URWERK - AMC PROJECT
In the spirit of Breguet’s inspiration of more than 220 years ago, URWERK has designed and is producing the very first master-slave clock and wristwatch, in which an atomic clock, via a complex mechanical linkage, duplicates all of the functions of Breguet’s most advanced sympathique clocks in one device: it winds, sets, and regulates an URWERK watch, which rests in a cradle in the case of the atomic clock itself. Both the atomic master clock and the watch have been specially designed for the AMC project, and together they represent the first time that a mechanical watch and an atomic clock have been created to perform these three operations.
The wristwatch is a novel construction and is designed specifically for the AMC project. It includes typical URWERK features such as the power reserve indicator and two stacked barrels for a power reserve of four days. The watch also has URWERK’s Oil Change Indicator, which shows when the movement should be serviced. One full rotation of the oil change indicator will take more than four years, with a recommended service after three and a half years of operation.
However its most ingenious features, though unseen to the unaided eye, are revealed upon close examination of the movement. The watch was design to fit on and work with its base — an atomic clock also conceived and developed in URWERK’s workshops. This master clock will rewind the Urwerk wristwatch, set it to the correct time and if necessary adjust its rate. This world first brings together in a single mechanism all the functions of the various sympathique clocks produced by Abraham-Louis Breguet.
The AMC clock and watch are unique in the history of horology. Each represents in its own way, the peak of evolution of a particular approach to keeping time. The watch represents the tradition of mechanical horology. The combination of balance, balance spring, and lever escapement has been continuously refined over hundreds of years, and the conceptual basis of these components reaches even further back, to the first pendulum clocks of the 17th century. The atomic clock, on the other hand, represents the cutting edge of modern timekeeping technology. The ability of atomic clocks to produce rates so stable that the clock does not vary by a second even over millions of years, is not only a technological triumph, but essential to advances in science, as well to navigation with GPS signals, which fix one’s position with unprecedented accuracy. In creating the AMC clock and watch, URWERK has created a physical marriage between these two approaches to chronometry. AMC is thus not just a fascinating combination of electronic, atomic, and mechanical systems; it is a union of all three that celebrates the fascination of time itself.