Swiss luxury watch brand ANTOINE MARTIN presents its first model, the Perpetual Calendar QP01 housing the manufacture’s own movement AM 39.001 that carries many innovative features.
A modified Swiss lever escapement called HPE (High Performance Escapement) that includes silicium ensures increased energy yield; the brand-new Aerodynamic Amplitude Stabilization (ADAS) guarantees an even rate; and this movement boasts a free-sprung balance spring, which is one of the prerequisites in attaining the Seal of Geneva.
Manually wound Calibre AM 39.001, in which twin mainsprings ensure a power reserve of six days, is outfitted with a perpetual calendar and a large date. The visual cherry on top is the extra-large balance crafted in Grade 5 titanium boasting an incredible diameter of 17.5 mm.
It’s modern and progressively designed case is hardly to be topped in terms of complexity. In order to showcase the wondrous interplay of polishing and satin finishing, this case was conceived to include detachable strap lugs. Thus, the recesses are polished to a high gloss, while the upper parts remain matte.
The strikingly designed flanks, which lend the case its unique lines, are also individually secured. An unmistakable element of an ANTOINE MARTIN watch is certainly the crown, which is reminiscent of classic Bauhaus design. This case in its entirety is a lavish construction comprising 85 individual components.
Caliber AM 39.001
The creation of this movement was preceded by years of study of the Swiss lever escapement, its motion, and its dynamic processes. The Swiss lever escapement is the single most widely used form of escapement used in modern wristwatches.
It was invented by Thomas Mudge in 1757, the genius who adapted the anchor escapement to the portable wristwatch, and improved upon by Georges Auguste Leschot in 1825, the inventor of the angle of draw. It has been utilized practically unmodified since this date.
For years, Martin Braun has thought about improving the Swiss lever escapement for his own movements. However, what he was envisioning was not possible with conventional production methods; the advent of silicium for common use has allowed him to finally realize the solution he imagined.
His modified escapement is called the High Performance Escapement, or HPE for short. The angles of the Swiss lever escapement have always represented a compromise between effectivity and retaining oil using the capillary effect of certain angles. This no longer needs to be adhered to since an escapement predominately comprising silicium components functions completely without oil.
Thanks to this, Martin Braun’s HPE escapement can now boast 100 percent more effectiveness. Changing the originally calculated angles of the impulse planes of the escape wheel; modifying the curved shape of the escape wheel teeth; and reconfiguring the pallets have increased the energy yield by about 7-8 percent.
The optimized shape of the silicium impulse pin also brings another 1 percent increase. The result of these modifications is an increase in amplitude from 300° to almost 330° in direct parallel comparison to the conventional escapement design.
Calibre AM 39.001 clearly builds a bridge between contemporary production methods and the era of the most beautiful and elegant mechanical movements: the beginning of 1900s, which is widely recognized in the humanities as the beginning of modernity. This movement showcases its most beautiful component,which is simultaneously its beating heart: the balance.
Following a time in horology in which the chiefly standard balances found in most watches were more often than not hidden, ANTOINE MARTIN puts this impressive component on centre stage. The extra-large balance wheel, whose primary raison d’être is stabilization of amplitude, measures 17.5 mm in diameter and is crafted in high-tech Grade 5 titanium. Boasting two little gold screws for fine adjustment, thereby freeing the balance spring from fine regulation by index, it is one of the largest balances ever used in this style of escapement.
Underscoring its charming girth and the soothing motion of its oscillation, the balance beats at a frequency of 18,000 vibrations per hour (2.5 Hertz). This “vintage” tempo brings not only the size of the balance to the fore, but also the majestic tranquillity with which it goes about its work.
Technically speaking, this size makes a lot of sense: not only does its considerable size build up more kinetic energy. Should the movement experience shock, the finicky balance is more apt to remain within its amplitude—thus keeping a stable rate—than would be the case with a smaller balance.
Additionally, the movement is outfitted with another ANTOINE MARTIN innovation for stabilizing amplitude: Aerodynamic Amplitude Stabilization (ADAS). This ingenious mechanism basically comprises a control cam guided by the power reserve display. When the movement is fully wound, the cam moves to within 0.01 mm of the balance wheel, whose ADAS arms then create congestion with air—which acts as a cushioned brake for the balance wheel.
As the mainspring loses its tension, the ADAS system ensures that the amplitude remains the same—regardless of its state. Amplitude stabilization is very important for keeping an even rate, which ensures that the manually wound movement remains as accurate as possible.
Despite its large balance, the manually wound movement reaches six days (144 hours) of power reserve thanks to twin mainsprings. Three of its 324 individual components are crafted in high-tech silicium—the pallet lever, escape wheel, and impulse pin—and 60 of them are jewels. The metal components are decorated with a high-quality finish including bevelling according to the best Swiss traditions.
A modern, solid piece of Haute Horlogerie, the watch case housing Calibre AM 39.001 possesses a diameter of 46 mm. It is strikingly filled out by the movement, and thus forms a holistic unit with intricate calendar displays for the wrist: a large date and a perpetual calendar displaying day, date, month, and leap year as well as a day/night indicator.
The designers at ANTOINE MARTIN have also left nothing to chance with regard to the dial. A modern interpretation of classic guilloché embellishing the centre and a completely new style of applied numerals combine to create this watch’s very striking face.
The vertical placement of the perpetual calendar’s day and month displays and the leap year indication at the 12 o’clock position were only possible thanks to a few new tricks up the engineers’ sleeves.
The Perpetual Calendar is available in a rose gold 18K, white gold 18K, or black DLC-coated stainless steel case.