K2 is not only the second highest peak in the world it's also the most deadliest. Finding ones way to the top is treacherous and requires peak physical conditioning. The atmosphere is thin and few have summited without supplemental oxygen .
As we near our own mechanical K2 our atmosphere has remained constant, but we have had little in the way of breathing room. With Tourbillon 1 now arriving to collectors homes around the world we can now focus and re-group to take on the challenges of K2. The aim now is to bring you up to speed on developments that have taken place and give a glimpse as to what is to come with regards to the watch that will house this incredible movement.
Unlike the tourbillon project, where we needed to completely build a movement in an 8 month time period we have been steadily working away at K2 since 2017. Over 4 years of engineering and approximately 195 parts packed into 2.9mm. Our focus is to create industrial level, high performance movements with manufacture complication and aesthetics. What is an Industrial movement? An industrial movement is a workhorse, typically very precise, has a long runtime between service intervals and when and if it needs servicing it can be serviced by any watchmaker that has been trained by the movement maker at anywhere around the world with its processes being perfected and delivered across hundreds of thousands movements. What is a Manufacture movement? The Manufacture movement on the other hand is produced in lower volumes, has more elaborate hand decoration and makes use of varying complications. The low volumes of the manufacture and the many hand worked parts can make servicing complicated and possibly movements become less predictable in their performance. K2- The Industrial Manufacture Bringing the best of both worlds is at the heart of our movement making. The beautiful design and development of the movement is the focus today. For K2 we have focused on creating a high performance workhorse that can be produced in low volumes, has modular functions spanning small seconds, calendar, power reserve and GMT. The icing on the cake is its beautiful aesthetics. For the bridge design of the K2 movement we reached out to Thomas Funder a Dane that has called Switzerland home for a number of years. His design work is a breath of fresh air that has enabled him to grow his portfolio of watch projects quite quickly. However K2 would be the first movement he would be tasked with applying aesthetics to. The communication train back and forth on just the decoration of the movement have been on-going for well over a year with the look of the movement slowly being refined. Thomas starts with pen and paper to help visualize what can be achieved prior to a draft digital drawing. Working with the CAD file he creates an overlay to define where bridges might go and to get a feel of decoration and texture. Above a simple defined line to address bridge position and imagine component exposure. Further exploration on the above. Developing separation between bridge and line of site. The quadratic pattern on the upper bridge takes shape as well as testing the waters on how much movement detail to show. Then taking it a step further with the aide of CAD. Getting closer, however engineers circle areas of concern in machining and request further modification to the design. The text was also updated. Eventually we arrive here and present this to the world as the K2 design in September 2020. Since then we have made some revisions. Revisions at work. New text and positions to ensure adequate space and draw ones eye to the gear train. The bridge work has been carefully planned out and designed to accommodate the next chapter in not just our product line up, but the next generation of micro-rotor enthusiasts. Finding a balance between active lifestyles of the world traveler and the office professional was the focus. After all, COVID-19 has changed all our lives and the idea of work/life balance has been re-worked and means something entirely different than from times past. Today the office professional is working from home and in most cases many will continue to do so or opt to stay home more often. Working from home has resulted in an outdoor and sports boom. As someone who has worked in the sports textile industry I have heard from my former industry colleagues that the demand for outdoor and sport related products are at an all time high. Those that have been able to travel are planning longer single journey vacations that might have them relocate both for leisure and work for a month at a time or longer. The vacation destination and a good internet connection can now serve as the new office. Quadratic patterns of the movement are found throughout the Horage collections, first inspired by the mosaic tile pattern of the NYC subway stations. Our desire to travel, see new places or more importantly visit friends and family have only intensified over the past year and the grid of the movement bridge is reminiscent of the lines of latitude and longitud we wish to cross once again. The Côtes de Genéve fans outward and creates a sense of flow and movement. The mix of these finishes balance both commitments to work and home life with revitalization through activity and travel. The movement look and feel should be at home with the watch. In the next update we look at the movement in the metal. Till next time... Landon Stirling