Earlier this year WatchPro unveiled its Watches of the Year 2012 – the 10 winning timepieces and 90 highly commended watches that we felt boasted commercial appeal, innovation and had wowed consumers and retailers alike over the past 12 months.
Now we are showcasing a watch a day that made the cut in 2012 and today we’re focused on MontBlanc’s 50 Hz chronograph, the Bi-Fréquence 1,000.
Highly Commended Innovative Watch of the Year – Montblanc TimeWriter II Chronographe Bi-Fréquence 1,000
The TimeWriter II Chronograph Bi-Fréquence was unveiled at SIHH in January as a watch that challenges the laws of physics. It has been dubbed a triumph of mind over matter, as a 50 Hz chronograph that can show 1/1000th of a second precision when stopped, when normally such a feat could only be achieved by a watch running at a frequency of 500 Hz.
The TimeWriter achieves this at just 50 Hz by having a system that catches the balance wheel many times each turn, controlled by a two-level column-wheel: one level guides the start, stop and zero-return functions, the other level controls the thousandths wheel.
This is a watch that could be considered a challenge to TAG Heuer’s Mikrotimer Flying 1000 concept watch that was unveiled in 2011, and is set to go into production – even if it is limited to just 36 timepieces worldwide.
The other exceptional feature of this watch is in fact to do with its design: it was created as part of a project to support talented, promising watchmakers and was created by Hispano-Swiss watchmaker Bartomeu Gomila, who has even managed to get his name stamped on the front of the dial.