Give Me Five! The AHCI Celebrates 30th Anniversary At Baselworld 2015
by Ian Skellern
In 2015, the AHCI celebrates thirty years of existence. This is a genuine milestone for any organization, and is really a grand, grand accomplishment for a loose grouping of more than 30 artisans of varying nationality, background, and level of accomplishment.
In celebratory manner, the AHCI was out in grand force at Baselworld, holding a large dinner for members and friends as well as staging its first-ever Young Talents competition with the support of F.P. Journe and Bergeon (more on that later).
Fifteen members of the Academy exhibited at the common booth of the 2015 edition of Baselworld: Svend Andersen, Robert Bray, Vincent Calabrese, Miki Eleta, Beat Haldimann, Frank Jutzi, Masahiro Kikuno, Sebastian Naeschke, Aniceto Pita, Antoine Preziuso, Andreas Strehler as well as candidates Hajime Asaoka, Xushu Ma, Ludovic Ballouard, and Andreas Fritsch. Asaoka and Ma were confirmed as full members during the general assembly held on Saturday evening.
Eleta and Jenni presented the first collaborative wristwatch to emerge from the AHCI, called the Timeburner. For more information on that, please read Miki Eleta’s Timeburner: A Salute To Noise, Grease, Chrome, And A Special BMW Motorbike.
Calabrese naturally also helped celebrate the arrival of the book I wrote (also quite collaborative as it could never have been accomplished without Calabrese or Quill & Pad co-founder Ian Skellern’s help as well as that of many others): Bridging Art and Mechanics. The book traces the story of the Corum Golden Bridge – now 35 years old – whose movement is based on an invention by Calabrese.
Svend Andersen Tempus Terrae
AHCI co-founder Svend Andersen pays homage to 25 years of the worldtimer he created in commemoration of Louis Cottier’s original 1950s patent with his new Tempus Terrae, a world time timepiece with two crowns and his signature blue gold (a patented gold/iron alloy that turns blue when heated) in the center of the dial. This is the fifth world timer he has released in his long career.
Case: 39 mm, available in yellow gold, red gold, or white gold (shown), hunter-style case back
Movement: automatic base movement with in-house world time module
Dial: blue gold (21-karat gold mixed with a secret ingredient to turn blue when heated), guilloche by hand; fully customizable
Functions: hours, minutes; second time zone (24-hour display), world time
Antoine Preziuso Tourbillon of Tourbillons
This gargantuan piece of horology is also a collaborative piece, but one conceived and completed by the father-son team Antoine and Florian Preziuso. Make no mistake: this is not a triple-axis tourbillon, but rather three separate tourbillons connected by a triple planetary differential placed on a revolving plate embedded within the manually wound movement that beats at a frequency of 21,600 vph (3 Hz). Its symbolic threes continue in the anniversaries: 30 years of AHCI and 35 years of Antoine Preziuso being in the watch business.
Case: 45 x 14 mm, titanium with red gold movable lugs, crown, and columns on side of case; 24 “power screws”
Movement: manually wound Caliber AFP-TTR-3X with three tourbillons connected by a differential, twin spring barrels, 48-hour power reserve
Functions: hours, minutes
Konstantin Chaykin Diana
For once Russian-born and -based Konstantin Chaykin shows a bit of his softer side, and he does it in the way that watchmakers have done for centuries: by incorporating the romanticism of the moon into a watch.
To name this watch for the Roman goddess of the moon, Diana, is to evoke the same kind of instant imagery that the dial itself evokes just by glancing at it. Wait…it doesn’t look like a moon. Ah, but rest assured that the oddly shaped rhodium-plated space taking up the inner circle of the guilloché dial does indeed symbolize the moon as one of Chaykin’s inventive horological solutions.
The moon is represented by the hand bearing the large circle, which is filled less or more as it makes its 29-day revolution around the dial. The white part shown in the circle represents the actual moon phase. When the hand is at 6 o’clock, for example, it is entirely filled with white (full moon, of course).
Case: 40 x 12 mm, white gold, bezel and lugs set with brilliant-cut diamonds, crown set with one sapphire cabochon
Movement: manually wound Chaykin Caliber K01-6
Dial: blue guilloché (representing night sky) with white guilloché (representing the moon phases)
Functions: hours, minutes; moon phase
Lang & Heyne König Johann von Sachsen Champlevé
The interesting visuals of this variation on the classic König Johann von Sachsen model were inspired by Marco Lang’s interest in classic watchmaking but also by the flag of the European Union, perhaps very faintly expressing a wish for smoother globalization and more intercultural understanding. Naturally, as with all watches by Lang & Heyne, this model is fully customizable according to client wishes.
Case: 43.5 mm, pink gold, also available with 46 baguette-cut sapphires on the bezel
Movement: manually wound Caliber I, hacking seconds, 46 hours power reserve, swan-neck fine adjustment
Dial: two-part blue champlevé enamel
Functions: hours, minutes, small seconds
Speake-Marin Dong Son Tourbillon
Peter Speake-Marin is always very inspired by his travels, and oftentimes his most interesting timepieces will be rooted in a thought, memory, or feeling of someplace he has been. The Dong Son Tourbillon was inspired by the bronze drums of the Red River Delta of ancient northern Vietnam, while the intricate dial motif was chemically etched in a special process that enables extremely fine details.
Case: 38 mm, red gold
Movement: automatic Caliber SM3 with 60-second tourbillon, 72 hours power reserve
Functions: hours, minutes
Dial: 18-karat gold, chemically etched and hand-finished with Dong Son motif