LVMH‘s Hublot have produced a watch purely as a work of art, in a limited quantity to be donated to four museums. It will not be for sale. For those familiar with the Antikythera mechanism (so named due to the Greek island and its eponymous wreck in which the artefact was found), the Wikipedia article and the research project site are highly recommended. The mechanism is over two thousand years old, and requires a rethink of what we consider the ancients capable of. It features (reproduced on the front of the watch):
- Calendar for the Panhellenic games.
- The Egyptian calendar.
- The Zodiac.
- The lunar phases.
- An aperture showing the Sun and Moon.
And on the back:
- The Callippic cycle (a period of 76 years, proposed by Callippus in 330 BC).
- The Metonic cycle (a 235 month, 19-year cycle).
- The Saros cycle (223 synodic months, used to predict eclipses of the Sun and Moon).
- The Exeligmos cycle (a 54 year period used to predict successive eclipses).
It is also worth perusing the YouTube channel Hublot have set up about their product (one of the videos is embedded below).
Whilst the Antikythera mechanism is not technically a clock, Hublot’s creation is a fitting marriage between the astounding ancient machine and modern horology, culminating in an achievement which both showcases workmanship and pays tribute to mechanical history (although the use of Greek styled English letters as opposed to actual Greek or English is, of course, a tasteless crime). Hublot could not resist adding a tourbillon alongside the timekeeping augmentation. Quite a few technology sites normally focussed on computing have justifiably gone out of their way to cover the news, the most extensive write up being GizMag’s. Hublot’s own press release can be found here (PDF).