The jump hour is a complication loved by many, yet only a few brands have one in their collection. One of the reasons for this is that it is difficult to make. The jump hour is a volatile complication in which power is build up in a spring during the hour to be released upon the hour. Not only does this require superb power management within the movement, but there is also to challenge to achieve perfect alignment of the hour disc after the jump has taken place.
The Monsieur de Chanel is a watch that puts the jump hour at centre stage. It emphasizes the complication by placing a border around the hour indicator and places the minute and sub seconds above it. This Chanel also perfectly shows why jump hours are so well loved: they often combine a very clean design with easy readability.
The A. Lange & Söhne Zeitwerk has become one of the leading jump hour watches, mainly because it also features jumping minutes! This is an extraordinary achievement even for such an accomplished brand as A. Lange & Söhne as this requires exceptional power management within the movement. Of course, this was not enough for A. Lange & Söhne, because they also created a version within minute repeater integrated as well, as they never like things to be too easy!
Blancpain surprised us this year at Baselworld with the Villeret Tourbillon Volant Heure Sautante Minute Retrograde. Just as A. Lange & Söhne was Blancpain not satisfied with just having a jump hour, but also added a flying tourbillon and a retrograde minute hand to it. The result is a breathtaking, highly complex watch with a very clean and pure look. This emphasises the delicate design of the Villeret case and the Grand Feu enamel dial.
The Tribute to Pallweber was the star of this year IWC collection celebrating its 150th anniversary. While it might look similar to the Zeitwerk, with its jump hour and minutes, it is technically vastly different. It is based on the Pallweber pocket watch, which is one of the most extraordinary watches of IWC’s history. Again the design shows purity and readability, once again confirming why the jump hour complication is so popular.