SIHH week 2017 is off to a great start for our small group of California collectors. The highlight of our first day was our now-traditional Saturday night dinner with independent watchmaking legend Kari Voutilianen. Each year, Kari meets with us to share and explain the watches that he will be introducing at SIHH. And here they are.
In 1974 Dutch watchmaker Christiaan van der Klaauw founded his own workshop making astronomical clocks, then soon similar complications for wristwatches. He retired in 2009, passing his baton along to Daniel Reintjes, who is now in charge of the world’s only watch brand completely dedicated to astronomical watches. Quill & Pad’s Martin Green sat down with Reintjes to get a feel for where the brand is now.
Despite all its scholarly technology, I find Antoine Preziuso’s Stella Polare Tourbillon Muonionalusta to be far more wearable for slimmer wrists than some of Antoine Preziuso’s other creations. And a meteorite on the wrist is the culmination of Preziuso’s journey to capture a shooting star.
A piece that for me is a long-term keeper, is the wonderful Antiqua by Vianney Halter. The truth is that I fell for the Antiqua when I first saw one more than a dozen years ago; while many of my friends will freely confess that at the time they were at first put off by its looks, I was smitten from the start. But that’s not all that I love about this watch.
Late in 2015 the news came through that A.H.C.I. co-founder Svend Andersen had sold his company. But how did Andersen get here? Let’s take a quick tour of 53 years’ worth of independent horology the Danish way to find out, which includes an extravaganza of worldtimers, unusual erotic watches, and even poker-playing dogs.
It’s SIHH 2016 week! And already, our California collector group was off to a splendid start with our traditional Saturday evening dinner with friend and genius watchmaker Kari Voutilainen. Kari brought along several of the watches that he will be presenting this week at SIHH, and was kind enough to grant permission for us to show them here before the official start of the show.
In the early 1960s, engineer Kelly Johnson of Lockheed Martin came up with “keep it simple, stupid”, which became better known by its acronym, KISS. Watches that employ clever levers and clearly adhere to the KISS principle are always something that can turn me into a giddy fan boy, and one such piece is the Konstantin Chaykin Genius Temporis. Heck, even the name implies some genius.
The moon is one element of horology that allows watchmakers to wax lyrical and get their romance on.
Thanks to its romantic properties and associations, depictions of the moon are particularly popular complications for women.
Konstantin Chaykin, that brilliant watchmaker/inventor from Russia, thus showed a bit of his softer side at Baselworld 2015 with the introduction of a new rendition of a ladies’ moon phase watch with its mechanical sophistication clearly on display.
One of the great things about making friends in the watchmaking communities is that sooner or later, one starts receiving invitations to visit the places where the beautiful handwork in horology actually happens: the manufactures of the big brands and the ateliers of the independents. I’ve now had the opportunity to take part in many such visits and I can tell you with some confidence that there is nothing quite like visiting with Vianney Halter at his workshop in the small Swiss town of Sainte-Croix, Switzerland.