The Alpnach based Swiss brand Antoine Martin has devised a very special timepiece – it is a watch with the largest recorded balance with the diameter of 24mm. More importantly, the timekeeper likewise has the lowest frequency in the world of horology. Conveniently dubbed Slow Runner piece due to its slow pace of functioning, the Antoine Martin newcomer’s balance oscillates 7,200 times per hour. The frequency of just 1 Hz means that the second hand of the watch only makes two moves in the time frame that corresponds to a single second.
As it has been announced, the new timepiece will be unveiled at the upcoming Baselworld event. The man behind the creation of the world’s slowest paced watch is Martin Braun who has first captured the attention of the industry when he launched Eos model under his own brand at the turn of the millennium. Roughly a decade later, the watchmaker has teamed up with the entrepreneur Antoine Meier to create the new brand called Antoine Martin. The third cornerstone of the company is the brand’s CEO Bruno Jufer, the professional with a lot of recognition in the field. Previously to the stint at the Alpnach based company, Jufer was involved with the industry’s renowned brands, such as Maurice Lacroix, Jaquet Droz, Zenith and Carl F. Bucherer. The new watchmaker guided by the watchmaking vision of Martin Braun debuted at the most important horological event of the year – Baselworld show – a couple of years ago.
The Lowest Recorded Frequency of just 1 Hertz
For this year’s edition of the event in Basel, the brand based on the creativeness of Martin Braun, the finances of Antoine Meier and the managerial skills of Bruno Jefer, has prepared the watch that breaks two of existing records in the field. In spite of the current trend of presenting mechanical timekeepers with higher and higher frequency and thus increased precision (such as the best timepiece of the last year – TAG Heuer Mikrogirder), Antoine Martin has opted to create a watch that would run on the lowest possible frequency.
The idea behind the creation of this product was explained by Braun a few years ago. According to the watchmaker, the ever-accelerating contemporary world is bound to come to the point when everything will begin to slow down again. This sort of approach brought to the creation of the timekeeper which is clearly different than the other products available at the market. A different approach and the guidelines of production spawned a timekeeper which is quite different from the usual ones. Since the seconds hand of Slow Runner moves only two times per second, its movements are quite noticeable on the lower small seconds counter, almost as if it was a timepiece with a dead-beat seconds complication (compared to, for example, the most common watches of today that operate at the frequency of 28,800 vph or 4 Hz where the second hand moves eight times per second).
A Balance with the Diameter of 24mm
Furthermore, the watch is special since it includes the largest balance wheel that has the impressive diameter of 24mm which equals the size of a complete usual movement (the entire caliber is 36mm wide). The functioning of the balance wheel with a blue silicon balance spring is visible through the asymmetrically placed sapphire at the case back.
Four Days of Power Reserve
The most idiosyncratic trait of the watch is additionally featured on the dial which displays the inscriptions ”7,200 beats per hour” and “one hertz”. The face of the timekeeper which is naturally guarded by a sapphire glass likewise incorporates an off-centered counter for hours and minutes at the right upper section. Apart from this sub-dial with Roman numerals, the face of the slowest watch in the world incorporates an oversized small seconds sub-counter with Arabic numerals. This sub-dial is enlarged for a reason since it is suppose to display the movements of the second hand more clearly. The final counter featured on the face of Slow Runner is the remaining power reserve indication which sits at the ten o’clock position. Thanks to the single barrel of the movement which is also visible through the back side of the housing, the newcomer by Antoine Martin provides a power storage that lasts for at least four days. It is important to note that 23 jeweled caliber AM36.001 featured in the novelty by the Alpnach based firm is wound by hand and supplied with KIF shock-absorber.
The Premiere Set for Baselworld 2013
There are still a lot of yet unknown details about the slowest timepiece in the world which will be disclosed at the official unveiling of the watch which is scheduled for April 25. As the other independent brands which will display their novelties at the Baselworld 2013 event, the exhibition stand of Antoine Martin will be located at the Palace Hall. As it is announced, there will be two versions of Slow Runner. Both are created with a silver colored dial and placed in a circular housing with not too flashy diameter of 42mm. Still, there are quite a few differences among the variations. The first one has a stainless steel housing, blued hands and a black alligator strap, while the other version features the case in red gold, the hands in the same material and a brown alligator wristlet.