There were some experiments with decimal repeating clocks using the French revolutionary calendar and decimal hours, and I have an idea there may have been decimal repeating pocketwatches - a good excuse to dig some books out.
Or maybe a year later? I remember seeing it at Basel 2006 or 2005.
the idea for the "decimal repeater" was floated inside AP nearly a decade before (I know who floated the idea...)
The other brand didn't make it to production, as they didn't even want to come in behind someone else.
Of course, the shoes have been reversed; according to principals, Martin Braun was working on his sunrise/sunset EOT when AP released their landmark WRISTWATCH Equation du Temp in 2000...Martin Braun was thinking, "Scheiss!" while AP took all the accolades.
Of course, AP admits they were inspired by one of their own pocketwatches from the early 20th C, and experienced, well read collectors know the EOT complication preceded even that...
And so it goes...
I can easily imagine Kari saying that!
I will hope to learn more about any precedents for the decimal repeater -- proves once again the depth of knowledge and insight of other members of this forum!
The product known as the Starwheel from AP? If so, then why is Urwerk a totally original concept again? I think in this industry, there are no such things left as original concepts. There are either borrowed concepts, modified concepts, or re-hashed concepts. Even the great F.P Journe built his hame on borrowed ideas.
As for being purely original, I'm not sure you could claim RM is either. The case shape is not a new design (c'mon, you really believe the tonneau shape was invented by him?), the internal workings were most likely done by a hired gun (as with most other brands out there), and the movement isn't even an in-house calibre (Renaud & Papi?). So, why does it warrant such a high price tag and such awe? Yes, the entire package is an enticing one. But again, that's marketing. Not watchmaking.
Sorry, not to be a troll here, but just wanted to point out some parts that I couldn't agree with while reading this long thread.
to voice this point of view (though I kept hinting around it...
Actually, Whitestrat, even AP did not come up with the Starwheel concept; the wandering hours on radial spokes tracing the minutes has origins to pocket watches all the back to the early 19th (maybe even 18th, I don't remember) century.
I have to agree (and was tempted to write in my reply to Gary G about the decimal repeater) that there is very, very, very little truly new under the sun in the world of high horology...but lest we get too cynical, there have been advances...really there have...
The issue I have with selective "appointments of originality" (and a large part of what I was trying to get at with Geo) is that oftentimes, individuals discussing these issues frequently have a lack of historical context (this includes me; I do not hold myself above gaps in knowledge, but I hopefully realize my limitations...and always keep my mind and "opinions" open to differing points of view, or corrections on held historical facts/errors, such as the case may be) to reach the conclusions they do;
or they use flexible and sometimes inconsistent standards to determine what is acceptable "inspiration" and what is unacceptable "intellectual property theft" which reduces these discussions to "personal feelings" - I like this design, but not that one; I like this individual or company but not that one.
The same goes for the whole beaten to death "inhouse vs not inhouse" topic, and many, many others.
And again, I do not hold myself above or immune from these criticisms, but I hopefully realize my limitations, or force myself to remain open minded to other points of view, or to corrections to held historical facts or errors, such as the case may be.
Cheers, and thanks for pointing this out, whitestrat.
Although I can already see the fanboy homeboys coming out, in force, to defend that Urwerk is not really a Starwheel implementation, or is different enough to warrant immunity from the "inspiration/IP theft" issues. I can, to a certain degree, understand where they are coming from, as I do see the Urwerk movements as separate and different from the Starwheel/radially mounted wandering hour indicators, just as I see the RM case as unique enough to be easily identifiable from other tonneau cases.
On this note, I have problems with those that "unequivocably" see the Cvstos as being blatant ripoffs of the RM (Geo, Tony, Anthony, Gaz, monochrome et al - not with the individuals, mind you, just the statement of opinion as obvious facts) - just as I don't feel RM ripped off preceding tonneau designs because I can easily distinguish his tonneau design from other tonneau designs, I can, applying the same standard, easily identify the Cvstos cases and complete watches from the RM, no matter how similar or "inspired" they may be.
For me, you can't have it both ways - what lets one off, lets the other off; what indicts one, should indict the other.
And that, I guess, is where I have the most problem with most of the discussions of this sort on subjects of this sort.
But again, insofar as the opinions are stated as such, that's fine (what was it again that the previous thread on the subject defined "opinion?"
"It needs no explanation or defense."
I still don't agree, but that's just my opinion...
But when those opinions are stated as self evident fact, and any one who doesn't agree is either stupid, deluded, or blind, then THEN I have a problem with that, and it ain't opinion no more, but ego-centric dogma!
TMThis message has been edited by ThomasM on 2008-12-25 21:53:15
Thanks Thomas. Good logical expansion on what I was saying. Didn't know that the starwheel took it's roots from somewhere else, but I'm not surprised either. Even the Masque idea from VC stemmed from the starwheel, though when it debuted, no one mentioned.
I think genuine "creations" mainly take place in a fledgling industry, where boundaries are being explored. While the industry seems to have saturated for a while now, we have advances today, but they are advances. I think gone are the days of Abraham Louis Breguet and his Tourbillon. Yet there are some ground breaking ideas today that are being ignored. Today, some of the true blue creations are hidden by others under some clever counter marketing ploys. The Seiko Spring Drive, not an entirely new concept (but started by Seiko still, i think), was one of the few really fresh approaches to time keeping. Yet it receives little attention in collector's eyes. Why does the world's largest and truest in house manufacture not garner such appreciation?
I bought a nice Seiko Brightz previously, and was questioned by a would-be watch enthusiast "why on earth would you buy a Seiko?" Ignoring the fact that this brights comes with a full polished and sculpted titanium case and enamel dial, I was thinking that this guy was off his rocker for simply questioning the integrity of Seiko, or that he simply didn't know as much as he thought he did.
Today, in many industries, true advances in technology are expensive. (sort of like the law of diminishing returns) To think that a new brand with little financial support could have made these advances is a little naive, I think. I think the GP dual escapement idea is one of the few true advances today, but that doesn't seem to be helping the brand sell. as well as it should. Yet I'm sure this idea cost Gino Macaluso a lot of money.
One thing to note about advances. The whole world isn't questioning something here. General coatings of watches today are PVD and DLC. These are surface layers. this technology is easily 20 to 30 years old. Yet PVD is a desired finish. It's crude, flimsy, and scratchable. How come no one notices that Cvstos is using Plasma? A surface penetrating treatment that's quite unusual in the watch line. (read: thi means that when you scratch it, if you do, it's probably still black underneath!) It's a rather superior technology in surface treatment that no one seems to have picked up on.
Alas, how much corksniffing must we do before we realise that the only true value of anything is our own appreciation of the item, and not what others think of it?
As I understand it, the watch was designed by Jeff Barnes. It was originally meant to be a partnership, Barnes design and Halter watchmaking. Interestingly Vianney - and I like him personally - has a history of terminated or unsuccessful business relationships: Harry Winston Opus 3, Jeff Barnes, THA, Ruchonnet. Whatever it is, I still love the Antiqua for its revolutionary design, it WAS revolutionary in 1998 when it was premiered on Timezone.com , and its amazing execution, no doubt thanks to Vianney's obsessive compulsive manner.
rather than in response to your discussion with Geo.
I know the Halter-Barnes was shown elsewhere besides Timezone but it was on Timezone that I first saw the watch and truth be told, first time I saw it the Antiqua didn't strike me as particularly interesting, perhaps because I saw a drawing rather than the actual watch.
By the way, thanks for participating in this thread. Rare it is that ThomasM posts at length, and this thread has developed very well.
What I understand Thomas to be saying is the difference between the examples.
AP, Cartier et al hired Gerald Genta to design watches for them. Now they make Genta's designs under their own label but the public is fully aware Gerald Genta designed the watches at the request of the watchmaker. Genta was the contractor hired by the brands to perform a task.
On the other hand, as Thomas tells it, one version of the story is that Jeff Barnes created the designs for the Antiqua, Classic and Trio as you posted, and then recruited Vianney Halter as a watchmaker to execute the designs. But now Vianney Halter is making those watches with no mention of Jeff Barnes at all, so the uninformed it would appear that they were completely Vianney's designs.
RP: I have seen your designs with the Vianney Halter name on them, was this planned?
JB: He is using them without my permission.
OK, this was an interview from 2000, and perhaps permissions have been negotiated and granted since then, or perhaps everyone has just cooled off a little. The point is that at that time, JB obviously felt that Vianney had stolen his designs.
Now, while this detail does tend to weaken Geo's case, I neverthless regard Geo's basic point as still being valid. JB may have felt that Vianney "stole" his design, but initially there was some level of collaboration. There has never been any level of collaboration (at least publicly documented) between RM and Cvstos. Cvstos certainly can't claim that "we started out working together on this design, then there was a falling-out, and both of us now claim ownership of the IP and are running with it".
(This scenario takes me back to 1977, with Magazine's "Shot By Both Sides" utilising the same chorus riff as The Buzzcocks' contemporaneous chart release "Lipstick" - Pete Shelley and Howard Devoto having rather acrimoniously parted company shortly after co-writing said chord sequence...)
No, the Cvstos tonneau-shaped range of watches is simply a blatant and shameless rip-off of a singularly original and highly successful design by Richard Mille. Whether it qualifies as actual "theft" is something that remains untested in law - as long as RM doesn't litigate. But it's obvious to all and sundry what's going on here.
I return to my original statement - several miles higher up in this thread. So long as Cvstos start coming up with some original design and/or engineering ideas, and so long as their execution continues along the ambitious path mapped out by this new series of high-end offerings, then I'm prepared to excuse their rather ignoble beginnings and not begrudge them whatever prosperity comes their way. However: the sooner Cvstos get rid of these all-too-obvious "hommage" case designs and spare-tyre crowns, the better.
(BTW, let me be the first to point out another "steal" - the use of a "V" rune in place of the letter "U". Bivvle-Gari must be well riled over that one!)
...that I see the strong resemblance between KV and Jurgensen, but I must say that I like the designs of both quite a bit!