Zenith’s product strategy director Romain Marietta argues that it’s a nod to the roots of watchmaking, its pioneers seeking precision because of their devices’ then life or death relevance to the likes of navigation or military manoeuvres. “So at one point precision suggested the best in class,” he says.
But also, because, argues Clemence Dubois, chief product officer for Girard Perregaux, while not all collectors are fascinated by precision - others may be more excited by the craft, decoration or history of watchmaking - and while ever greater precision may provide little real world benefit, it nonetheless remains a benchmark in the advance of mechanical watchmaking. And, with the deployment of new materials and manufacturing technologies, such advances will only keep coming.
“Technology will allow watchmaking to design and make movements that would have been impossible 150 years ago,” she says, “so we may well yet see more accurate watches. Of course, there are those collectors whose idea of precision is the goal of zero seconds lost per day. For others, just two seconds is more than fine...”