Wednesday, December 3, 2008

The Equation of Time Complication

Audemars Piguet introduced a timepiece with an Equation of Time Complication to Support Clinton Foundation. It is a stunning collection each watch with a 41 jewel mechanical movement comprised of 423 parts as well as a 40 hour power reserve. The Watch is crafted in platinum, rose gold and white gold equipped with a self-winding 2120/2808 caliber movement just 5.35 mm thick. Complications include a perpetual calender with leap year indication and moon phase function as well as the elusive equation of time complication. This complication is indeed rare and indicates in a plus or minus value the difference between mean civil time and true solar time.

Let me delve deeper on the actual concept of the Equation of Time.

Definition: An Equation of Time shows the difference between "true" solar time (that which existed since the beginning of time) and "mean" solar time (that which was created by man).

Explanation: The Earth makes an irregular path across the sky as a result of a combination of two factors:
a) The Earth makes an elliptical orbit around the Sun.
b) The Earth is tilted on its axis perpendicular to the plane of the equator.

Thus the "true" solar day, which is the interval of time between two "true" noons when the sun is at its highest point in the sky is never the same length over the course of the year. Our daily 24 hour days only exist on four days of the year: April 15th, June 14th, September 1st and December 24th. Every other day is either longer or shorter. The difference ranges from less 16 minutes and 23 seconds on November 4th to plus 14 minutes and 22 seconds on February 11th is "the equation of time"

This has become quite a horological endeavor to track these celestial differences. There is a point of departure as the variations occur identically on the same date all year and can be "programmed by means of a cam making one complete rotation each year.

This is an extremely sophisticated complication which at first appeared in long case watches. Later it was miniaturized in a pocket watch and in the twentieth century it appeared in a wristwatch. This complications are rarely seen alone as with the Audemars Piguet Jules Audemars Clinton Foundation Equation of Time. This timepiece utilizes a hand sweeping an arc at the outer edges of the dial extending from = 15 to -15. To enhance the precision of the "Equation of time" Audemars Piguet has set to show solar time and equation of time graduations specially adjusted to the White House.

The Case back is engraved with the Seal of President Clinton , and the words " William J. Clinton 42nd President of the United States"

Audemars Piguet has donated 3 Million Dollars to the Clinton Foundation which is devoted to providing care and treatment for those fighting HIV/AIDS. A large focus of the Foundation is education, health and poverty issues around the globe. The same priorities established by The Audemar Piguet Foundation, founded by Jasmine Audemars, daughter of Jacques-Louis Audemars, in 1992. The Clinton Foundation founded by Bill Clinton in 1997, which has set a goal to improve peoples capacity to meet the challenges of global interdependence.