Anton Suhanov, the Russian independent watchmaker and creator of the first in Russia triple-axis tourbillon table clock, presents his first wristwatch, the Racer Jumping Hour GMT.
In 2016, Anton Suhanov broke into the world of fine watchmaking when he completed his ambitious project – the Black Clock tourbillon table clock. He embedded a clockwork with an impressively large triple-axis tourbillon, totally designed and produced by him. The target was set very high – nothing like this clock had come out of the hands of a Russian watchmaker before. Actually, Anton completed foundation timepiece of his independent watchmaker’s venture, showing knowledge of the unwritten canons of haute horlogerie and the ability to apply it in the work process keeping in mind not only watch mechanics but also the design and finishing. The tourbillon should be considered as the king of complications – this is an obligatory rule of working with it, which is not always adhered to in the industry. For the Black Clock, Anton Suhanov created the triple-axis tourbillon which may be regarded as the most complex in design and execution, having made for it a harmonious and airy-elegant spatial structure of three nested tourbillon carriages. It looks like a response to the stunningly beautiful concept of the harmony of heavenly spheres -– Harmonia Mundi, dreamed of by the great philosophers of antiquity: Pythagoras, Plato, Aristotle …
International community of independent watchmakers highly estimated the triple axis tourbillon Black Clock, and it’s creator was declared in 2016 as a winner of Young Talent Competition, founded by Académie Horlogère des Créateurs Indépendants and supported by François-Paul Journe (F. P. Journe Invenit et Fecit).
Anton Suhanov is sure, when you are building the three-axis tourbillons, watch mechanics itself accustoms you to see things from different angles. The idea of a wristwatch, as is often happens, came to him by chance. One day, driving his car to the workshop, Anton was thinking … of course, about a watch, and that time about a watch created on an automotive style. Now he recalls that the dominant point of view that this kind of watch is almost necessarily a chronograph made him speculate about it:
“I thought it would be interesting to imagine a watch free from this stereotype. The chronograph appears when we think about a car as a racing car: to move faster, to be in time, to overtake … Looking from another side, a car is a story about a man behind the wheel, about a world that opens as anew in front, ahead of the windshield, a story about the pleasure you get from driving when there is no need to rush. This is a story about a leisurely perception, when the car gives pleasure by itself, and not from numbers that the speedometer needle reaches.”
As a result of these reflections, Anton Suhanov at one moment got an idea for the design of a new watch Racer Jumping Hour GMT: a glance at the dashboard of the car, where on the left is a tachometer, on the right is a speedometer, between them there are some additional indicators and numbers … Everything is going as it should, everything is functioning properly, and all systems instantly react at the right time, responding to pressing the gas pedal: the car must remain a car.
And a watch must remain a watch – this is an unspoken agreement between the watchmaker and his clients, and therefore the master set himself the task of transforming such an attitude into a timekeeper, not only fascinating, entertaining, giving emotions, but also providing the information about the exact time. Starting from the desire to create a one-of-a-kind fusion of horological mechanics and emotions, Anton Suhanov step by step developed the structure of the dial with prevailing on it two retrograde hour and minute subdials. They are located on the left and right and slightly shifted down – exactly for one position on the (imaginary) hour scale of the dial, while the remaining central part of the dial is given away to other pointers. It is this design that gives a unique feeling of fleeting glance at the car dashboard – indeed, no one constantly looks at the meters while driving, this is unreasonable and dangerous! Watch has its advantage; nothing stops you from admiring the dial of a unique layout and high-class finish. This particular arrangement has historical prototypes, one of them is the dial of the famous pocket watch “Marie Antoinette”, life-long masterpiece of Abraham-Louis Breguet, with two retrograde subdials of date and equation of time. Racer Jumping Hour GMT shares with Breguet’s “Marie Antoinette” another common unobtrusive but intriguingly interesting technical feature … you will discover that a little bit later.
For a unique design, should be created a unique movement, Anton Suhanov is convinced of this. He decided to build a calibre with the indications based on the function of the retrograde indication of minutes. He invented the complex design. At the beginning of a new hour, the minute hand jumps from the 60-minute to the zero position, and this rapid movement, almost imperceptible to the eye, performs two actions: it switches the retrograde hour hand forward one hour, and then the hand remains motionless for an hour. This is exactly how behaves the hour hand of “Marie Antoinette”. And at the same moment the 24-hour digital second timezone indicator of Racer Jumping Hour GMT, installed in the window at 12 o’clock position, goes one hour ahead.
In the centre of the dial, there is an unusual second’s indicator on a dynamic 20-second arc-shaped scale – this is one of the consequences of the master’s principle of leisurely perception of time, therefore, the second’s indication is set on the dial centre, but does not dominate. If you take off the watch dial, it turns out that the seconds are indicated by a three-rayed second hand, similar to the one that was installed on the tourbillon axis of the foundation Black Clock. At the bottom of the dial, there is a date window, a must for a watch that claims to be of everyday use.
“This method of indication expresses the essence and character of the perception of how time passes,” Anton Suhanov explains his choice of the types of indicators used by him in the Racer Jumping Hour GMT watch. “You will look at some watches once an hour or a couple of times a day, at others you want to look constantly, as if afraid to miss something important, some unique moment. The combination of dynamics and leisurely perception of time is my recipe! On my watch, time feels differently, at some point you seem to be in a race and appreciate every second, and at another moment, literally in a couple of seconds, you ride confidently, slowly counting miles, everything is under control, and the world passes in the windows of your car…”
The indication module of the Racer Jumping Hour GMT is very complex: it took 172 parts to assemble, so by this, it is comparable to classic horological complications as a perpetual calendar or minute repeater. In producing the parts of the module, the master was guided by the traditions of fine watchmaking, although the indication module remains hidden under an opaque dial – this choice is also recognized as one of the fundamentally important traditions of watchmaking. The master treats every detail of the module with the utmost care, and, sparing no time on this work, he uses traditional techniques, including manual polishing of chamfers, engraving, polishing of recesses for screws, pins, and stones, spherical polishing of the shafts of the wheels and pins, perlage, fine straight, and circular grinding, sand-blasting, rhodium plating. The dial is finished using the anodizing, ruthenium coating, and guilloche.
The dial of the Racer Jumping Hour GMT is unique, but so is the case. Its design is based on the principle of the regular Reuleaux polygon, this shape can be briefly described as a square with rounded sides. Anton Suhanov chose this form, believing that it best suits his idea of a dynamic, but the leisurely perception of time: “This shape hints at the aerodynamics, streamlined lines found in high-speed cars. In terms of numbers, the deviation from the circle shape is quite insignificant. However, there is something elusive, but important that makes to perceive the car not necessarily as racing, but fast. And at the same time, a slight variation in the width of the bezel indicates that the supercar can roll slowly, which does not negate its coolness.”
Double screws for fixing the bezel, visually duplicated by paired screws for the pads of the axes of the retrograde hands and plates with inscriptions and a scale of seconds, give the design an almost obligatory technical character for car-inspiration watches, even more, reinforced by the double knurling on the crown and the whimsical shape of the conical holder of the button for switching second timezone indicator.
Attention! The Racer Jumping Hour GMT watch can cause an obsessive desire to constantly monitor the dial anticipating an instant coordinated switching of indicators at the beginning of the new hour!
Racer Jumping Hour GMT by Anton Suhanov Technical specifications
Limited edition of 20 pieces.
- triple retrograde indication invented by Anton Suhanov with retrograde subdials for hours (at 8 o’clock), minutes (at 4 o’clock) and seconds on 20-seconds scale at the centre, jumping hour hand,
- 24 hours GMT jumping digital indication (at 12 o’clock) with synchronous switch of minutes, hours and GMT at the end of hour;
- date window at 6 o’clock.
- calibre Su100.20,
- diameter 31.5 mm, 6.9 mm thick (with indication module);
- the base caliber Eta 2824-2, modified by Anton Suhanov,
- decorative full-disc oscillating weight (rotor);
- frequency 28’800 semi-oscillations per hour;
- 38-hour power reserve.
- Indication module: invented, developed and made by Anton Suhanov; 172 parts.
- Jewels: 43 (base calibre – 25 jewels; indication module – 18 Jewels).
- stainless steel,
- 39 х 39 mm,
- thickness 12.5 mm;
- sapphire crystal;
- transparent sapphire caseback;
- 30 m water-resistant.
- 27 parts;
- the base, appliques and the bows of retrograde subdials – brass with ruthenium coating,
- titanium retrograde subdials with blue anodization.
- high-quality black leather strap with red contrast stitching;
- stainless steel buckle made by Anton Suhanov and designed as a sportscar spoiler.