If the name Singer sounds familiar to you, you probably know it from the Singer Vehicle Design, the brand that restores Porsche 911 sportscars to perfection. Of course there are also the nostalgic Singer sewing machines we have in mind, but they have nothing in common. Rob Dickinson is the founder and creative director of Singer Vehicle Design and funny enough former ‘singer’ of the US band Catherine Wheel. Besides his passion for cars and rock-music Dickinson is also fascinated by classical watch design and he teamed up with the Italian Marco Borraccino – who is no stranger in the watch industry – to establish the independent watchbrand Singer Reimagined. Having studied Art and Industrial Design, Borraccino worked before as the Head of Design for Officine Panerai in Milano. To complete the creative team behind Singer Reimagined, Jean-Marc Wiederrecht, one of the most sophisticated independent watchmakers is mainly responsible for their unique first chronograph, which the brand introduced in 2017. Wiederrecht is also founder of Agenhor (Atelier Genevois d’Horlogerie).
This powerful team of masterminds has joined forces to develop a fascinating unique movement called the Agengraphe. This movement is the heart of a new watch- and chronograph-design named Singer Reimagined Track1 Launch Edition from 2017 and also the new Track1 Geneva Edition from 2018. Let’s uncover the secret behind it: The Agengraphe features the first centralized indication of the chronograph function which is dedicated to a full dial with its seconds-, hours- and minute-indication. For the team of Singer Reimagined, who are all passionate car-enthusiasts it was the initial idea that the chronograph function is being given more legitimacy and highlight it as much as possible. It took Jean-Marc Wiederrecht ten years to develop this movement, bearing in mind that he is a true specialist in the design of complex mechanical modules.
Before talking little more about the new clutch mechanism of the movement let’s just hold on to the indication arrangements on the dial. The time of the day is presented around the periphery of the dial by a small orange index at 6 o’clock that is floating above 2 rotating matte black ceramic discs with luminescent golden numerals: the inner disc for the minutes and the outer disc for the hours. The focus of the chronograph seconds, minutes and hours are placed in the centre of the dial, which are also displayed with orange hands inspired from the retro watches of the 1960s and 1970s. To more understand the brand it’s helpful to mention their core values: obsessive attention to detail, unique perspectives and the love for iconic sport watches of the 1960s and 1970s. The chronograph pushers are placed on each side inspired from dashboard stopwatches you might remember from your first sports lessons in school. Truly old-school, but very charming.
How does it work? They lovingly call it the AgenClutch and it combines the horizontal and vertical clutches system. To connect the chronograph to the timekeeping gear train the coupling is made horizontally which requires less space, yet it is made using friction just like a vertical clutch. Unlike traditional horizontal clutches however, the connection is made by friction between wheels with no teeth, which avoids the drawbacks of teeth meshing together causing the hands to sometimes vibrate. To prevent the two couples discs from splitting, they are coated with a diamond nickel material (Dianip). Through the sapphire glass caseback you can watch the chronograph function prance playfully when in action due to the rotor positioning on the dial side.
The Singer Track1 Launch Edition has a titanium case and a soft black calf leather strap. The new Track1 Geneva Edition comes with a rare light shaded yellow gold case and a black dial. The metal is finished with alternating brushed and polished surfaces. The khaki calf leather straps are handmade by expert artisans in Geneva. The brushed rivets come in two parts and are screwed together. Singer Reimagined is a brand with a radical focus on functionality and – just like with their restored Porsche cars – a master of details. We will keep an eye on this interesting independent watchmaker trio and keep you posted about their future projects.