Today, a high-quality mechanical watch is more than just a precision timekeeper, of course. Inevitably, it is a treasured item of jewelry – often, the only one – that expresses taste and lifestyle. The Audi Tachoscope sends a clear message: Its owner exhibits sporting elegance, values distinctive aesthetics and supreme quality, honors tradition yet is open for innovation. In return the Tachoscope provides its owner with the assurance of knowing that he is wearing a singularly exclusive possession: Exactly 100 specimens will be hand-crafted – one for each of Audi’s 100 years.
A new interpretation of the brand’s tradition
“The Tachoscope conveys 100 years of company history without imparting a retro feeling,” states Wolfgang Egger, Head of Design at the Audi Group. Egger ventures far into the future with his automotive projects; with the Tachoscope, however, Audi Design reinterpreted the brand’s tradition, giving it the look of a timeless classic. Audi Konzept Design, the external creative studio in Munich, developed the Tachoscope’s form.
“The Tachoscope projects the fascination of the mechanism; its movement has an incredible aesthetic,” sums up design chief Wolfgang Egger.
“The proportions of the manufacture caliber define the basic geometry of the housing. The style is typical Audi; our design philosophy translated to a watch design.”
In this manner the Tachoscope exemplifies the clear-cut precision that distinguishes Audi design. Its housing is characterized by the expansive convex crystal, in harmony with crisp edges that evoke precision. They delineate the shape of the housing, exhibiting a finely balanced tension – as does the interplay between the polished surfaces and the lightly brushed perimeter surfaces of the housing. The aura of precision is exuded by the winding crown in particular, which resembles a transmission gear. A further example of attention to detail are the screws fastened to the lugs – even they were individually styled by Audi Design.
Inspired by legendary race cars
The chronograph’s dial is its visage, of course, and it was also accorded the greatest attention. Inspired by the instrumentation of the legendary Auto Union race cars, Audi Design developed its own, especially sharp numeric font for it. Prominently encircling the regulator dial are the large numerals of the second scale, reminiscent of the speedometer gauges of the Type C Grand Prix race cars of the 1930s. The dial features a classic black on white color combination. Accents are provided by the red ring of the tachymeter scale (used for speed measurements), the red chronograph hand and the other hands crafted in blued steel. A special heating process imbues the material with this typical coloring.
Revealing details about the specially crafted construction can be discerned from the dial: The Tachoscope has a regulator dial; the hour, minute and second hands all turn on their own separate pivots. This apportionment is borne of a long tradition and eases the readability. The fourth hand – the centrally located chronographic seconds indicator – enables stopwatch measurements, performed with a single push-piece projecting from the winding crown. Speed measurements are made possible by the tachymeter scale: if the time is stopped that was required for traveling the distance of one kilometer, then the traveled speed can immediately be read from here. After all, the word “Tachoscope” is Greek for speed display.
A unique mechanism of supreme intricacy
Chronoswiss has furnished the Tachoscope with a unique movement – the manufacture caliber C.125. The regulator design and the push-piece operation are only two of its exceptional features. Incidentally, a small, heart-shaped disk is what enables instant resetting of the chronograph display to the zero position. In 1844 the Swiss watchmaker Adolphe Nicole invented this component, which was crucial to perfecting the art of timekeeping. And, in the noble tradition of classic chronographs, the Tachoscope still makes use of this invention today. Chronoswiss still mounts the complex mechanism directly on the front side of the plate of the automatic C.125 caliber – just like back then. Unlike commonplace modular designs, the Tachoscope plate is specially processed for this purpose, with milled slots and bore holes of painstaking precision that perfectly accommodate the mechanism’s intricate components. The ratchet wheel for controlling the chronographic seconds rotates around the pivot of the permanently active second hand. This makes use of a Chronoswiss innovation, the ball bearing-mounted chrono wheel.
The Tachoscope’s chronometric accuracy is derived from the quality of the Glucydur balance of the manufactory movement, which executes 21,600 oscillations per hour with its auto-compensating flat hairspring. Stopwatch accuracy, precise to 1/6 of a second, is the result.
Elaborate precision detailing of the tiniest parts
The inner beauty of the elaborate mechanism is visible through the casement’s glass back. Geneva stripes and a pearled finish adorn all the larger visible and hidden parts of the movement. The most minute components, such as screws and cogs, are polished, blued or gilded. Each of these refinements is performed by Chronoswiss with painstaking attention to detail. An exceptional part of the movement is the automatic winding mechanism’s rotor. It enables the movement to draw power from every movement of the hand. The rotor was also specially designed by Audi Design and enlarged to suit the overall proportions of the watch better. Both the founding year of the brand and the centennial anniversary year are engraved on it.
This extraordinary timekeeper will remain an exclusive masterpiece: As a special limited edition, only 100 specimens of the Audi centennial watch will be made – in platinum (CH A 1520) and white gold (CH A 1521 W); one for each year of the company’s history. The 35 platinum and 65 white gold watches will delivered in wooden jewelry boxes with a black piano finish. Included are also a watchmaker’s loupe and screwdriver. The recommended retail price for the platinum version is €24,900, for the white gold version €14,900.
Sales information for both timepieces can be obtained from Audi quattro GmbH by phone at +49 (0)841 89 46599 or by email at email@example.com.