A little power goes a long way. One could say that a mechanical watch’s power reserve provided by a mainspring, or several, is akin to a car’s fuel tank, but it’s not that simple.
Be it automatic or hand-wound, the average mechanical watch movement provides a power reserve of 42 hours, give or take, about two days. And usually, the more complications and features the watch has, the more energy it needs. That energy comes from the tension released as the mainspring coiled within the barrel unwinds.
But creating a greater power reserve is far more complex than simply adding a longer mainspring in a bigger barrel, as the force provided by the mainspring has to be more or less consistent from start to finish for accurate timekeeping. This makes long power reserves both a rarity and a honed skill among watch manufacturers.
Here are five wildly different watches that provide exceptional power reserves in various ways:
Hublot MP-05 LaFerrari
Last but certainly not least is the current record holder for the wristwatch with the longest power reserve, Hublot’s MP-05 LaFerrari. Featuring a singular case and movement construction inspired by its namesake supercar, the MP-05 LaFerrari provides a monumental power reserve of 50 days or 1’200 hours, delivered by 11 centrally-mounted and coupled mainspring barrels.
The power reserve is so impressive that the Hublot MP-05 LaFerrari comes with a dedicated power tool just to wind it, sparing the owner from what I imagine would be quite a tiring experience on the fingers!
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Amr Sindi – Switzerland
A Saudi-born, Swiss-bred watch lover who just so happens to live in the world capital of horology. What started as a childhood fascination quickly became an all-consuming obsession.