Tuesday, 02 October 2018 00:52

Breguet's North-South Moon Phase

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You probably don't think too often that you need slightly different moon phase mechanisms for a watch in the northern hemisphere compared to the southern. In fact, all you need is for the moon phase wheel, the wheel that has the moon on it, to rotate in the opposite direction: right to left on most watches.

In most watches, this would just be a matter of adding a gear, or assembling the mechanism differently. But what, Breguet asks, what do you do for someone who travels from the northern hemisphere to the southern, or vice versa?

Well, for that world traveler, who only wants to bring one watch with them, Breguet has an answer: a moon phase mechanism with counterrotating wheels, two heart cams, and a selection mechanism to engage one or the other. 

This is an interesting patent in that it may do fewer new things than any other modern patent we've featured here. It's basically two moon phases, with a selector between them. The heart cams allow the selection lever to engage one wheel or the other.

Like many of the patents here, this one is unlikely to see manufacture. It's not a really meaningful improvement on the existing mechanisms, and has incredibly limited real world use. 

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