraordinary longevity that sets these timepieces apart, the company works only with movements that it has itself designed and with very carefully selected materials. It goes without saying that these movements are only to be found in chronometers made by the Heritage Watch Manufactory.
The company, which is privately owned, was founded in the Swiss city of Neuchâtel in September 2010. To ensure that every single timepiece incorporates not only perfect materials and workmanship but also the most exquisitely precise adjustment, manufacturing is strictly limited. Heritage Watch Manufactory creates watches for connoisseurs who have succumbed to the fascination of mechanical techniques and the true art of chronometry. In due deference to this philosophy, the company does not rely on flamboyance for the look of the timepieces, but on understatement — and the knowledge of the genuine aficionado.
Master watchmaker: Karsten Fraessdorf
Master watchmaker Karsten Fraessdorf is responsible for the concept behind the Heritage Watch Manufactory chronometers. In recent years he has been repeatedly successful in developing individualistic movements possessing their own unmistakable features for various companies.
In the concept developed for the Heritage Watch Manufactory movements he has, after several years of development time, now also succeeded — in setting a milestone on the way to construction of the perfectly precise mechanical timepiece. Following the traditions of the original craft of watchmaking, the speed of the balance is set at 18,000 semi-oscillations per hour. This makes the balance not only considerably more stable and durable, it also consumes less energy. The balance itself is just as much an independent development as are the various fine adjustment mechanisms that permit perfect regulation. For the Tensus model, Karsten Fraessdorf has in addition designed an own constant-power escape mechanism as well as special twin mainspring barrels.
|Tensus by Heritage Watch Manufactory|
Head Designer : Eric Giroud
The renowned Swiss product and watch designer Eric Giroud is responsible for the Eric Giroud design of the chronometers. Giroud, whose creations have in past years gained numerous awards, followed his own completely unique approach in the design of the Heritage Watch Manufactory timepieces.
The casing design is directly inspired by the protective cases used to shield the valuable movements when entered in chronometry competitions of the past. The overall appearance is subtly harmonised, and the balanced relationship of satin and polished surfaces achieves a luxurious yet restrained look. This same form of understatement is evident in the dial design. The business-like classic dial faces of the Magnus Classic and the Tensus serve to emphasise the technical finesse of the chronometer.
The dial of the Magnus Contemporaine, interpreted in modern fashion, is differentiated by a nuanced interplay of space and volume. The convoluted hands are also distinctively styled, following the curvature of the glass, the hands being styled as quill pens on all models to represent the idea of time to come that is always being created but is yet to be recorded. Every detail of the smoothly finished outward appearance has its origins in Switzerland, and in the Tensus the angularity of the finish has been refined by hand.
Heritage Watch Manufactory : Patents
The extraordinary accuracy of the movements of Heritage Watch Manufactory timepieces are to a large extent due to five precision engineering developments, patents have been applied for. The mass- regulated Vivax balance is at the heart of all of the chronometers. With a diameter of 16 mm and a mass inertia of 126 mgmm², two affixes are used to change the static and dynamic mass inertia, thus keeping isochronous deviation permanently under control.
The balance hairspring itself is fitted with the specially developed Tenere fixation system, allowing precise fine adjustment of the hairspring while at the same time eliminating the negative influence of pinning and possible damage.
The Sectator mechanism for adjustment of the escapement lever under the balance permits the watchmaker, for the first time ever, to adjust the escapement perfectly.
Over and above this, the Tensus model counteracts the problem of decreasing mainspring power inherent in mechanical watches — and the resulting deviations of the movement — with the Sequax escapement and a constant power drive. This innovative escapement supplies the balance with a constant and unvarying supply of power, therefore eliminating fluctuations in the oscillation amplitude.
The Pariter twin mainspring barrels used in the Tensus are also of the company’s own design and construction, minimising energy losses due to friction on the bearing surfaces. Following this principle, the power reserve of the Tensus is also designed to be smooth-running due to the incorporation of a differential.
The unprecedented longevity of the timepiece is in part also due to the precision of the movement. This is achieved through the use of cycloid teething only for the gear trains and fully hardened gearwheels and pinions. Moreover, both the independently developed escapement of the Tensus and the Swiss lever escapement of the Magnus display optimised oil retention due to a capillary phase.
The oscillations of a balance subdivide time into units that are always the same. Correspondingly, the precision of a watch depends on the regularity of these oscillations. Non constant influences such as the decrease in power supplied by the mainspring, as well as changes in the position when being worn (and the resulting variations in the friction conditions), can influence the stability of oscillation of the balance. In order to also be ableto control these influences through the balance itself, regulating screws are positioned on the balance wheel periphery. Changing the position of these screws changes the moment of inertia of the balance and influences the escapement accuracy.
The Vivax balance, specially developed by the Heritage Watch Manufactory, also contains so-called affixes that are attached like arms to the balance wheel periphery. As the speed of oscillation of the balance wheel increases, centrifugal force causes these affixes to open slightly. They fulfil two functions: On the one hand, they serve to hold additional mass screws. This change in weight increases the speed effect described. On the other, the screws can, depending on the need for regulation, be positioned more closely to, or further away from, the fulcrum point of the affixes and thus additionally influence the speed. As a rule, there are two screws for five possible positions. Through this effect, the mass inertia of the balance increases and hereby independently reduces its frequency; it therefore self-regulates back to the original oscillatory speed. Through this mechanism, the Caspari effect (so-called isochronous deviation) becomes easier to control over the long term — as the amplitude of oscillation of the balance wheel changes, a higher temporal regularity of the oscillation itself is achieved.
Pariter Twin Mainspring Barrel
The mainspring barrel of a watch serves to store energy and to transmit this via the gear train to the balance so that this can maintain its speed of oscillation. For this purpose, the mainspring barrel is fitted with a coiled spring that tensions when the watch is wound and transmits the stored energy via the gear train to the balance. In order to achieve the greatest possible storage of energy and power reserve of the watch, the Pariter twin mainspring barrel contains two springs. These springs are positioned independently of one another and are separate, but both act on the same spring core in the barrel shaft. The attachment point of both springs to the shaft is however displaced by 180 degrees.
This displacement of the point of contact of the upper and lower springs relative to the shaft results in force being applied not just to one side of the shaft, but to two sides displaced through 180 degrees. The one-sided force normally applied to the shaft and the increased friction due to the tipping tendency of the mainspring barrel is cancelled — wear and friction loss are therefore considerably reduced.
Tenere Balance / Hairspring Retainer
The escapement of a watch serves to position the balance wheel and attach the hairspring. The hairspring is in many cases attached by gluing it or fixing it with a pin. This generally deforms and damages the hairspring, negatively affecting accuracy. Due to this, later fine adjustment is often difficult and requires replacement of the hairspring.
The specially developed Tenere system exhibits a mechanism that permits the end of the hairspring to be clamped between two surfaces, leaving it completely undamaged. The length of the hairspring can also be later adjusted as required. A further innovative mechanism permits the effective length of the hairspring and its fulcrum point to be shifted. This has a considerable effect on differences in deviations due to the watch being in the vertical or horizontal position and is an effective means of keeping the so-called Grossman effect under control. This mechanism can also be used to finely adjust the symmetry of the hairspring.
Sectator Fine Adjustment Mechanism
A precise escapement is an essential criterion for the accuracy of a watch. The escapement is constrained by various mechanisms, for example the stop pins. The disadvantage of these conventional methods is that they lead either to irreversible deformation when adjusting individual parts or imprecise results in spite of a complicated construction. They more often lead to the striking points being tilted laterally and therefore not being presented to the stop surfaces at the right angle. Depending on the position, the necessary up and down play of the escape anchor then gives different degrees of opening for the anchor. This again can be a further cause for a deviation in accuracy.
The Sectator mechanism developed by the Heritage Watch Manufactory allows the escapement to be very precisely and separately constrained on both the input side and on the output side. Adjusting the constraint of the escapement is carried out by means of a lever arm that is adjusted through being moved by a screw held against the lever arm by a spring. The screw is adjusted by means of holes drilled sideways in the screw head. These screws can be accessed both from the back and from the dial side. The Sectator system allows the watchmaker to adjust the escapement with absolute precision through operations that are at any time reversible and that prevent deformation of the mechanism. In addition, easy access to the adjustment mechanism is guaranteed.
Sequax Mechanism with Constant Power
Ever since clocks became portable and an even and constant drive by means of the weights of stationary clocks was no longer practical, a constant supply of power to the escapement has been one of the main challenges in watchmaking. Every mainspring, no matter how good it may be, provides progressively less power as the energy stored in it is used up. Fundamentally, however, the greater the oscillation amplitude of the watch balance, the more accurate it is. Even automatically winding watches are only an intermediate solution, because as soon as the mainspring is no longer wound up by wearing, the power stored in the spring again decreases.
For this reason, the Heritage Watch Manufactory has developed a fundamentally different concept in which the balance is not driven by the mainspring but by a small spring between two anchor wheels. The actual mainspring only serves to re-tension the system immediately after a pulse is sent to the balance, i.e. five times a second. The anchor wheel driving the balance possesses no gear teeth and is therefore free from possible deviations in torque caused by the actual transmission train. Winding regularly every day results in a constant amplitude of balance oscillation and thus forms a perfect basis for the accuracy of the watch. The Sequax escapement consists of two anchor wheels and three anchors with six pallets.
Official website : http://www.heritage-watch-manufactory.com