Papillon is the French name for butterfly, an insect belonging to the order Lepidoptera. A butterfly is light and delicate. But, as it has been around for over 40 million years, it is a very intelligently designed organism.
Like the Papillon d’Or: A large solid gold bridge in the form of a butterfly holds the superbly finished gear train with its two sapphire crystal gear wheels and supports the white fired silver dial ring. Delicate yet sturdy.
The lift generated by a flying butterfly is more than what can be accounted for by steady-state, non-transitory aerodynamics. Its way to fly looks simple but to understand it, one has to know about things like wake capture, vortices at the wing edge, rotational mechanisms and Weis-Fogh ‘clap-and-fling’ mechanisms.
On the back of the Papillon d’Or, the power reserve is indicated. This looks like a simple hand on a simple scale. But in fact it incorporates what is probably the world’s smallest differential gear. This, of course, is built with Andreas Strehler’s own true conical gear wheels. And yet it flies.