In the 1980’s master watchmaker Vincent Calabrese, the co-founder of the AHCI, decided to re-think the conventional watch movement. He posits philosophically, “…the most complicated thing for me is in finding simplicity and not the other way around.”
Stirred by his passion for innovation he attempted to re-order the alignment of parts in a watch movement and he decided to see what would happen if the components were lined up in a linear way.
While this idea was first brought forth, in a fashion by JLC, in their 1920-30’s “baguette” movements, Calabrese saw an opportunity to further miniaturize an already reductive structure.
The JLC baguette style movements had grown popular in minimized clocks, but had not made their way into mainstream watch making. Due to technical considerations it wasn’t until the late 70’s and early 80’s until Calabrese was able to advance the mechanics to this next step.
Please keep in mind this is no easy task, as it pre-dates the us of CAD and computer calculations now common in watch making…he would need to set to his task as a draftsman and craftsman, requiring many hours of research to overcome the panoply of obstacles that stood before him.
Calabrese’s concept was to free the watch from the “coffin” of the watch-case and a restriction of a dial. He thought, it would be a revolt in watchmaking to free the movement from being overly attached to anything else and affixed the bridge to the case, simply, at two distinct points.
It was a revolt in watch making and his introduction into the world of being not just a watch maker, but an inventor too!
Finding this minimized movement so intoxicating, he encased the whole movement in a glass box for a case, where admiring its form and function would be as easy as pleasing to the eye.
This design eventually became known as the Golden Bridge and has become a classic that Corum still uses in their watches today. It has been in continuous production for over thirty years.
Though later this master watchmaker created many more complex inventions, such as the famed flying tourbillion, he still considers the Golden Bridge his greatest and purest achievement.
Within this 1980’s styled and manufactured watch, a landmark piece of independent horology can be found. Could it be said perhaps that the current fashion of all-sapphire cases can be traced back to Vincent’s simple idea?
The self-taught non-conformist watch maker muses curiously on his nearly 40 year old invention, “It attracts, but in a gentle non-aggressive way…” he furthers, “my watches apparently reveal everything, yet the impression of mystery persists.”
Case: sapphire and yellow gold, in set diamonds
Includes: watch and bracelet only.
Movement: the golden bridge