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April 25, 2013

Baselworld: Graham's Planetary Pull

By Neharika Padala


George Graham's original Orrery model

George Graham’s original Orrery model

By Mike Espindle

In 1713 watchmaker George Graham was commissioned to create a moving planetary model based on a clockwork mechanism by the Earl of Orrery. Since then such animated astronomical models have been referred to as “Orrerys.” Skip ahead 300 years, to present day Basel: Graham Watches founder and CEO Eric Loth has been able to realize a 20-year dream to deliver the complication of a planetary Orrery for the wrist. The incredible complication presents a heliocentric view of the solar system including jeweled icons for the Earth, the Moon and Mars.

With an incredibly complicated movement designed by legendary watchmaker Christopher Claret, the timepiece centers around a pink gold, engraved Tourbillon bridge, which represents the Sun. With such a precise mechanical interpretation of planetary movement, there is, of course, the occasional need to make an adjustment. On the watch back is an arrow indicator that rides along a 100-year ring that indicates when an owner, or his offspring, needs to activate one of preloaded mechanical adjustments to the moving parts of the watch. But, since this piece celebrates the 300th anniversary of George Graham’s original Orrery, the timepiece also comes with two more calibrated case back rings that can switched out each century so the necessary adjustments can be made for the next 300 years. The Graham Orrery is limited to 20 editions and sells for about 300,000 Swiss francs.

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