The Soyuz rocket is the emblem of Russian space travel. An early model of this rocket launched the first artificial satellite – Sputnik – into orbit in 1957, and made Yuri Gagarin the first human being ever to enter space in 1961. Today, the Soyuz rocket is still the most frequently flown orbital rocket in the world, and continues to take astronauts to the ISS.
The material used for WERENBACH watches comes from Soyuz rockets launched from Baikonur, Kazakhstan. Launch point coordinates: 45° 38’ N, 63° 19’ E.
The rockets are launched from the Baikonur space mission launch centre and fly in three stages into space. The first stage is jettisoned above the stratosphere after 1 minute 58 seconds at an altitude between 46km and 85km. After 4 minutes 48 seconds, the second stage is jettisoned. The rocket is flying at an altitude of 169km at a speed of more than 1,3000km/h. After 8 minutes 49 seconds, the spacecraft separates from the rocket. It is now in orbit, flying at a speed of approximately 2,7000km/h.
Werenbach incorporated these flight stages in various watch models in the form of a Launch Sequencer dial.
Werenbach works with three different components: the rocket engine, the outer shell of the boosters and the fairing of the space shuttle. The rocket engine is the basic material for the cases in the Atelier Collection. It is converted into a Werenbach alloy by means of a comples melting process. Material is cut directly out of the outer shell and fairing to be used in the watches. That is the material for the Earth Collection.
Parts that have blasted off from Soyuz rockets fall into a strictly monitored military zone to which only one salvager has access. It took almost a year and a half and two exciting trips to Kazakhstan to establish contact with him and work out a deal.
Language barriers, cultural differences with regard to business practices, an encounter with an alleged Russian Secret Service agent and some mare’s milk given as a sign of friendship turned these trips into truly unforgettable adventures.
Two new treatment processes had to be developed in order to adapt the materials into a suitable form for making watches. This required the expertise of several metallurgy specialists and a university team. A total of six partners are involved in the materials processing.
The alloys that we produce are named after their source materials:
Made from the engine, SRE stands for “Soyuz Rocket Engine”. Decarburised 0.17% carbon, added 2.8% nickel and 2% molybdenum.
Made from the aluminium exterior shell, SBS stands for “Soyuz Booster Shell”. Added 0.67% copper and 5,89% zinc, Reduction 2.89% manganese.
The rocket material used for the dial is original. Each dial is therefore diffent due to signs of wear and color nuances.
Only rocket steel or aluminium is used to design the case for the watches of the Atelier Collection. These watches are crafted in small numbers in our own Atelier in Zurich. In addition, only the finest quality parts are used in these watches.
The Earth Collection is the collection for everyone. These watches have a face made of rocket material. The watches are produced in larger numbers by an international manufacturer. The components focus on cost-effectiveness.
Each astronaut who observes Earth from space sees its beauty and realizes how small it is in comparison with the universe. He or she realises that there are no limits, either on Earth or in space.
This realization can change our way of thinking. It is Spaceborn because it comes from space and is our ideology. It lives in the material of our watches. And in the spirit of their wearers.
In line with this ideology, we have incorporated key graphic elements from the Voyager probe in the watch. These elements make it possible to determine the position of Earth within our galaxy.
The origin of what is probably the most successful automatic chronograph movement of all time dates back to 1901, when the company “J. & C. Reymond Frères S.A.” was founded. Under the name Valjoux S. A., this company later produced the legendary movement that was nearly eliminated during the watch crisis of the 1970s. Today, the ETA Valjoux 7750 is produced and distributed by ETA. Many of the best-known watch brands have this movement built into their chronometers in one form or another.
ETA’s history dates back to the year 1773. In 1961, ETA began work on a new movement, the “Eterna-Matic 3000 Dato”, for its parent company, Eterna. From the moment it was launched, this movement was hailed as a milestone in watch-making history. ETA later improved the movement and, in 1975, released it onto the market under a new name – ETA 2892. After a third redesign, the movement made a breakthrough in 1987 under its current name. Today, the ETA 2892-A2 makes up the inner life of many luxury watches.
This movement is made by Swiss Technology Production in Switzerland. It is identical with the legendary ETA 2824 and known for its high quality and beautiful finish.