Watchuseek Blog

Friday, May 27, 2011

'The best traveller's watch ever': Vogard Datezoner Automatic Watch

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Three world firsts

The Vogard Datezoner heralds three impressive world firsts. It’s the first chronograph to set the date via the bezel, the first chronograph to set time zones via the bezel and the first chronograph to indicate daylight saving time (DST, summer time).

The case, made from titanium carbide, measures all of 48mm. It has an AR-coated sapphire crystal and is water resistant to 50 metres. The bezel is available in 18kt gold or black steel.

Movement by Andreas Strehler

The movement is the Swiss automatic Datezoner 01 patented and developed by Andreas Strehler, one of the world’s finest watchmakers whose portfolio includes superlative watches such as the Moser Perpetual 1, Harry Winston Opus 7 and his self branded Papillon.

The linking of the time zone with a disc to change date is a world first in the history of Swiss mechanical watch making.

This ingenious solution became possible thanks to the development of a complex, angled synchronisation wheel which is activated by the Timezoner movement on one side and which meshes with one of the 31 knobs on the bottom side of the date disc on the other side.

Production tolerance of 100th of a millimetre

The calculation of the exact angle for the positioning of the synchronisation wheel on an inclined plane is a secret known only to Vogard's engineers who were supported by Andreas Strehler.

The manufacturing of the components for this revolutionary mechanism requires a production tolerance of just 100th of a millimetre. Only when all parts meet that level of precision can the date change accurately in one-day steps, forward and backwards.

In-house assembly

Vogard assembles all their watches in its own atelier in Switzerland. 90% of the Datezoner's movement components are developed and manufactured in-house, with the all-important movement plate being made in collaboration with a leading manufacturer of aviation components.

The result is a plate that offers far greater flexibility in the arrangement and in the development of watch functions.

Unusually, the setting crown is transferred from its usual position at 3 o’clock to 6 o’clock. At the same time, the chronograph push pieces are placed at 4 and 8 o’clock.

Vogard founder Michael Vogt

VOGARD was founded by Michael Vogt in 2002. A native of Grenchen, a centre of the Swiss watch industry, he is a passionate watch enthusiast. After receiving his Business Administration degree from the University of St.Gallen, he started his career with Unilever, the consumer products giant.

In 1992 he entered the watch industry and gained valuable business experience in Senior Marketing positions with TAGHeuer, Ebel and Gucci.

Over the years Michael’s intense travel schedule took him to over 120 countries around the world. He realised there was a gap in the market for a good-looking, simple-to-use, highly functional time zone watch that could be re-set without all the usual button-pushing and crown-spinning that was required of current models.

In 1999 he became an entrepreneur and joined the Internet start-up Aseantic as a partner. The sale of his shares some time later enabled him to turn his vision of VOGARD and the “best traveller’s watch ever” into reality.

Vogard Datezoner Chronograph Automatic watch specifications

Movement: Automatic, Datezoner 01, Swiss Made
Functions: Hours, minutes, seconds, big date, chronograph
Case material: Titanium carbide
Bezel material: 18-carat rose gold/Black steel
Case shape: Round
Bezel shape: Round
Case size: 48.00 mm
Dial: Carbon fibre
Hands: Gold
Water resistance: 50 metres
Strap: Leather strap
Crystal: Sapphire, anti-reflective
Case back: Sapphire

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