Monday the 23rd April 2018 is a key date for the United Kingdom especially those of us who are fans of dragons! That’s right it’s St George’s Day which is also known as the Great Feast of St George. It’s a date that is celebrated by many Christian churches around the United Kingdom as well as countries of which St George is the patron saint including the United States of America, India and even Syria.
It is often overlooked as it just so happens to also be the day that Shakespeare died in 1616, for those of us who are superstitious Shakespeare was quoted saying “Cry God for Harry, England and St George!”.
But why do we paint our faces with red crosses and watch a knight fight a dragon as a celebration to this historic day? To answer this question we need to take a trip back in time. St George’s day was only declared a national feast day in 1415 and a national holiday, then at the end of the 18th century when we united with Scotland the tradition faded away and since then it has not really been acknowledged as a national holiday at all.
The tale of St George and the dragon
The legendary tale of St George and the dragon is over a thousand years old and starts in Libya in the medieval age. There was a water spring in Silene where the people use to go to collect water however there was a dragon believed to have lived in near this spring. Patrons of the water spring use to be extremely scared of the dragon so they offered the dragon a single sheep at a time as a distraction. This worked for a long time however it was not sustainable and eventually the small town ran out of sheep to offer the dragon and a new plan was formulated.
The town voted on a single maiden by drawing lots and whoever was pulled would be the dragon’s next victim. The results were read out and the princess Cleolinda was to be the next offering to the dragon, of course the Monarch contested this however it was overruled and Cleolinda was offered to the dragon. This being said at the moment of offering a knight from the crusades came riding in on his white stallion. It was St George! He dismounted his horse and fought the evil dragon using his shield with a cross painted across the front of it to protect him from the dragon.
He managed to slay the dragon and save the princess from the evil beast. The people of Silene were exceptionally grateful and abandoned their pagan beliefs so that they could convert to Christianity.
I know Ed Sheeran and St George might be a bit of a leap but he actually has a very dragon inspired timepiece.
Its fairly common news that Ed Sheeran is a big fan of Watches and has many luxury timepieces in his collection amounting to a very expensive sum of money. There is a watch by Richard Mille called the RM 26-02 also known as the Tourbillon – evil eye. This watch was limited to only 25 ever made and comes with a price tag of $575,000
The watches flames and evil eye have been created using a very intricate technique know as Grand Feu Enamel. It’s incredibly delicate and hard to produce however when made it creates an incredibly durable material that looks stunning. Renowned artist Olivier Vaucher is behind the design of the flames and eye on this timepiece.
To make the material multiple layers of oxides have to be applied to the framework sculpture which then have to be super heated up to 800-900 Degrees centigrade multiple times. This will very slowly reveal the eyes colour and depth, the technique requires extreme patience and stability.
The watch movement is a caliber RM26-02 which is a manually wound tourbillon movement that features a hour, minutes and power reserve indicator. The watches bezel and case back have been manufactured from TZP black ceramic which is regarded as highly scratch resistant and also have a low thermal conductivity coefficient. Diamond tools are then necessary to create the complex forms that you can see on the watches case back as well as the bezel.
The watch is water resistant to 50 metres and is backed up by two Nitril O-ring seals. The case is held together by twelve spline screws in grade 5 titanium, there are also abrasion resistant washers made from 316L stainless steel. The watches crown has an additional security measure to stop the wearer being able to over wind the crown or put too much pressure on the crown at any point.
The watches width is 40.10mm and it has a depth of 13.10mm. Additional features of the watch have been listed below for those who are intested:
- Anglage and polishing by hand
- Locking sections hand polished
- Sapphire blasted milled sections
- Lapped and polished contact points
- Burnished pivots
- PVD treatment
- Sapphire blasted surfaces
- Satin finished surfaces
- Anglage and polishing by hand
- Burnished sections
- Concave chamfering with a diamond tool
- Circular finished faces
- Rhodium plating (before cutting the teeth)
- Minimal corrections applied to the wheels in order to preserve geometry and performance.
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