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in Complicated Watches | Friday, September 26. 2008
Each year Franck Muller presents a super-complication at the World Presentation of Haute Horlogerie (WPHH) held at a chateau in Genthod, located on the outskirts of Geneva. In 2006 Franck Muller amazed watch experts and collectors from around the world with the unveiling of its "everlasting timepiece" the Aeternitas, a watch that would run 1000 years without correction. This year brings 4 new versions of the Aeternitas Mega which for the first time include a Grande and Petite Sonnerie (Grande-strike) Minute Repeater, Westminster Carillon.
One may ask, why would we care if our watch has a 1000 year calendar? But this is no small accomplishment, and its one that has been appreciated by enthusiasts of complicated movements. The eternal calendar, not to be confused with the traditional perpetual calendar, follows a cycle of 1,000 years thanks to two additional sets of wheels. Franck Muller's eternal calendar is different from any traditional perpetual calendar because it takes into account the rule governing the Gregorian calendar stating that all century years not divisible by 400 are common years and not leap years.
The Aeternitas Mega 1 has the addition of a Grande and Petite Sonnerie Minute Repeater, Westminster Carillon. The movement is equipped with a double barrel which work to guarantee a power reserve of 4 days and provide energy for the Sonnerie. The Grande Sonnerie (Grand-strike) strikes the hours and the quarters automatically that chimes the same notes as the clock tower of the Westminster cathedral. The Petite Sonnerie only strikes the hours and the quarters.
The Aeternitas Mega 2 incorporates a Split-seconds Chronograph with a 30-minutes counter placed at 3 o’clock and an hour counter placed in a retrograde sector. While the Aeternitas Mega 3 has an eternal calendar module placed on the dial side which indicates the day, the date, the month and the moon phases and requires no manual intervention. The grand finale, the Aeternitas Mega 4, incorporates all the aforementioned complications from first three versions into one stunning watch.