5 Watches By Independent Watchmakers Paul Gerber, Habring2, Struthers, Vincent Calabrese And Christiaan Van Der Klaauw
If you’re looking for a watch that goes out of the way to be unusual or even a watch made with the love and attention of a single gifted watchmaker, you’d be hard pressed to find a better place to look than among the independent watchmakers.
Here are five recently released timepieces by independent watchmakers that might just tickle your fancy.
In 2014, this husband-and-wife duo located in Völkermarkt introduced Felix, the first watch ever to be powered by an Austrian movement (find out all about it in Habring2 Gets Happy (And Serious) With Felix, Featuring First Austrian Movement).
Based on the Felix movement, Maria and Richard Habring have now brought out a repeating model outfitted with a Dubois Dépraz module for the melodious parts. Despite the technical addition, the movement height remains svelte at 7.85 millimeters.
Housed in a titanium case, the chimes sound high and clear as this metal resonates so well. And for the first time, Habring2 offers polished titanium, making the case with its unusual pusher at 11 o’clock – rather than the more common slide to activate the repeater – look as elegant as possible.
This timepiece has another special feature that many repeaters are still lacking: water resistance. With a water resistance rating of 30 meters Habring2’s repeater lets sound out, but no water in.
A five-minute repeater dings the full hour (ding) and eleven five-minute intervals (ding-dong). It does not strike the quarter hours or the minutes.
For more information, please visit www.habring2.com/en/collection/repeater-en.
Quick Facts Habring2 Repeater
Case: 42 x 13.5 mm, titanium
Movement: manually wound Caliber A11B with repeating module D92 by Dubois Dépraz; anti-magnetic escapement assembled in-house with two LIGA components, Carl Haas hairspring in chronometer quality, 4 Hz / 28,800 vph frequency, 48-hour power reserve
Functions: hours, minutes; five-minute repeater
Husband-and-wife duo Craig and Rebecca Struthers specialize in refurbishing vintage movements to make bespoke timepieces.
One of the latest projects they’ve completed is the so-called Kullberg comprising a watch designed by hand and from scratch using the wishes of the client and a pair of engraved vintage Beretta handguns for inspiration.
Two years after it began, the Kullberg, powered by a vintage English movement originally retailed by the Army & Navy Co-operative Society, was delivered to its owner. The movement was signed by London-based Swedish watchmaker Victor Kullberg and dates from around 1880.
One of the Struthers’ favorite activities is to salvage movements whose cases have been scrapped, and this example now looking and working better than it surely ever has done is one of these “rescue movements.” Damaged and missing components, the Struthers located another example in the British Museum to study for reference in order to remake the missing parts.
The left-hand crown was a special request by the client, and the acanthus scroll engraving on the dial and movement was completed by an independent gun engraver who had apprenticed at both Purdy and Holland & Holland.
For more on the Struthers and their business model as well as Rebecca Struthers receiving the world’s first doctorate of horology, see Meet The Struthers: English Watchmaking The Old-Fashioned Way . . . Sort Of.
For more information, please visit www.strutherswatchmakers.co.uk/struthers-kullberg.
Quick Facts Struthers Kullberg Edition
Case: 50 mm, Sterling silver
Movement: manually wound Victor Kullberg base with free-sprung balance and fusée
Functions: hours, minutes, seconds; power reserve
Limitation: one unique piece
This soft-spoken master of miniaturization has constructed complication upon complication in his Zurich workshop basement since 1976.
But never has he invented something quite like his new patent-pending EPR 52, which is designed to be added to any watch, thereby extending that watch’s complicated capabilities irrespective of how much room there may be on the dial or in the movement.
Surprisingly, the EPR 52 is designed to be added to the strap rather than the watch itself. However, don’t discount the precision moon because of its location: comprising 61 mechanical components and measuring a miniscule 12 x 5.5 mm, this mini moon is actually quartz-controlled and runs on a standard micro cell battery.
Gerber is selling the complication together with the strap, though the Micro Moon can be retrofitted into any existing strap as long as it meets the measurement requirements. Pricing for the EPR 52 plus strap starts at about $1,070 and delivery time is approximately one month.
For more information or to order please visit www.gerber-uhren.ch/en/watches/mondphase/epr-52.
Already shown to some at Baselworld 2017, the Real Moon Stella Nebula represents the world’s first haute horlogerie watch to use a singe-stone ammolite on its dial.
The 1.2 mm sliver of iridescent material on the dial is cut from the fossil of an extinct ammonite – a marine mollusk animal that underwent 71 million years of tectonic pressure, heat, and mineralization to result in this natural, geological wonder. It is only mined in one isolated region of Alberta, Canada.
The Real Moon Stella Nebula uses the highest grade ammolite mined by Korite. According to Japanese independent watch retailer Stella Polare, Feng Shui masters believe that the ancient 71-million-year-old origin of this semiprecious fossil gem gives it a cosmic energy bringing balance and prosperity to its wearer and environment.
Christiaan van der Klaauw’s Real Moon Stella Nebula is based on the Dutch boutique brand’s signature moon phase, which is one of the most accurate moon phase complications in the world (see The 8 Most Accurate Moon Phase Wristwatches Today).
The fragile, rainbow-colored material is a notoriously challenging stone for watch designers and photographers alike – but our Ian Skellern managed to get a great shot or two as you can see here.
For more information, please visit www.stella-polare.co.jp.
Quick Facts Christiaan van der Klaauw Real Moon Stella Nebula
Case: 40 mm, pink gold or white gold
Dial: ammolite with three-dimensional moon phase in white and black diamonds
Movement: automatic Caliber CVDK7382 with CVDK Real Moon Joure module
Functions: hours, minutes; moon phase
Limitation: 5 pieces total, 2 pink gold, 2 white gold and 1 unique piece in white gold with diamond bezel
Price: 90,000 Swiss francs (white gold), 85,000 Swiss francs (pink gold), 110,000 Swiss francs (white gold with diamond bezel)
Vincent Calabrese’s Spatiale concept allows the movement to morph into nearly any shape within a faceted sapphire crystal case, so Pegasus has required Calabrese to display the highest mastery of his art as nothing can be hidden here.
The same goes for the engraver, who created the white gold flying mythological horse: he must immerse himself in the fine details of his work as there is no hiding any mistakes.
For more information please visit www.vincent-calabrese.com.
Quick Facts Vincent Calabrese Pegasus
Case: 36 mm, faceted sapphire crystal and white gold, no crown
Movement: manually wound Calabrese Spatiale movement, single bridge, mystery winding
Functions: hours, minutes
Remarks: fully customizable