Romain Gauthier’s award-winning timepiece, Logical One, features a revolutionary, friction-minimizing ruby-link chain, together with snail cam and sapphire-lined mainspring barrel to offer nearly two days of constant force – the holy grail of precision watchmaking.
Its beautifully hand-finished, multi-patented in-house movement can be appreciated dial side and through the display back, and is wound using an ergonomic winding pusher integrated into the caseband. Hours, minutes, small seconds and a 46-hour power reserve indicator on the back make up the displays of this timepiece – a paragon of elegant, high-precision, fine Swiss watchmaking.
“When I designed Logical One, I worked from the premise that for a precision watch to be truly precise, it should have constant energy,” says Romain Gauthier. “However, I didn’t want to create a constant-force movement that remained hidden. I wanted this mechanism to be part of the dial, on show, in all its glory.”
Logical One’s pioneering in-house movement features Romain Gauthier’s 21st-century reinterpretation of a traditional chain-and-fusee style constant force mechanism, on display to the left of the hour-minute subdial.
Gauthier’s invention contains an innovative snail cam connected to the mainspring barrel by a ruby-link chain. With the snail cam and mainspring barrel configured so they are ‘flat’ – i.e. on the same plane – force is transmitted in a straight line for an ultra-efficient transfer of energy. The relatively short length of the chain allows it to contain strong, generously sized links in steel featuring rollers made from low-friction, hard-wearing synthetic rubies. The chain is joined together via a smart snap-clip system.
To eliminate potential uneven friction within the mainspring barrel, Gauthier has placed the mainspring between synthetic sapphire plates. Sapphire has a low coefficient of friction with steel making it the ideal material to use.
Winding Logical One is a veritable tactile pleasure thanks to Romain Gauthier’s innovative push button winding system, with the pusher set into the caseband at 9 o’clock. Another demonstration of Gauthier’s clever engineering, the pusher efficiently transmits force to the barrel on the same plane. That the pusher protrudes just slightly from the caseband and follows the curve of the case is an aesthetic tour de force.
Virtually every component of the movement bears Romain Gauthier’s distinctive touch: The highly visible balance wheel with curved arms and calibrated eccentric weights; the curvaceous balance bridge; bespoke gear wheels with graceful circular arms for maximum strength; hand-decorated bridges; high-efficiency profiles of the gear teeth; polished screw heads with s-slot for more length; and Romain Gauthier-invented triangular pallet lever for maximum rigidity. All these elements can be admired dial side.
More of the movement can be viewed through the display back. Bridges feature polished, rounded bevels that have been meticulously created by hand as well as hand-polished jewel countersinks. As many as 90 hours have been devoted to decorating the movement – even those components that are not on show.
So accomplished is it that Logical One was awarded the prize for Best Men’s Complication watch by the jury of the 2013 Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève – the Oscars of watchmaking.