Best of Balance Wheels
In this "Best of" series, let's be entertained by some of the industry's boldest and wackiest balance wheels. Please help me add in more examples. Cheers!
In George Daniels Watchmaking book, he mentioned that larger balance wheels are often more precise - he did mention other esoteric factors which are hard to understand. This opened my eyes to notice the often overlooked aspect of a mechanism - The Balance Wheel.
Antoine Martin Slow Runner
Measuring a whopping 4.2cm in diameter (an ETA 2824's Balance Wheel measures 0.8 cm), this beats slowly (7,200 vibrations per hour). Gorgeous innit?
Kari Voultilainen Ving8
Wow, look at the oversized balance wheels, perfectly finished, on these unobtainium Ving8 pieces. I could not find the measurements of these through my search, but they sure look really huge.
Omega Calibre 3861 (used on the new Moonwatch)
Is it just my eyes, or is the balance wheel really large in the Omega moonwatch of 2021?
Patek Philippe Oscillomax on 5550P
In 2011, Patek Philippe experimented with the 5550P Perpetual Calender, launching 300 examples of this unique piece, with a different looking Silicon balance spring. Beautiful innit?
Jaeger Lecoultre Gyrolab
On a more affordable spectrum, there was once the Gyrolab balance wheel used for the Geophysic True Second range, which is shaped like 2 anchors. It was developed to reduce the effect of air resistance on the balance wheel. Not sure if it works, but it is pretty mesmerizing to watch.
Greubel Forsey Balancier
The balance spring is really big (12.66mm). It is so perfectly crafted. Wow, this has got to be gifted to the best employees of heaven.
Credit: De Bethune
Last I've checked, De Bethune produces some of the industry's most beautiful balance wheels (and the bridges that hold them in place). I cannot isolate any single model, because every DB I've held came with a seductive balance wheel. Ouch!