In his Sauterelle model, for the first time in a wristwatch, master watch maker Andreas Strehler offers a mechanical solution which ﬁlters nearly all technical and mechanical factors impeding the escapement. The constant and linear supply of energy to the balance is the ideal in watchmaking. It is the basis for precision.
Conventionally, the complication known in watchmaking as force constante is mounted on the escapement wheel. However, this is the point of least torque in the whole movement. By contrast, Andreas Strehler has placed his remontoir d’égalité on the seconds wheel. Every second, the visible satellite gear supplies the escapement wheel with exactly the same amount of energy.
At the same time, the deadbeat or jumping seconds are indicated. The energy is accumulated in the course of every second by a star shaped satellite through the tensioning of a hairspring. The mechanism is then released, the balance receives the energy stored in the hairspring and the satellite wheel again rests against the stopping jewel. This solution has the advantage that the complete escapement, including the escapement wheel, moves freely between two impulses, uninﬂuenced by the movement.
The remontoir d’égalité therefore leaves the Swiss anchor escapement unimpeded; an escapement type perfected over a period of more than 200 years. With the remontoir d’égalité, Andreas Strehler concentrates on the elimination of outside factors: Fluctuations in the supply of energy, ﬂaws in the gear train uneven discharge of the spring, uneven running of the gear train or the wheels actuating the hands and variations in temperature viscosity of lubricants are ﬁltered by the remon- toir d’égalité.
Different from a force constante with its ﬁxed division ratio, the remontoir d’égalité can be used independently of the movement’s frequency. For this reason, the Sauterelle’s movement has a frequency of 21 600 A/h resulting in higher precision. The name “Sauterelle” – registered as a trademark by Andreas Strehler in 2008 – was chosen deliberately, as the jumping of the satellite gear reminds one of a grasshopper.
On the one hand, the calibre Sauterelle by Andreas Strehler in all consequence follows the classic principles for the construction of watches and the traditions of ﬁnishing movements. On the other hand, the design and the execution of the movement are innovative: From the best technical solution grows the delicate and almost organic look of the movement.
To apply classic construction principals means that a movement by Andreas Strehler could have been built a hundred years ago, albeit using different tools and technology. Exotic materials are missing completely from his movements. In all probability, his watches can still be repaired in a hundred years’ time by a skilled watchmaker. Many technical inventions are aimed at the movement’s longevity: The winding mechanism employs true conical gear wheels, the speciﬁcally designed proﬁle of whose teeth guarantee their functioning without wear, reducing abrasion to almost nil.
The characteristic organic look of the movements with their central main plate, relating in their elegance to Art Nouveau, has valid reasons: To ﬁnd the technically soundest solution means more often than not to choose the direct way.
Andreas Strehler achieves this through very few but very large wheels. It takes a lot of technical understanding to design the space needed for these wheels. The synthesis of tradition and modernity is also made evident by the ﬁnishing of the individual components. The hand-bevelling and polishing may be very traditional, yet it reaches acute angles no other watchmaker dares to touch.
This craftsmanship is also reﬂected in the 10:1 scale model of the remontoir d’égalité: All of the technical details of the intermediary winding mechanism are executed with the same meticulous care, including the decoration and the bevelled edges, as on the wristwatch.
This functional model, entirely crafted by hand, invites the observer to discover the functioning of the Remontoir d’égalité with its switching operations, the movement of the stopping jewel, the re-tensioning of the hairspring and the rotation of the satellite wheel. The functional model is being manufactured upon request and is exclusively available to collectors of Andreas Strehler watches.
Case: 18 carat rose gold
Calibre: Sauterelle, hand winding:156 parts, frequency: 3Hz/21’600A/h,32.0×30.0mm, height: 5.9mm,25 jewels, patented remontoir d’ ègalité, double main spring barrel, edges bevelled and polished by hand, fully decorated movement
Dial: Massive silver/sapphire
Hands: Blue steel or gold
Strap and buckle: Hand sewn alligator leather strap, buckle made from 18K red gold