Swiss watchmaker Vianney Halter has taken his fiendishly complex Deep Space Tourbillon and re-engineered it to include one of horology’s most rarely demonstrated phenomenon.
While a centrally mounted, triple axis tourbillon would be something most would consider a magnum opus, Halter, who takes his inspiration from science fiction and steampunk, clearly wanted to take his work one giant leap further.
The Deep Space Resonance adds a second, independent balance inside the watch’s tourbillon cage, the oscillations of which soon synchronise until they beat in perfect time with each other, a mysterious physical principle known as Resonance.
For it to occur, resonance relies on vibrations being able to transmit from one balance to another without any apparent physical connection. Abraham Louis Breguet experimented with placing balances in close proximity so that air would act as a transmission medium. Halter has mounted both of his balances on the same bridge within the tourbillon so that the vibration of the metal serves to couple the balances in much the same way as a tuning fork works.
F.P. Journe was the first watchmaker to demonstrate resonance inside a wristwatch in 2000 with his sensational Chronomètre à Résonance and was later joined by Beat Haldimann five years later, who centrally mounted the balances of his H2 Flying Resonance to a flying tourbillon carriage. Armin Strom also developed a system claiming resonance, but there the two balance springs are directly connected by a third spring.
The project has been a long burn for Halter, who began work on a testbed 16 years ago.
The Deep Space Resonance will be built to order priced at $960,000 USD + taxes (860,000 CHF).
Elsewhere in watches, Piaget’s new Polo Skeleton sheds the pounds thanks to one of the world’s thinnest movements.