Article By: Logan Hannen
What is up, watchfam?! Today, we’re going to dive into to our picks for the three greatest modern watch movements. Let’s get into it.
So for this list, we considered a few different criteria: the level of innovation, unique finishing, or a combination of the two. We won’t be featuring any modified movements on this list, though if you were to give me a top ten, then the Lemania-based caliber powering the Patek 5970 would most definitely be on there, along with a few others. As tempted as I am to put the Sistem51 movement from Swatch on this list, I want to give this major innovation the attention it deserves, and thus will definitely give it it’s own article in the future.
The items on this list are in no particular order, mostly because I’d have them all tied for number one on a top ten list. Here they are:
1: Philippe Dufour Duality
This movement features a dual escapement – something we’ll get into more in a future article but, in short, offers some serious benefits both to the function of the piece and to the longevity of the movement. The link I’ve attached isto a great HODINKEE editorial by Stephen Pulvirent. Said editorial features a pretty crazy GIF of the movement in action, which goes to display the dual escapements in action. While dual escapements may not be a huge deal nowadays, with Breguet owning the concept and taking the design to a new level (with their “Tradition” line ), but this Duality was the very first piece to ever feature such a design, making it a hugely important moment in horology, and damn pretty to boot, with some of the coolest, most intricate finishing I’ve seen. This watch checks off our innovation box nicely.
2: Grand Seiko Spring Drive 9R
I bet you were expecting this to be one huge, Swiss pissing contest (Swissing contest? Coining it!). Honestly, though, how could an article on important modern movements be complete without a full-blown revolution in the form of the Grand Seiko Spring Drive movement? Answer: it couldn’t, unless someone was being a bit snobby. So what is the Spring Drive all about? In essence, the movement is a strange hybrid of a mechanical movement and a quartz, taking the traditional methods of movement powering (via a winding rotor) and merging them with an electronic regulator to create one of the single most precise, non-quartz movements on the market: plus or minus 15 seconds PER MONTH – definitely innovation worthy of praise.
3: Omega Master Co-Axial (a collection of 8 calibers)
Of course, one of the George Daniels inspired Omega Co-Axial calibers was going to make this list, and the obvious contender is the most updated Master Co-Axial variant. What separates the Master Co-Axial from previous generations is the fact that the movement is resistant up to 15,000 Gauss, and isn’t just resistant to magnetism in its use of a Faraday cage (in short, a soft iron casing around the movement that redirects magnetic fields around the movement). No, Omega’s Master Co-Axial calibers are the first properly anti-magnetic watch movements available on the mass market. Between this, and the Co-Axial escapement, which reduces friction within the movement (which you can read more about here), you’re looking at one of the most technologically advanced mechanical movements of the last century, and a true, modern day icon – ultimate innovation.
What say you, geeks? Do you agree with our list? Which movements would you have put on here instead? Let us know by joining the discussion in the Theo & Harris Watchfam Facebook group! While you’re there getting into the discussion with other watch geeks, just remember to be kind, courteous, and always keep it classy, watchfam.
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