Watchmaking is one of the most difficult things in the history of machinery. A good watch is a staple of fine dress, whether you sport it for proper timekeeping, or extra amenities like stopwatches or timers. A fine timepiece is a sentiment of skill and success, and collector's watch when a designer accomplishes something amazing.
That’s what happened Wednesday night at the annual Geneva Watchmaking Grand Prix when Lederer Watches won the Innovation Prize. The coveted award is given to the best watches in the world, and this year's champion is Lederer's Central Impulse Chronometer. Hitting the market in August of this year, the stylish piece encapsulates several years of work and research, including a new type of escapement, constant force and double gear train.
Bernhard Lederer, Watchmaker & CEO of Lederer Watches, winner of the Innovation Prize 2021
“It is a great honour for us to receive this award in one of the competition’s most prestigious categories, the one that rewards innovation … the continuing quest for precision that drives us watchmakers,” company founder and CEO Bernhard Lederer says in a statement. “All of us at Lederer Watches and our partners around the world share in this recognition, which comes at a time when our brand is experiencing a tremendous revival. Besides demonstrating that our capacity for creativity and excellence has remained intact and is more vibrant than ever, this Innovation Prize is a magnificent motivation for us to keep pushing boundaries."
The 25-piece watch comes in an 18-karat white gold case measuring 44 millimeters in diameter, and sports several domed crystals on the front and back to accentuate the style.
Also noteworthy is the synchronized ticking hands which move in opposing directions in interlaced circles within the clock face. The hands form a figure eight and allow a view into the internal workings. The company cites the eight as an artistic statement on harmony, infinity and rebirth, as well as good fortune and prosperity.
What the company is most proud of for this piece—as implied by its title of “Central Impulse”—is the escapement within the watch, a device 40 years in the making. Created by Lederer himself in his Switzerland workshop, the new internal mechanism is a creation combining the best of watchmaking. It allows the watch to keep perfectly-synchronized time within itself, and provide a steady anchor from its balance and escapement, operating in alternation.
To keep all of this running smoothly, Lederer also helped create two separate gear trains, created with maximum efficiency and driving force in mind. As a result, the watch is able to run with minimal friction and pure precision.
Obviously a revolutionary achievement for both Lederer and watchmakers everywhere, it may be a while before the piece reaches the general public. The Central Impulse Chronometer is currently of limited-edition and can only be purchased in-store for $140,000. See more images of the watch below and visit Lederer online to learn more.
Photography by: Miguel Bueno; Courtesy GPHG