Thomas Mercer announces the launch of its latest creation, the Greenwich, the marine chronometer paying tribute to the eponymous model that was actually the latest timekeeper the company created in the 20th century.
A beautifully crafted box evokes the timekeepers jealously guarded today in Flamsteed House at the Royal Observatory and once upon a time used in ships’ wheelhouses to navigate, explore and map the world. Finely veneered in Macassar ebony and Santos rosewood, and with inlays in satinwood, this cabinet boasts a very distinctive high-gloss finish that embellishes not only its exterior but also – much rarer – its interior surface.
An octagonal bezel invites one to admire both the dial of the chronometer from above, and the case assembly with its double gimbals suspensions. Made for the occasion in gold plated brass, the new case is designed to display the sophisticated mechanism in all its beauty when locked in its reverse position, hence a cylindrical tube and a 15mm thick bottom glass – both in extra-white crystal – offering an all-round view of the movement.
The dial shows a traditional silvered finish with golden applique numbers and two apertures respectively displaying the sine-qua-non specifications of a marine chronometer: chain-fusee drive and spring detent escapement. Working as an infinitely variable gearbox, the former is responsible for delivering the mechanism an ever constant rate of energy, whereas the latter, with its escape wheel directly impulsing the balance without any lever/anchor in between, increases escapement efficiency, joining together in the perfect combination for accuracy timepieces. Second and power reserve indicators have been respectively off-set at 3 and 9 o’clock to create a truly individual layout while fully respecting the centenary tradition of these precision timekeepers.
The Greenwich adopts the completely new calibre TM0803, which represents the evolution of the TM0801 launched in 2012. Continuing the philosophy of showing the beautiful precision engineering from the dial, the newly released mechanism now further enhances it, thanks to its reversed chain fusee drive and escapement platform; 8 days of power reserve, ovalising balance and blued screws complete this masterpiece of craftsmanship.
Though differing in style from cutting edge executions such as the Legacy and Brittanica Black, the Greenwich shares with them the same signature marks – escapement visible through the dials, crossings on the back plates and applique numbers to mention but a few – showing a surprisingly yet typically coherent brand style and identity.