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Category: Philippe Wurtz

Philippe Wurtz


  • Dimensions: 205 x 30 x 22 cm ( H x B x T )
  • Duration: 4 months
  • Price Range (inkl. VAT): 55 – 65.000,00 €
  • Shipping included. (Details)
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The precision pendulum clock GRAMAT is the only clock currently being produced that operates in a partial vacuum similarly to the clocks in evacuated tanks produced in the last century. After a long development period, PW has succeeded in producing hand-made, extremely delicate and airtight housings. By means of a patented process, the density of the enclosed air is kept remarkably constant, thus protecting the pendulum from atmospheric changes. The sensor is a glass ball with a volume of approx. one liter. The air’s density affects the ball’s buoyancy, which, in turn, controls a small vacuum pump located in the base of the clock. This control mechanism is so sensitive that it is triggered by density changes of less than 0.1 mg per liter, which corresponds to a change in air pressure of 1/10 hPa. The control panel is located in a drawer. When it is time to wind up the clock, the vacuum control unit is turned off and air is permitted to enter through a valve. The air pressure is indicated on a precise diaphragm pressure gauge.

The adjusting screw at the lower end of the pendulum rod is activated by means of a worm gear. It allows for very sensitive adjustment with a precision of 1/100 of a second per day. Another unique feature is the beautiful large wheel with its 400 teeth. It is a tribute to the mysterious table clock made by the famous clockmaker Jean-Antoine Lépine at the turn of the 18th and 19th centuries. As in all PW clocks, the epicyclic gearing is worked into the hub. Because the arbor of the large wheel assumes the role of spacer, the plates can be reduced to a minimum. The string barrel is activated using an offset rewinding gear.

The GRAMAT precision pendulum clock also has a long central second hand, a feature rarely seen in long case clocks. The minute wheel is located in the power train and the escape wheel arbor runs through the minute wheel’s arbor without touching it. This challenging design has never before been implemented in this form. Aside from the GRAMAT and the SARLAT, no clock currently being produced has a double escape wheel. Two wheels are used for the lift and stop functions. This design, known from astronomic precision pendulum clocks such as Rieflers’, makes it possible to provide the anchor with bearings that roll off of the lift faces, thereby preventing friction and wear. The double escape wheel also greatly improves the escapement’s effectiveness. It requires significantly less driving force, so the clock runs more gently and is more durable. The weight that provides its driving force weighs only 2.8 kg, and the clock runs for a full four months before the next rewinding.

The GRAMAT precision pendulum clock can be crafted with a highly precise gravity escapement or with the patented PW escapement that provides the pendulum with the most freedom possible. Both options make for an extremely accurate timepiece capable of achieving a deviation of less than 1/2 second per month.

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  • Dimensions: 135 x 29 x 16 cm ( H x B x T )
  • Duration: 11 weeks
  • Price Range (inkl. VAT): 35 – 45.000,00 €
  • Shipping included. (Details)
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In times past, the hands of precision pendulum clocks, also known as “regulators”, were arranged in a typical manner, i.e. a central minute hand and small inset circles for the hour hand (above) and second hand (below). Without this arrangement, the broader hour hand would have covered the second hand at midnight, exactly the time of day when observatory telescopes were used to trace the path of a star to check the clock’s timekeeping.

With his typical respect for tradition coupled with a passion for unique, simple and elegant design, Philippe Wurtz has added his own special touch to this arrangement of the hands. The SARLAT has the traditional central minute hand and separate second hand, but it has no hour hand: instead, the hours are integrated into the hour wheel. But rather than chiseling the numbers into the material of the wheel, Philippe Wurtz sculpts the material of the wheel so that the numbers, with their extremely fine serifs, project out of the wheel in relief.

To maintain the transparency of the clockwork and especially to achieve the optimum fixedness of the pendulum hanger assembly, Philippe Wurtz has chosen an unusual design. The clockwork, with its V-shape plates, is mounted on and suspended from the heavy, robust housing lid. This strong anchoring of the clockwork is a decisive factor in the SARLAT’s excellent timekeeping accuracy. The sophisticated structure of the clockwork also deserves special mention: in place of the two thin brass plates usually used, the SARLAT’s skeleton consists of no fewer than eleven precisely fitted and screwed elements.

The SARLAT also has epicycloid gearing for the winding process. Invisible from the outside, three coaxial shafts turn independently from each other in the string barrel assembly. The movement of the clock is aided by an impressive number of ball bearings – the assembly consisting of the barrel and hour wheel alone contains eight miniature bearings, some with ceramic balls.

Another unique feature of the SARLAT is the hand that jumps by minutes when the clock is being set. An invisible mechanism ensures that the minute hand always clicks into place by the correct tick mark according to the second hand’s position.

The wheel of the gravity escapement is divided into two levels. This arrangement, which was used by Riefler, increases the effectivity of the escapement in two significant ways: it not only provides a small and increasing angle of lift but also permits the use of hybrid ball bearings in the anchor arm. This means that much less driving force is needed to operate the escapement, so that the SARLAT can operate not only more smoothly and gently, but also longer. The SARLAT can operate for 2½ months on only 2.8 kg of driving force.

Air pressure compensation in the Riefler pendulum consists of three aneroid capsules and a balancing weight. The calculation of its function is included in the calculation of the temperature compensation. True to his guiding principles, Philippe Wurtz has once again created a clock that combines technical mastery and innovation with homage to tradition and deceptively simple, elegant artistry.

Metal Wood
Height x Width x Depth 135 cm x 29 cm x 16 cm 135 cm x 27 cm x 17 cm
Pendulum invar rod and brass weight 7 kg

with air pressure compensation

invar rod and brass weight 7 kg
Driving weight 2.8 kg (made of tungsten) 2.8 kg (made of brass)
Duration 11 weeks 10 weeks
Housing metal and glass wooden with a semi-matte anthracite finish

(other finishes by request)

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  • Dimensions: 204 x 24 x 17 cm ( H x B x T )
  • Duration: 1 year
  • Price Range (inkl. VAT): 35 – 45.000,00 €
  • Shipping included. (Details)
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With our Brive precision pendulum clocks, we have remained true to our policy of not just using tried and true methods but improving these methods with the help of cutting-edge technology. This has allowed us to integrate several features into our Brive clocks which were formerly impossible to combine.

Due to the difficulties involved in combining a one-year power reserve and a central second hand, these two features are rarely found together in one clock. Brive’s combination of not only these two features but also an anchor that is not laid on its own axle but attached to the pendulum is absolutely unique. Contrary to common practice, the works are driven by two tungstenweights using an epicycloidal gear so that the clock continues to run even while being wound. The rod of the pendulum, which weighs seven kilos, is made of invar and bears an air-pressure and temperature compensator.

The escape-wheel is made of a very light alloy and driven by a delicate spiral spring in its hub. The escapement is highly efficient due to minimal inertia. Because of the gears’ wear-resistant diamond coating, friction loss in the gears is negligible.

Expert craftsmanship is visible in many of the details: the Geneva stripes on the plates, the polished chatons, wheels and their spokes. The case consists of fine, highly polished nickel-coated brass framing with facetted glass sides.

Brive’s technical innovations, high-quality materials and meticulous handiwork combine to make it not only exclusively valuable but also extremely reliable due to its lasting precision.

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