Raymond Weil releases a new model in the Don Giovanni Cosi Grande collection, the Jumping Hour. Watches with jumping hours exist since 1830 but it took until 1921 before the first wrist watches with this complication was available.
Raymond Weil is one of those watch brands that somehow does not get that much attention on the internet. While their availability in AD’s (at least in Western Europe) is much better that brands like Rolex, Jaeger LeCoultre or Omega that do get much online attention.
Well, for the internet community they don’t make it any easier, as their most prestigious collection has a name that takes ages to type… the Don Giovanni Cosi Grande collection. What’s in a name. The new jumping hour is a nice addition to this strictly mechanical collection, that also has a chronograph and dual time model.
I think the Don Giovanni Cosi Grande Jumping Hour is a very attractive watch, with the same big, but not too big, case as the entire Don Giovanni Cosi Grande collection. You can say it’s ‘present’ but it sure isn’t overdone at all like most brands these days. The case measuring almost 38mm without crown, 50mm from lug to lug and 12.4mm thick is available in stainless steel or rose gold.
The movement, caliber RW1400, ticks with 28,800 vibrations per hour and can be seen through the sapphire crystal in the caseback. The automatic movement has 42 hours of power reserve. While the hour hand has been replaced by a jumping hour mechanism, the minutes and seconds are being displayed by a regular hand that rotates 360 degrees.
Jumping hours is a complication where the hour hand is replaced by a disc. The hours, and sometimes the minutes, are shown through an aperture. One of the remarkable things is that the hour disc does not slowly turn, like the hour hand, but the disc jumps at the change of hours. By the way everything except telling time by means of hour and minute hands is called a complication, even the date.
In the 1970’s wristwatches with jumping hours became popular to a wider public. This was partially due to the availability of affordable jumping hour movements. I think it was also because of the futuristic looks that of the time’s fashion.
Using a popular jumping hours movement from that time (caliber AS 1902), Sarpaneva created this very cool piece unique. While it’s a piece unique Sarpaneva made a reference to this 4th Korona by reversing the “4” in the hour disc. The hour and minute disc are skeletal like the date disc on the Korona K1 and K2.
The invention however dates back to around 1830. French watchmaker Blondeau created the first jumping hour watch for the French King. This piece unique was however not a wristwatch but a pocket watch. The first mass produced jump hour watch was designed by Joseph Pallweber for the Cortebert company (again, a French firm) in the 1880’s.
In another article i mentioned Cartier as the first to come with a wrist watch (1928) featuring a jumping hour, but i must stand corrected. It appears that Audemars Piguet already released a wristwatch with jumping hours in 1921.