In the world of haute horlogerie, complications are everything. Brands want to produce them as a sign of prowess; collectors want to possess them for, well, collecting's sake. The tourbillons, perpetual calendars, chronographs (rattrapantes and flybacks only, please), big dates, moon phases, night sky star fields, sidereal time, equations of time, second time zones, alarms and repeaters of all stripes are often what push watchmakers to the boundaries of innovation, and beyond.
While we could list fascinating mechanisms devised by ingenious watchmakers 'til the cows come home, there's one particular complication that's rarely mentioned: dead seconds, where the second hand advances in increments of a whole second rather than a half or a quarter of a second. This is not a complication that jumps out at you. In fact, functionally, the seconds hand moves like that of a typical quartz movement. But aficionados will recognize it right away, because designing a mechanical movement to tick this way requires significant skill.
Typically, the dead seconds complication is powered by a constant force mechanism, with power taken from the mainspring and branching off the main gear train. Not so in the Grönefeld One Hertz. It's powered by a secondary gear train and a separate mainspring. The dead seconds complication has never been done this way before, probably because it's incredibly hard to minimize friction so that the second gear train doesn't affect the escapement or balance. To Grönefeld, this was a challenge, one that they decidedly nailed with the One Hertz.
Visually, a large dead seconds sub-dial with a sapphire chapter ring dominates the One Hertz's dial. Hours and minutes are indicated on a sub-dial at 2:00; a power reserve indicator resides at 12:00; and there's a winding/setting indicator at 3:00 (you toggle back and forth between winding and setting with a unique "push to set", "push to wind" crown). The watch is available in four limited edition versions: the Dune (20 pieces in red gold), the Ruthenium (30 pieces in high-grade titanium with a ruthenium dial), the Platinum (12 pieces in platinum) and the Titanium (30 pieces in high grade titanium).
"But why care about innovation that makes the watch appear to function exactly like a cheaper quartz version?" you may ask. Lovers of the One Hertz's unique take on a rare complication understand something you don't: the groundbreaking design inside, though hidden from the naked eye, makes this a singular timepiece. So if you ask them how often they need to change the battery, be prepared for a punch on the nose.
Excellence, innovation, craftsmanship, and an unwavering desire to challenge expectations -- these are the constants that have captivated our attention since Gear Patrol's inception in 2007. This year we're proud to announce the next step in our role as a champion of quality in product design and execution: welcome to the GP100. Our inaugural product awards are dedicated to honoring the 100 best consumer products released during the calendar year by companies of all sizes and scope.
The GP100 is not a ranking or a contest. These selections represent the collective expertise of our entire editorial staff, who have scoured every corner of the vast product universe -- from automotive and electronics, to men's style essentials, home goods, spirits and outdoors -- to find the inspiring and the practical, the ground-breaking and the traditional, the priceless and the accessible. In short: products that define or defy their respective categories to better the life of the modern man.
The GP100 is not a contest influenced by marketers or brands, nor is it a ranking by specifications as determined by uniform tests. Instead, it starts with a comprehensive list of nominees released in the calendar year, researched and compiled by our editorial team of obsessed experts across all of Gear Patrol's major areas of interest including Motoring, Technology, Style, Home, Spirits, Outdoor and Watches. Brands are not part of the selection process. Nominees are then debated in context of the past, present and future of their respective fields. Which selections stand as significant innovations, category busters or faithful monuments to the icons of history? Do they adhere to Gear Patrol's core tenets of excellence, design, utility and the spirit of adventure? Distilled to the following 100 items, the GP100 represents the best products on earth released in 2013 -- easily inspiring consumers and creators alike during their search for guideposts of excellence in a vast world of products.
Motoring Watches Style Technology Sports Outdoors Home Spirits
Jeremy BergerBen Bowers