Omega Official Announcement: Cal.321 Movement Resumed Production!

Early this morning, Omega officially announced that it will re-produce the famous Cal.321 movement in the brand’s history! This news caused a huge sensation in the bezel. When it comes to Cal.321 movement, some watch friends may be unfamiliar with this series of digital models, but if I introduce other resumes, I think many people know. In 1962, astronaut Ed White wore Cal.321 during the first US spacewalk. In 1969, the astronaut Armstrong became the first person to set foot on the moon, also wearing a Cal.321 movement. The timekeeping movements used by many high-end brands such as Patek Philippe, Vacheron Constantin, Breguet, Athens, Roger Dolby, etc. are actually upgraded based on this Cal.321 derivative. It is no exaggeration to say that Cal.321 is one of the most important chronograph movements in the history of watches and clocks. The birth of this movement dates back to the 1940s. In the 1940s, the Lemania movement factory and the watch brand Omega belonged to the SIHH Group. So the two collaborated on a project called ’27 CHRO C12′ and wanted to develop a chronograph movement for watches. Here, ’27’ stands for 27 mm in diameter. ‘CHRO’ is the abbreviation of ‘Chronograph’. ‘C12’ means that the time scale can reach 12 hours. The movement oscillates at 18,000 times per hour and adopts a column wheel + horizontal clutch design. Because it was developed by two people, when it was successfully launched, it had two different names, Omega Cal.321 and Lemania Cal.2310. With reasonable structural design, Cal.321 was applied to a large number of watches after its launch, and witnessed many important historical events. However, in 1968, Omega Cal.321 was discontinued. The reason is that the mechanism design of the movement is complicated and there are many processes, which is not conducive to large-scale production, so Omega introduced the Cal.861 movement. The most obvious part change is that the ‘column wheel’ used to switch functions has become a ‘cam’. This cam has relatively low processing requirements and can be produced by stamping. And it can be made into two parts, and then combined into one, effectively saving production costs. At the same time, the double-layer Breguet hairspring was downgraded into a flat hairspring. Of course, Cal.861 is also optimized on the basis of Cal.321, such as increasing the wobble frequency from 18,000 times to 21600 times per hour to improve the accuracy of travel time. As mentioned earlier, because of cooperative development, the movement of the ’27 CHRO C12′ project was Omega Cal.321 and also Lemania Cal.2310. Omega Cal.321 was discontinued in 1968, but Lemania Cal.2310 has been in production. In 1981, the quartz crisis caused the SSIH group to suffer a lot, and finally had to split the Lemania movement factory and sell it to Piaget. Ten years later, in 1991, Lemania was resold by Count to Middle Eastern oil group Investcorp. Investcorp just bought the famous watch brand Breguet before, so Breguet and Lemania were linked together. In 1999, Investcorp sold both Breguet and lemania to Swatch, and Lemania and Omega became a family. In 2004, Lemania was fully incorporated into Breguet as its division. Of course, lemania is still providing movements for non-Breguet brands. Although Lemania Cal.2310 has been in production and Omega now belongs to the same group as Breguet, this Lemania Cal.2310 is not given to Omega, but is oriented to the high-end market. In order to resume production, Omega formed a team of researchers, developers and historians, as well as the best craftsmen and experienced watchmakers. They worked secretly for two years. Using digital scanning timing will The original Cal.321 movement was re-mapped and produced with modern equipment instead of using the old molds in stock. This year marks the 50th anniversary of the successful landing of the astronaut Armstrong on the moon, and Omega announced the restoration of the Cal.321 movement at this moment. The news can be said to be ‘explicitly’ that it will be used to commemorate the production of watches. Although everyone knows that the Cal.321 movement is very good, watch friends are still very concerned about the quantity and market price. At present, Omega officials have not given more Many news, but according to Omega did not use the stock antique movement, did not find the same group Breguet asked for Lemania Cal. 2310 movement, but spent a lot of money to re-map industrial production behavior, this Cal.321 movement It will definitely resume a lot, otherwise it will lose money. Of course, table friends should not be too happy. Because according to the president of Omega, the new version of Cal.321 will be in the special Ca Libre 321 working room. For each movement, component, and case and strap components will be performed by the same watchmaker, such a complicated process also means that its price is not cheap. —END —

Girard Perregaux: Three Golden Bridge Tourbillons

Cao Weifeng, Director and Engineer of High-end Movement Creation Room, Technology Center of Tianjin Seagull Watch Group
芝 Girard Perregaux, a brand with a century-old history, is admired by many people. This should be attributed to the brand heirloom Sanjinqiao Tourbillon created by the brand at the end of the 19th century. The Girard-Perregaux tourbillon pocket watches were produced in very limited quantities in the early stages of production, with a total of 24 produced from 1865 to 1890. Although there are only 24 of them, this masterpiece has won many awards-won the gold medal at the Paris Expo in 1867 and 1889, and won the Grand Prize of the Neuchatel Observatory in 1911. When the quartz storm was still high in 1982, Girard Perregaux re-engraved the Sanjinqiao Tourbillon pocket watch, which seemed very adventurous at the time, which also created the Girard Perregaux brand’s status today. Girard Perregaux 1889 Golden Three Bridge Tourbillon Pocket Watch Girard Perregaux 1966 Golden Bridge Tourbillon
Girard Perregaux 1966 Golden Bridge Tourbillon
Girard Perregaux originally designed the three-golden bridge tourbillon to be placed on the back of a pocket watch. There are two things that need to be done to improve from a pocket watch to a watch: one is that the three-gold bridge is flipped over to the front to show the charming beauty of the three-gold bridge. The second is to reduce the 45mm diameter pocket watch movement to a 28.6mm watch movement. The tourbillon number 3900, code 9900, was launched at the Basel Watch Fair in 1991, especially the 1999 Three Gold Bridge Tourbillon. The advent of the watch made it one of the best-selling tourbillon watches.
The relationship between the three Girard-Perregaux bridges and the Breguet tourbillon
High accuracy has been an endless goal of watchmakers since the development of horology for hundreds of years. In the era when the maritime power dominated the world in the eighteenth century, in order to demand the precision of nautical clocks, watchmaking began a great leap forward. Important inventions of this period include the extremely precise impact escapement, the widely used compensating screw balance, and the anti-gravity tourbillon device.Among them, the tourbillon is the most famous and has a great reputation for watch fans. Irresistible attractiveness. On June 26, 1801, Master Breguet obtained a ten-year patent for a new type of timepiece escapement from the Paris Patent Office. This institution interpreted it according to professional terms, which should be a rotary escapement speed adjustment mechanism. Later generations innovated. A more concise and pictographic word-tourbillon
This novel device to offset the influence of gravity and improve the accuracy of the watch, just by conceiving the principle of operation and mechanical structure, it is enough to explain the proud watchmaking talent of Master Breguet. However, in the era when the level of technology was very limited, it was a very difficult challenge for Master Breguet to make tourbillons, so the production was scarce. It was also because of the extremely high difficulty of making tourbillons that this technology was highly popular at the time. The first of this complex institution, it is also born with precious and rare value. Breguet’s first tourbillon watch did not appear until 1805, ten years have passed since the idea appeared, and the general public was not able to see the true appearance of the tourbillon until the National Commodities Exhibition held in Paris in 1806. . From 1805 to the death of Master Breguet in 1823, a total of 35 tourbillon watches came out in the past ten years. Fortunately, Master Breguet worked hard to inherit the manufacturing technology and structural principles, so that the tourbillon can gradually develop from a small starting point. Write the most brilliant page in watch history!
The tourbillon watch of the early 19th century was purely functional. It was the same as Breguet’s original intention of creating the tourbillon, but it was to make the pocket watch placed vertically in the pocket more precise. Therefore, the frame and the plywood design did not pay special attention to beauty It is also rarely produced in the same table with other complex functions. Unlike timekeeping, other complex functions such as the perpetual calendar often appear in the so-called large complex function table. In addition, because the tourbillon is in the enlightenment stage, the watchmakers who can make this structure are very limited, so tourbillon products at that time were quite rare, and they are even rarer today.
18After 1850, after the Breguet Masters, the two most famous tourbillon watchmakers-Auguste Grether and Ernest Guinand. Their works are very distinctive, and on the premise of ensuring the functional characteristics of the tourbillon itself, not only makes the tourbillon frame form more beautiful, but also pays attention to the care and polish of the appearance. The most famous work of Master Ernest Guinand is a series of tourbillon structures provided to Girard Perregaux three gold bridge movements. This series of works is a major change in the history of tourbillons. It not only combines logical bridges and mechanical structures. It also has a pleasing artistic character.

The patent of the Girard Perregaux three golden bridge tourbillon
Ji Zhibai applied for the appearance of Sanjinqiao twice for its heirloom: Sanjinqiao applied for the patent of the first appearance technology: the first was on December 13th, 1883, the earliest Sanjinqiao appearance design was applied, at this time it was aimed at pocket watches;
Girard Perregaux Designs for the Three Golden Bridges, applied on December 3, 1883
The second time, after a lapse of 107 years, on September 27, 1990, a new design was applied for the replica watch Sanjinqiao.

Girard Perregaux Newly Applied Sanjin Bridge Designs September 27, 1990
The reason why Girard-Perregaux has applied for two patents for the same design style product after more than 100 years, and is rare in the watch industry, because this design has received great attention, from the popular nineteenth century to the wrist watch. The watch became the mainstream in the twentieth century, spanning a hundred years. If a technology does not want to be eliminated by time, it must continue to innovate and continue to emit strong vitality.
Features of the Girard Perregaux Three Golden Bridge Tourbillon
The Girard Perregaux tourbillon features are divided into two parts. The first part is decorative. As mentioned earlier, the master of Ernest Guinand tourbillon has given this magical institution an unparalleled artistic beauty, especially the movement in the movement. The supporting splints are made of golden arrow bridges, and their shapes have extraordinary meanings. In the first patent application of Girard Perregaux, the shape and arrangement of the three golden bridges were clearly stated; the second part is functional, and the three golden bridges are actually There are three supporting splints, and in the middle position is a large ruby ​​bearing.

Girard Perregaux icon
The three bridge splints serve as the motive force source of the movement, the central wheel directly connected to the time display system, and the most critical rotating escapement speed-regulating mechanism, the tourbillon. These three components are the most important components of the three movements. Of the upper support.
Girard Perregaux Three Gold Bridge Breguet Tourbillon
The Girard Perregaux three gold bridge Breguet tourbillon is basically the same in structure as the tourbillon introduced by Breguet. In fact, the Breguet tourbillon has formed a fixed pattern, but every brand will Make appropriate adjustments to the brand’s philosophy, especially the shape of the top plywood. Many brands have adopted the brand’s iconic design, such as Vacheron Constantin’s classic Maltese cross upper plywood.
Girard Perregaux Tourbillon Exploded View
Girard Perregaux Tourbillon Drive
Then, Girard Perregaux also designed its own unique Breguet tourbillon based on the brand’s corporate culture and philosophy. Of course, it is not just a change of the upper plywood. Compared to the Breguet tourbillon structure introduced by Breguet, it is more simple Some, especially as the supporting frame of this tourbillon-the upper plywood and the middle plywood, two golden screws are placed on one end of the middle plywood, and their role is to counterweight, that is, as a balance weight This configuration can keep the tourbillon frame as a whole in balance during rotation.
Girard Perregaux Three-Golden Bridge Biaxial Tourbillon
As time goes by, more and more people think that the tourbillon has lost the original design concept of Master Breguet. It is more representative of the craftsmanship of fine watchmaking and mechanical dynamic expression with beauty. The watchmakers are still hoping to pass on the essence of Master Breguet. The multi-axis tourbillon came into being in this context. The so-called multi-axis refers to the frame axis of the tourbillon and does not include the balance axis. This latest concept tourbillon uses a differential mechanism to expand the original single-axis tourbillon into a multi-axis tourbillon, and its motion trajectory has been upgraded from two-dimensional space to multi-dimensional space.
Girard Perregaux Biaxial Tourbillon Front View
Girard Perregaux Biaxial Tourbillon Rear View
Compared with similar tourbillons of other brands, the three-gold bridge dual-axis tourbillon of Girard-Perregaux has the advantages of simple mechanism and simultaneously achieves the purpose of the dual-axis tourbillon. From its front view and rear view, Girard Perregaux dual-axis tourbillon has several characteristics: 1. The inner-axis tourbillon basically retains the original tourbillon’s frame, while the outer-axis tourbillon’s frame form is similar to that mentioned above. The structure of the upper and lower plywoods of the Breguet-type tourbillon reached; 2. The upper and lower shock absorbers of the outer frame are the upper and lower supports of the inner-axis tourbillon, which is similar to the way of setting the balance axis of a single-axis tourbillon; The input of power comes from the bevel gear that the multi-axis tourbillon must use. This wheel can be seen vaguely on the left side of the outer frame in the front view.
Girard Perregaux Limited Edition Titanium Biaxial Tourbillon
Girard Perregaux’s three-gold bridge tourbillon is the most distinctive feature of the conscious movement layout-three points and one line, which particularly highlights the connection between the internal components of the movement, demonstrated by three very creative plywood. People move. Some people say that the three splints represent heaven, earth, and people (it is said to be related to the teachings and reflect the social background at the time). Such a connotative master creativity is very worthwhile for me to learn!