Fiona Krüger is a young Scottish artist and designer. She utilizes her love of art to make fantastic timepieces inspired by both the seventeenth-century skull watch of Mary, Queen of Scots and the Mexican celebration of Dia de Los Muertos. She has further developed her initial skull designs to now include the brightly colored Celebration Skull, which she launched to coincide with Baselworld 2015. This is limited to just 24 pieces.
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.
Waxing poetically about moon phases has gotten me excited to take a trip through certain “phases” of engineering excellence to discuss the most accurate moon phase complications in a wristwatch today. Here we bring you the eight most accurate moon phases fitted into a wristwatch. These are examples that far exceed the norm when it comes to engineering, precision, and finely toothed gears. Join us on this odyssey through space and time.
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.
AHCI member Antoine Preziuso’s mind-blowing Tourbillon of Tourbillons embodies the ideas of fractal geometry and recursion by producing a ten-minute tourbillon driven by three sixty-second tourbillons. It is an amazing machine. And as the only indications are minutes and hours, the Tourbillon of Tourbillons is something that exists as much for its own sake as it does as a timepiece.
In 1985, Svend Andersen and Vincent Calabrese founded the AHCI: Académie Horlogère des Créateurs Indépendants. The aim was to help independent watchmakers survive at a time when large brands and quartz watches were dominating the horological world. In 1985 very few people even knew that there was such a thing as independent watchmaking, as advertising and exhibitions (of which there were very few) were far too expensive for them to participate in. Today, 30 years later, the AHCI boasts 35 members and four candidates. Not bad for an organization I once described as “like herding cats.”
Extraordinary engraver Kees Engelbarts loves his skeletonized watches as they do very much showcase his art form. “I wanted to make another kind of skeleton watch,” he says about his latest creation called Tourbillon Organic Skeleton. “Most skeleton watches are, as you know, very symmetric. My plan was to make a skeleton watch without a drawing or plan before starting, by just taking away material from the base plate and bridges that is not needed.”
Emmanuel Bouchet first came to our attention with the incredibly animated Opus 12 for Harry Winston. He has now launched his own brand with Complication 1, which pays homage to the ubiquitous Swiss lever escapement with his own extremely slow-beating, giant Swiss lever escapement placed dial-side. And that’s just the beginning!
For those of you who are regular readers of my “Behind the Lens” series, it’s no secret that my watch pals and I are big fans of independent watchmaking.
Here at Quill & Pad we’re also fans of the independents, prominently including Irish watchmaking brothers John and Stephen McGonigle.
Recently, I had the opportunity to photograph an example of the Tuscar One in Ten owned by a good friend. Let’s take a look at some of the results.
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. Here we present five beautiful watches by AHCI members we saw at Baselworld.