Monochrome Watches
An online magazine dedicated to fine watches
Just Because

Horological Science Applied To BBQ – Meet WatchCook’R

A mechanical movement to drive the wackiest rotary grill.

| By Xavier Markl | 2 min read |

Since the dawn of time, men have bonded around a fire, sharing tips on how to grill a woolly mammoth or discussing which wood burns best. Grilling in style today is an art, and if you are looking for the ultimate contraption to impress your friends, check out what happens when a watchmaker dreams up a mechanical device to spit-roast your favourite meat. 

If you are a regular reader of MONOCHROME, you probably admire the work of watchmakers. Their capacity to design the complex inner workings of a watch is genuinely fascinating, but that’s not all. Sometimes being a watchmaker gives you extra powers that can be harnessed to create the ultimate and most stylish rotary grill.

Ad – Scroll to continue with article

Covid-19 confinement was a period of restrictions, but the positive aspect of lockdown was that it gave people lots of extra time to exercise their creativity. This was when Yann, a Swiss/French watchmaking engineer living in the Neuchâtel area, had the idea of crafting a rotary grill driven by a wooden Swiss anchor mechanism. Heating food for the right length of time is the key, and with a rotary grill, you get a slow and regular rotation for moderate and even cooking. What better than a clock mechanism to rotate the spit?

A few months later, Yann met Martin, an entrepreneur and microtech engineer. Very soon the duo (later joined by another watch engineer, Andreas) decided to go one step further, creating a second, more efficient prototype that required a total of 600 hours of R&D. And the result, as you can see, is pretty cool. There is, of course, the captivating tick-tock of the “skeleton” movement, but as you would expect from a fine clock, the attention to detail extends to the decoration of the parts. Even the oak wood panels are a fun nod to a watchmaker’s workbench.

The mechanism of Yann’s rotary grill is driven by a spring that can be wound with a crank (10 turns for about 30 minutes of power reserve). As you may want to adjust your grill’s speed of rotation, the pendulum’s length can be adjusted from 1.5 to 4 turns per minute. A pin lets you stop the movement – if necessary – and the distance between the skewer and the grill can also be adjusted. For more information and pre-orders, please email [email protected].

Leave a Reply