Aventicum watch has its own floating Roman emperor

Interesting Engineering

The Aventicum watch is designed by Christophe Claret, the Swiss watchmaker, and it was designed with a theme around Rome. What makes the watch stand out however is the fact that the watch has its own small golden bust of the Emperor Marcus Aurelius engraved and it seems to float on top of the dial.

aventicum-0 [Image Source: Christophe Claret SA]

Claret said that inspiration for the Aventicum watch came from a documentary in 3D about the excavations of the Avenches Roman Museum of Aventicum. This being the capital city of the Roman province of Helvetia (Switzerland), which is now ruins that are half buried close to the town of Avenches. One of the treasures excavated was a gold bust of Marcus Aurelius found in 1939 and which is one of only three known to exist. The designer replicated this figure at just 3mm and micro-engraved it, placing it the middle of the watch.

aventicum-15[Image Source: Christophe Claret SA]

The bust is a hologram like image and Claret said it is the first of its kind. The illusion produces a magnified image which seems to make the gold bust float above a small hole in the middle of the watches dial. This is thanks to two parabolic mirrors placed atop of each other to form an elliptical cross section. Any object that is placed in the section at the bottom shows an image that is enlarged in the hole and appears to be twice as big.

aventicum-2[Image Source: Christophe Claret SA]

This means that the illusion is taking up the space where the hub of the watch would typically be. Therefore the hands had to be replaced by two rings on the other edge of the watches dial. Carbon fibre markers are used to point to the time and to ensure that precision is maintained these have been counterweighted.

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aventicum-4[Image Source: Christophe Claret SA]

The dial of the watch is set in a choice of red or white gold rich in palladium and anthracite and a PVD treated titanium case. The watch is water resistant to 30 meters and it is fitted with AVE15 automatic movement with 4 Hz Swiss escapement. It has 28 jewels along with 186 parts, while twin barrels offer a 72 hour power reserve.

aventicum-12[Image Source: Christophe Claret SA]

The back of the Aventicum watch has been inscribed with the words "Perfice Omnia facta vitae quasi haec postrema essent", which translates to “Perform every act in life as though it were your last”. There is a transparent sapphire winding rotor in the middle and the watch features five Romano-Gaulish racing chariots, all of which spin independently. Just one movement of the wrist will have them racing and the winner is the first to pass the capital A in the word “Aventicum”.

aventicum-8[Image Source: Christophe Claret SA]

The Aventicum watch is going to be made available in two limited editions of 68 units. The red gold will be priced at US$52, 800 and the white gold edition at $US57, 100.

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