Andreas Strehler Papillon

In 2007, Switzerland based master watchmaker Andreas Strehler presented an emotional, sensual mechanical watch movement – the Papillon.

His aim was to create a living organism that would hold the observer spellbound. In contrast to many firms, Andreas Strehler regards his movements not as cold, technical machines but as living organisms whose elegance invite one to sense the time and the mechanics that generate it.

He deals with the aesthetics of time without the necessary domination of ease of reading the dial. Sometimes he even runs counter to it. For example, it is possible to regard the cosmos of a Papillon as a mere mechanical marvel, the only function of which is to fascinate the beholder by the sight of the functioning movement.

Andreas Strehler Papillon

To produce this fascination, Andreas Strehler developed a technical language of his own in the form of the Papillon. He drew his inspiration from the elegance of the technical progress of the late 19th century. In particular, it is the floral elements of the Art Nouveau, which perform basic functions in spite of their fragility that are to be found in the construction of the Papillon.

Inspired by the art of traditional Swiss watch making, Andreas Strehler created his very own formal expression which makes the construction of his watch movements unique. First he broke with the classical link between the main plate and the bridge, the dial and the movement side, since this would have had a restricting effect on his ideas.

Andreas Strehler Papillon

His idea was to have a visible gear train allowing one to look deeply into the movement and see it working. The supporting elements were to be kept to a minimum, but they should have an aesthetic form to captivate the observer.

Andreas Strehler needed no more than three wheels to create his idea of a living watch-organism. The time is almost hidden above the two barrels, ‚mystérieuse‘ on two toothed glass discs, without the driving mechanism being visible.

Andreas Strehler Papillon

The Papillon was constructed with the aim of producing a harmonious movement with original ideas which can show the time, but need not do so necessarily. The most important aspect was to be the harmony of the mechanics, the elegance and aesthetic of form and the interaction of the wheels which beat the time. And although the movement is composed of metal, it should appear as something from nature.

To achieve this, Andreas Strehler chose a totally new configuration for the construction of the movement, abandoning the traditional difference between the face and the back of the watch. By this apparent break with tradition, Andreas Strehler introduced new ideas without dispensing with the traditional craftsmen‘s methods of decoration which underline optically the quality of his work.

The bevelling in the internal edges was carried to the limit in the Papillon. Hardly any other watchmaker had dared to bevell such sharp edges by hand.

Andreas Strehler Papillon watch movement

The movement is constructed in a different way to that of any other watch. Whilst Andreas Strehler is careful to construct his movement along classic lines, it must not be similar to movements of the past. That may sound like a contradiction in terms. But at a second glance, his movement appears as his own individual, modern interpretation of the traditional watchmakers‘ craft.

For example, he manages without the classical main plate of a central plate with its various cut-outs. It was important for him to create an aesthetic movement. The elegance of the central plate is enhanced by Côtes de Genève and appears as a mainspring bridge, rather than the central element. And in order to stress the optical impression of an organically formed movement, Andreas Strehler opted for a central bridge in the shape of a butterfly.

Andreas Strehler Papillon

The construction of the movement, its shape, follows the technical necessities. In this way the position of the two barrels and the balance wheel form a basic slanted oval shape which corresponds with the shape of the watch-case. The Papillon movement is a technical masterpiece. Its mechanics are reduced to the absolute minimum.

For the Papillon, Andreas Strehler uses only three wheels for the transmission of power – the central wheel, intermediate wheel and escapement wheel. The shape of the central wheel and the intermediate wheel dominates the appearance of the Papillon. And this impression is increased by the smooth roundings of the bevelled wheels.

Although the Papillon movement appears very simple, it manifests a number of nice details which will please the hearts of everyone interested in mechanics. The two barrels provide the Papillon with a guaranteed power reserve of 80 hours, although the energy stored in both barrels would enable a much longer power reserve. They are connected in parallel and thus guarantee smooth winding and the even action of the two mainsprings.

Besides the generous power reserve, the use of two barrels brings further advantages, for example the almost total elimination of bearing pressure on the central wheel – thus enabling optimal timekeeping precision.

A further special detail is the use of genuine conical gear wheels for the winding wheel and the winding pinion. As a result, these show no wear in the transmission of power and are therefore extremely long-lasting. In addition, their special gear tooth system enables the watch to be wound up smoothly and lightly.

Technical details

Papillon Classic

  • Case: Palladium white gold 88g
  • Dimension: Width 41 mm, overall length 47.20 mm, height 10 mm
  • Dial: 2 toothed sapphire wheels, for hours and minutes
  • Strap: Black alligator with tang buckle in white gold
  • Movement: Mechanical, manual winding; mysterious hours and minutes displayed by the gears themselves; Power reserve: 78 hours, double mainspring; Size: tonneau shape: 32.00 x 30.00 mm, thickness 6.9 mm; Frequency: 2.5Hz / 18,000 A/h; Jewels: 19

Girard-Perregaux Vintage 1945 Off-centered Hour and Minute

Combining traditional horology and contemporary design trends, the Girard-Perregaux Vintage 1945 Off-centered hour and minute model features a unique dial layout with an offset hour and minute display, with additional sub-dials for the small second, date and power reserve indications.

Girard-Perregaux Vintage 1945 Off-centered Hour and Minute white gold watch

This uncommon dial aesthetics is further enhanced by the use of traditional elements: “chemin de fer” style minuterie, Roman numerals and blued steel “leaf shaped” hands that run round the “grand feu” enamel dial which completely hand made by expert craftsmen.

Available in red gold or white gold case version, the Girard-Perregaux Vintage 1945 Off-centered Hour and Minute watch is equipped with a Girard-Perregaux Manufacture automatic winding movement that can admired through the sapphire case-back.

Girard-Perregaux Vintage 1945 Off-centered Hour and Minute pink gold watch

The harmoniously curved gold case, which measures thirty-six by thirty-seven millimetres, stands out on the wrist. An alligator strap secures the timepiece to wrist.

Technical details

Model: Girard-Perregaux Vintage 1945 Off-centered Hour and Minute

White/Pink gold case
Dimensions: 36 x 37 mm
Sapphire crystal
Sapphire case-back secured by 4 screws
Water resistance: 30 metres

Ivory enamel dial

Girard-Perregaux movement GP01900′ Mechanical with automatic winding; Calibre: 11 ½ ’‘’; Frequency: 28,800 vibrations/hour (4 Hz); Jewels: 29; Power reserve: minimum 46 hours

Hour, minute, small second, power reserve indicator, date

Alligator strap with folding buckle

Erwin Sattler Regulateur Classica Secunda Wristwatch

The Regulateur Classica Secunda Wristwatch by German clock manufacturer Erwin Sattler was created in cooperation with Habring Uhrentechnik OG.

This automatic wristwatch features an engraved gold rotor, a regulator display, and a jumping second hand that springs forward with the tact of the second itself. This Sattler wristwatch was created on the occasion of the fiftieth anniversary of the company’s founding and has since become a popular and successful model.

The Regulateur Classica Secunda features an exact miniature version of the very successful wall clock Classica Secunda 1985’s regulator dial, but with all the characteristics of a fine mechanical wristwatch: As on the original, this wristwatch’s dial is made of solid sterling silver (925/000) and sports four screws.

The wristwatch Regulateur Classica Secunda exact miniature versions of the very successful wall clock Classica Secunda 1985. Its regulator dial aside, it contains all the characteristics of a fine mechanical wristwatch: Like the original, this wristwatch’s dial is made of solid sterling silver (925/000) and sports four screws.

The regulator dial with its subsidiary seconds at 12 o’clock, hours at 6 o’clock, and large central minute hand is just as naturally a part of the Erwin Sattler collection as are the invar compensation pendulum and gold-plated gears of a precision pendulum clock. This exceptional hand placement is modeled after the especially precise pendulum clocks found at observatories.

When making time comparisons, it was found that the very wide hour hands on the observatory’s clocks hid the second hand, the vital link in precision regulation work. Taking this into consideration, clock designers therefore created regulator dials with one main dial for the minute hand, kept very slender, and two subsidiary dials for hours and seconds — all of which were completely legible at all times.

Erwin Sattler’s clock specialists give not only the dial special attention, but also the domed steel hands of this wristwatch Regulateur. The hands are first hardened and polished. Finally, they are slowly heated to 295° C, at which point the hardened steel achieves its coveted deep blue hue. The hour and minute hands have steel hand sockets with polished grooves — just as the clocks do.

The Regulateur Classica Secunda was created in cooperation with the company Habring Watch Technology. Only the wheels, escapement parts, and some plates from the seasoned ETA Valjoux 7750 chronograph caliber are in use here.

All other parts needed for the movement, including the jumping seconds subgroup, are completely new designs. The oscillating pinion, an arbor with two differently toothed gears whose purpose is actually to ensure the energy flow between movement and chronograph, was cleverly employed to power an additional mechanism. This mechanism utilizes several wheels and pinions and a stop spring, causing the second hand to jump.

The automatic movement was then modified, assembled it and housed it in a stainless steel case consisting of both polished and matte components. Sturdy strap lugs with screw-in bars lend an aura of solidity and robustness that is underscored by the large crown. The meticulously finished automatic rotor, hand-skeletonized and engraved with the company initials by master engraver Jochen Benzinger, makes each watch unique.

Technical details

Stainless steel case
Ø 44 mm, height: 15 mm
Domed anti-reflective sapphire crystal, sapphire crystal in case back
Water-resistance tested up to 5 bar
Crown in the shape of a precision clock movement holder nut, decorated with milled Sattler logo
Bezel shape corresponding to the Sattler precision clock bezel

Hours, minutes, subsidiary jump seconds

Sattler-calibre ES 01, Self-winding, based on ETA 7750
28 jewels
Power reserve: 42 hours
Oscillator engraved by hand and skeletonized decorated with guilloche work,
Option: customized oscillating weight with own initials

Solid silver dial, numbered consecutively, regulator display, “small second” at “12”

Hand-sewn remborded leather strap
Double folding clasp with push-button release, stainless steel with Sattler emblem

A. Lange & Söhne LANGE 31

Introduced in 2008, the manually wound LANGE 31 by A. Lange & Söhne boasts a power reserve of one month (31 days). This timepiece also features another innovation, a constant-force escapement, assures that power delivery is uniform throughout the entire 31-day period. Additionally, with this timepiece Lange reintroduced the venerable key winding mechanism. The A. Lange & Söhne LANGE 31 watch is available in Platinum and 18K rose gold versions.

The construction of a mechanical wristwatch with a power reserve of a whole calendar month, not to mention constant rate accuracy across the entire period, was one of the few as yet unmastered horological feats. Now, it is reality: the LANGE 31. A programmatic designation for a power pack with the so far unimaginable power reserve of 31 days – plus continuous rate stability.

A. Lange & Söhne LANGE 31 Platinum reference 130.025F
A. Lange & Söhne LANGE 31 Platinum (reference 130.025F)

To store this amount of energy, the mechanical movement of A. Lange & Söhne LANGE 31 watch features two stacked mainspring barrels with an inside diameter of 25 millimetres. The prominent twin barrels occupy three quarters of the movement’s footprint. Each measuring 1,850 millimetres in length, the two mainsprings are five to ten times longer than those found in conventional wristwatch movements. It would be quite a cumbersome task to wind strong springs like these with the delicate components of an ordinary winding crown train.

That is why Lange’s engineers turned to the “key technology” of historic pocket watches. The leverage delivered by a key makes it possible to choose a transmission ratio that would be inconceivable with a crown.

LANGE 31 Calibre L034.1 movement with 31 days power reserve

A square key, inserted through an aperture in the sapphire-crystal caseback, delivers the energy to the spring barrels. The key features a built-in backstop ratchet to allow smooth winding as with a regular crown, and a torque limiter prevents accidental overtightening of the springs.

It stands to reason that a movement with such an extraordinary power reserve cannot constantly run at a stable rate without special technical precautions. The laws of physics dictate that in the process of relaxing, a spring loses more and more of its initial torque and thus cannot deliver the same amount of energy between the points where it is fully wound and fully unwound. As its torque wanes, the amplitude of the balance declines and so does the rate accuracy of the movement. To outwit this law, Leonardo da Vinci invented the fusée principle 500 years ago.

It allows the spring’s loss of torque to be largely offset by leverage. In the form of a fusée-and-chain transmission, this principle has been embodied in two of Lange’s new-era watches: the TOURBILLON “Pour le Mérite“ and the TOURBOGRAPH “Pour le Mérite“.

But to handle a power reserve of 31 days, this construction would have been made impossible by the sheer size of its parts. So Lange’s engineers sought – and found – a different solution: the constant-force escapement. It is based on an auxiliary spring that is periodically rewound by the mainspring and always builds up the same torque, regardless of the state of wind of the mainspring.

As it relaxes, this pretensioned so-called remontoir spring on the fourth-wheel arbor always delivers the same amount of energy to the escape wheel. Every ten seconds, this spring, attached to a stud, is retensioned by 60 degrees at its outer end. To complete the mechanism, it is also necessary to integrate a device that dependably and accurately controls this motion sequence.

This task is handled by the balance. It not only assures the uniform rotation of the fourth-wheel arbor that indicates the correct time but also controls the cyclical winding of the constant-force escapement. This is done with a Reuleaux polygon, a cam shaped like an equilateral triangle with convex sides. It is attached to the fourth-wheel arbor.

Every ten seconds, in other words after every 60-degree rotation, it moves an ingeniously designed pivoting lever. Two pallets on the inside of the lever alternately engage with a one-toothed wheel that is connected to the spring barrel via a wheel train and briefly stops its motion after every 180-degree rotation.

Each time it turns, the remontoir spring is incrementally rewound within fractions of a second and during the following ten seconds, it delivers its energy to the escape wheel. Within these ten seconds, the torque curve fluctuates marginally, but on average, a constant amount of energy is delivered for the full 31-day period.

The motion sequence of the constant-force escapement, which indeed resembles a classic escapement, can be observed through the sapphire-crystal caseback. A transparent sapphire jewel reveals the fascinating interaction of the three-point cam with the pivoting lever.

On the bottom line, the constant-force escapement prevents the waning torque provided by the mainspring barrel from diminishing the rate accuracy of the watch. The result: uniform energy delivery, constant amplitude, same rate accuracy from the first to the thirty-first day on which a shutoff mechanism halts the movement.

Theoretically, the movement could continue to run. But then, the force generated by the mainspring would drop below the torque needed to wind the remontoir spring. The constant-force escapement would no longer function reliably.

The constant-force issue already preoccupied Ferdinand Adolph Lange. Around 1866, he invented a constant-force escapement with jumping seconds – a so-called “one second remontoir” – for his precision pocket watches.

He later developed a similar construction for the large house clock at the Lange headquarters which today, with its almost 10-metre long pendulum, still tells Lange staff members and citizens of Glashütte precisely what time it is. Some 140 years later, his horological descendants demonstrated the success of their quest for constancy by introducing the newly developed calibre L034.1 movement with 31 days power reserve.

LANGE 31 Calibre L034.1 movement with 31 days power reserve

LANGE 31 is an exceptional timekeeping instrument for daily use, and its convenience is readily apparent. It displays the precise time longer than any other manually wound watch, even if it is not worn for several days or a few weeks.

The A. Lange & Söhne LANGE 31 platinum version (reference 130.025F) featuring a solid silver, rhodié dial and rhodiumed gold hands. The 18K LANGE 31 pink gold variant (reference 130.032F) comes with a solid silver, argenté dial and pink gold hands.

A. Lange & Söhne LANGE 31 Pink Gold (reference 130.032F)
A. Lange & Söhne LANGE 31 Pink Gold (reference 130.032F)

The case has an impressive diameter of 46 millimetres and an overall height of 15.9 millimetres. And the circular 31-day power-reserve indicator that occupies nearly the entire right-hand half of the solid-silver dial requires space as well. The last segment, in red, reminds the owner that after a full month has elapsed, it is finally time to rewind the watch. The Lange outsize date on the left side harmoniously balances the face.

Needless to say, the LANGE 31 also showcases all of the quality features that make timepieces by A. Lange & Söhne so coveted around the world. A glance through the sapphire-crystal back reveals the screw balance, the whiplash precision index adjuster on the hand-engraved balance cock, screwed gold chatons, and lavishly decorated elements in the classic Lange style.

Technical details

Model: A. Lange & Söhne LANGE 31

Lange manufacture calibre L034.1, manually wound, crafted to the highest Lange quality standards and largely assembled and decorated by hand; precision adjusted in five positions; twin mainspring barrels; plates and bridges made of untreated German silver; balance cock engraved by hand
Movement parts: 406
Jewels: 61, including 1 transparent sapphire jewel
Screwed gold chatons: 3
Escapement: Lever escapement
Balance: Shock-resistant glucydur screw balance, Nivarox hairspring balance with a frequency of 21,600 semi-oscillations per hour, whiplash precision index adjuster with patented beat adjustment mechanism
Power reserve: 31 days (744 hours) when fully wound, with stopwork

Time display in hours, minutes, small seconds, with stop seconds, outsize date, power-reserve indicator

Operating elements
Winding key with torque limiter, crown for setting the time, push piece for advancing the date display

Diameter 46 mm
Material: Platinum or 18K pink gold
Glass and caseback: Sapphire crystal (hardness 9)

Solid silver, rhodié or argenté
Hands: Rhodiumed gold or pink gold

Hand-stitched crocodile strap with precious-metal Lange prong buckle

Image Credit: Lange Uhren GmbH

EDOX Classe Royal Chronograph

This automatic chronograph from Edox features a shaped case composed of 6 independent but interconnected elements. Elegant and luxurious, the Classe Royal Chronograph is equipped with the Edox 011 calibre on a Valjoux 7750 base.

EDOX Classe Royal Chronograph

Adorned with Côtes de Genève decoration, this 25-jewel, 28,800 vph movement has a power reserve up to 42 hours. Fitted with convex sapphire crystal front glass and Screw-down transparent case back, the watch has a water resistance up to 50 meters.

Technical details

Model: EDOX Classe Royal Chronograph

Automatic, Edox 011 calibre on a Valjoux 7750 base, 28,800 vib/h, 25 jewels,
42-hour power reserve, Côtes de Genève decoration

Hours, minutes, seconds, day, date and chronograph

Two-tone in polished and black PVD treated 316L stainless steel, 40 x 40 mm
Anti-reflective convex sapphire crystal
Screw-down transparent back
Water-resistant to 50 m

Two-tone silvered and black, with hands partially coated with Superluminova
Hour, minute and seconds counters at 6, 12 and 9 o’clock respectively
Day and date window at 3 o’clock

Rubber with circular-grained steel folding clasp and flap

Bexei Primus Tourbillon Watch by Aaron Becsei

At Basel world 2008, Independent watch maker & AHCI member Aaron Becsei launched PRIMUS, the first BEXEI tourbillon wrist watch with an extremely complicated and unique movement.

The first sketches of Primus were made on the 1st quarter of 2006. The aim was to create a tri-axial tourbillon table clock with not using ball bearings at all. Also Aaaron wanted to create a unique wrist watch under his name. In 2006 he started to make the design and put together the plans to create this exceptional wristwatch.

Bexei Primus Tourbillon Watch by Aaron Becsei
Bexei Primus Tourbillon Watch by Aaron Becsei/ Image Credit: Bexei Watches

Aaron spent almost half a year with the development only. He had to take into consideration the fact that this should be a size of a wrist watch and should work not on the papers only.

The most challenging was to have this complex system operable at this miniature size. It took more than 1 year to get the system alive. After this all the parts had to be finished at the highest level. Aaron personally made all the parts from the case to the last screw. Except that the glass and the engraving were made by some of his friends/colleagues.

The tri axial solution is the best in order to avoid the bad effects of the gravity to the balance wheel. In a watch with a simple tourbillion system you leave the watch for 8-12 hours by night at the same position then when you wear it takes several different positions. That is why the adjustment is very problematic. With this triple axis system the balance wheel takes 3750 different positions in every 12.5 minutes day and night.

Technical details

Model: Bexei Primus Tourbillon Watch

18K white gold case
Case width: 38mm
Case height (diameter): 46mm
Case depth: 17,9mm

Mechanical movement
Wind up indicator
Hour/minute/second indication
Tri-axial tourbillon with jewel bearings
Weight of the tourbillon system: 1,5 gr.
1st (inner) tourbillon cage turns around in: 0,5 min.
2nd (middle) tourbillon cage turns around in: 2,5 min.
3rd (outer) tourbillon cage turns around in: 12,5 min.
The balance wheel takes 3750 different positions in 12,5 min.
Power reserve: 40 hours

Hand engraved dial-base
Gold applied dials
Gold wheels
Diamond end-stones

Band width: 22mm
18K white gold buckle

Bremont EP120 SPITFIRE Limited Edition

Bremont, successfully launched in 2007, offers a range of exceptional quality, highly-developed timepieces designed to exacting specifications with high aesthetic values. Bremont watches, although made using only fine-quality Swiss components hand-assembled by the best watchmakers working from a dedicated atelier in Biel-Bienne, contain an air of quintessential Britishness, derived from the brands founders, brothers and aviators Nick and Giles English. Following on from the ALT1 and BC ranges introduced in 2007, and the success of the BC-S1 and the BC-S2 series, now comes the new EP120, named after and inspired by a very special aircraft that first flew in 1942.

The limited edition EP120 watch is named after (and contains parts of) a famous 1942 Spitfire Mk V aircraft, which is possibly the most credited WWII fighter in existence and is now based in Duxford in Cambridgeshire. It shot down 6 German aircrafts on one day during 1942 in WWII, and the aircraft has been used in films such as The Battle of Britain, and starred as the lead Spitfire in Pearl Harbour and Dark Blue World. Some of EP120’s original parts, saved during restoration, are integrated into Bremont’s EP120 range in beautiful ways, including the dial and movement.

With a limited number of 120 to be made and each one unique, there has been much interest in the beautifully hand finished time pieces. The EP120 features a black DLC treated steel and titanium case and COSC certified skeletised movement. It has a modified 13 ¼” BE-53AE Automatic Chronometer with 24 hour UTC function and 30 minute Chrono ‘Time of Trip’ dial, which is an original Spitfire part.

Your EP120 shows you the time in hours, minutes, seconds and the date. It also shows the time in another time zone using its 24-hour hand (or UTC hand).With the chronograph you can measure up to 30 minutes (in minutes and seconds) through the ‘Time of Trip’ dial positioned at 12 o’clock.

The mechanical movement with automatic winding has a free-swinging rotor that keeps the mainspring wound via the motion of your wrist. The movement in your EP120 has 25 jewels, runs at 28,800 bph and has a 42-hour power reserve once fully wound. The watch is water resistant to 100m (10 ATM) and the dial is protected by a dual anti-reflective sapphire crystal that is retained securely (in the case of low pressure found at extreme altitudes).

The case of your watch is made from an especially hardened stainless steel with a DLC (diamond like carbon) coating. To ensure that this rather special watch continues to run beautifully for years to come, you must follow a few important operating instructions.

EP120 was built at Castle Bromwich, and entered RAF service in May 1942 with 501 (County of Gloucester) Squadron at Ibsely in Hampshire. Whilst in the hands of the Ibsley Wing Leader, Wing Commander ‘Pat’ Gibbs, she claimed her first kill; a Do17. There are Spitfires in existence with a wartime combat record, however Spitfire Mk Vb EP120, at seven ‘kills’ represents a proven fighter with something quite special. EP120 is currently one of only four airworthy Mk V Spitfires in the world.

EP120 sustained some damage on 16th July 1942 after a ground collision as was very nearly written off. After repairs, the aircraft returned to 501 Sqn in time to provide air cover for the withdrawal of forces involved in Operation ‘Jubilee’, the disastrous Dieppe raid, flying three sorties to protect the shipping convoy taking troops and equipment off the beach at Dieppe. The third sortie was flown by Wing Commander Gibbs, which saw a number of encounters with FW190’s before three Dornier Do-217’s were sighted south of the convoy. Gibbs was able to bring EP120 onto the tail of one of the Dornier’s and open fire with the cannon and machine guns before himself being attacked by an FW190.

Gibbs shook the FW190, dived to sea level and met the rest of Yellow Section before heading home and being credited with the kill. The aircraft was damaged again later in July 1942, but after repair she was allocated to 19 Sqn at RAF Perranporth, part of 10 Group in Cornwall. At this time, the RAF’s Spitfire Mk Vb fleet was being upgraded in an effort to combat the new Focke Wulf FW190, which was superior to the RAF’s Spitfire V. EP120 was modified having her wings clipped and the Supercharger impeller blades cropped to improve the performance of the engine. EP120 flew a total of 61 combat sorties with 19 Sqn over a seven month period, most of these being channel shipping protection patrols.

22nd April 1943 with the Canadian 402 (City of Winnipeg) Sqn, and it was here that EP120 was re-coded AE-A. As EP120 arrived, so did a new squadron commander, Malta veteran Squadron Leader Geoffrey Wilson Northcott DSO, DFC and he adopted EP120 as his own personal aircraft. Northcott scored his first victory after five days as 402 Squadron’s commanding officer. Flying EP120, Northcott made his first kill against a Bf109 which was defending a German convoy from attack by Beaufighters off the Dutch coast.

After minor modifications at 3501 Servicing Unit at Cranfield between 1st and 6th July, the Squadron returned to Digby. The 2nd of August proved to be another eventful day both for EP120, and Northcott, when 402 Sqn was tasked with providing cover for another Beaufighter strike against German convoy’s operating around Den Helder. After refuelling at Coltishall, the squadron flew across at low level under thick cloud, arriving at around 11:00hrs to take up station. Six Bf109’s were spotted to the North East; 402 Sqn and sister unit 412 Sqn, turned to engage. Northcott flying EP120 was able to bring down two Bf109’s in this action using 30 rounds of cannon ammunition and 300 machine gun rounds.

This action earned Squadron Leader Northcott a bar to his DFC. Apart from providing cover for RAF Beaufighters, the squadron also flew escort missions for USAAF B26 Marauders. On 22nd August 1943 402 Sqn was ordered to provide top cover for an attack on Beaumont Le Roget, in which the bomber formation came under attack by 15 plus FW190’s. In the following encounter, Northcott latched onto the leader and shot him down with a short burst of combined cannon and machine gun fire. On another B26 escort mission over Lille on 4th September, a mixed force of Bf109’s and FW190’s rose to attack the bombers, although largely driven off by 402 Sqn, though some were able to attack the bombers.

The formation was attacked again over Le Touquet by FW190’s, but they were once again engaged by the escorting Spitfires with Northcott flying EP120 attacking another FW190 tearing off it’s port wing in the process, one of four FW190’s shot down with another claimed as damaged. The last two victories claimed by Northcott in EP120 were another Bf109 on the 3rd October 1943, and the last on the 3rd November while escorting 72 B26’s on a raid over Schiphol with 412 Sqn. The wing sighted a formation of Bf109’s en route to the target and engaged, the wing brought down a total of nine enemy aircraft with Northcott claiming one destroyed.

On the 12 February1944 EP120 suffered another accident and was transferred to 33 MU, after which she was allocated to 53 Operational Training Unit at Kirton-in-Lindsey, until May 1945. Her flying service ended on 2nd June 1945 when she was transferred to No 4 School of Technical Training at RAF St Athan as 5377M to assist in the education of RAF mechanics. EP120 has been used in several feature films since its ‘retirement’, including ‘The Battle of Britain’ and ‘Pearl Harbour’. The aircraft is now owned and operated by the Fighter Collection based at Duxford, Cambridgeshire and can be seen flying regularly throughout the year.

Gerald Genta Arena Tourbillon Retrograde Hours (2008)

More stature, more straight lines and more contrast – this Arena watch accentuates the masculine side of its nature. It goes on the offensive to revive the look of the characteristic Gérald Genta tourbillon and retrograde hours movement.

A bold brand, an ever-astonishing watch. With its 45 mm diameter (as compared to 41 mm previously) the Arena line’s case with its grooved caseband is one of the largest on the market. It is even more amazing in this extremely luxurious version featuring a platinum structure and a palladium bezel– a precious pairing that subtly makes use of the nuance between the grey and white reflections. Palladium in its pure state gleams with a luminous clarity that Gérald Genta has enjoyed using since being the first to choose this metal to adorn its watch exteriors.

On the multi-layer dial, the retrograde numbers are displayed in polished, rhodium-plated appliques on a circular, brushed, tantalum-coloured arc, while the minutes follow a circle punctuated by transferred white hour-markers. Both the hours and the minutes are ticked off by masculine-looking dagger-shaped skeleton hands. The background features a skilfully openworked satin-brushed grey metal grid which makes a striking contrast with the “old gold” colour of the seconds hand, the decorative screw heads and the Potter-finish movement.

The tourbillon appearing through a generous opening at 6 o’clock is topped with an elongated bridge that has been specifically redesigned along more sporty lines. Overall, the skeleton-type dial built on several levels reflects the high degree of sophistication of the mechanism driving the watch.

The movement, which is developed and built within the Manufacture and comprises some 400 parts, embodies tried and tested expertise. Gérald Genta was indeed among the first brands to make a self-winding tourbillon in 1990. This model is remarkable due to its thinness (5.9 mm), its considerable power reserve (64 hours) and the perfectly integrated retrograde hours.

It boasts all the finishing touches characteristic of Haute Horlogerie, such as circular graining, bevelling, polishing, circular brushing, straightening and hand-drawn sides. At the end of the production process, it is immersed in a galvanic bath that gives it the “old gold” colour, inspired by vintage movements. The famous “Potter finish” developed by Gérald Genta exalts the beauty of the fine workmanship that may be admired through the sapphire crystal caseback.

Girard-Perregaux Financial Borsa Italiana

In 2008, Girard-Perregaux dedicated a special edition watch to celebrate the two hundredth anniversary of the Italian stock market: the Financial Borsa Italiana.

The watches in the Girard-Perregaux (World Wide Time Control) line are characterised by a single system providing the simultaneous reading of local time and the time in 24 time zones. The Financial is the first watch to indicate simultaneously the world time and the opening hours of the world’s major stock markets.

Girard-Perregaux Financial Borsa Italiana watch

Italy’s only stock exchange known as Borsa Italiana was founded in 1808. Based in Milan, the Italian Bourse celebrated its 200th anniversary.

Made of stainless steel and equipped with the GP033C0 automatic movement, the Girard-Perregaux Financial Borsa Italiana is a limited edition of 40 pieces. This watch is also available in a pink gold version, limited to 10 pieces.

Technical details

GP033C0, automatic
Calibre: 13 ’’’
Frequency: 28,800 Vib/h (4 Hz)
Jewels: 63
Power reserve: min. 46 hours

Hour, minute, small second, world time with day/night indicator, chronograph, date, global stock market trading times

Model: Girard-Perregaux Financial Borsa Italiana Steel
Reference 49805-11-683SBA6A

Girard-Perregaux Financial Borsa Italiana Steel watch

Case material: Steel
Diameter: 43.00 mm
Height: 13.40 mm
Case-back: Sapphire crystal, secured by 6 screws
Water resistance: 3 ATM (100 feet)
Limited edition of 40 pieces

Model: Girard-Perregaux Financial Borsa Italiana Pink Gold
Reference 49805-52-682SBACA

Girard-Perregaux Financial Borsa Italiana Pink Gold watch

Case material: 18K Pink gold
Diameter: 43.00 mm
Height: 13.40 mm
Case-back: Sapphire crystal, secured by 6 screws
Water resistance: 3 ATM (100 feet)
Limited edition of 10 pieces