In a world of mass production it is laudable that true artisans still exist. The watch industry is a great example of this with craftsmen honouring ancient traditions to produce limited numbers of exquisite timepieces. Here is a list of ten notable independent watchmakers & their fantastic creations.
Paladin 4 Torsten Nagengast
German watchmaker Torsten Nagengast has drawn on his passion of horology to create a range of bespoke watches. The results are very impressive & highly original. Each timepiece is a fusion of contemporary design partnered with rare vintage movements. These results have been achieved by years of extensive global sourcing. Paladin 4 perfectly illustrates this wonderful combination. The dial on this elegant piece is blank & prepared for a custom-made design!
Vangarde Tempo Théorie
French designer Vandgarde has set its stall out as a brand specialising in exclusive hand crafted watches. The Tempo Théorie has evolved through a process of numerous designs & prototypes. All this planning has produced a superb & highly original looking watch limited to a mere 88 pieces. Apparently the ideology behind this unique timepiece was to transform the conventional way of displaying the time. This has been achieved with the hand pointing on a layered scale.
Génie 01 by Breva
The Génie 01 is a stunning new timepiece from Swiss watchmaker Breva that recently showcased at Baselworld 2013. This amazing piece lays claim to being the world’s first wristwatch featuring time, altimeter & barometer. Incredibly this achievement has been a process of three years research & development. Underneath the exquisite façade lies an impressive bespoke 46 Jewel movement comprising 405 components delivering an impressive 65-hour power reserve.
Pierre DeRoche TNT Royal retro acier
The TNT Royal Retro Acier is an absolutely stunning watch from Swiss watchmaker Pierre DeRoche. This phenomenal timepiece visibly displays the exclusive Dubois Dépraz mechanical movement on the dial. Ultimately this gives the watch a 3D architectural appearance that is utterly mesmerising. Another really cool feature of this watch is the six retrograde second hands. These counters function in increments of 10-seconds & operate from a central hexagon.
Angular Momentum Polyphemos/II
Angular Momentum is a company owned by the exceptionally talented atelier Martin Pauli. Polyphemos/II is a bold Steampunk watch constructed out of bronze, brass & stainless steel. The name of this amazing timepiece is derived from Greek mythology & portrays a creature of great strength. At 52mm x 22mm this imposing timepiece definitely lives up to its namesake. Time is displayed via twin revolving discs viewable via a porthole sealed with sapphire crystal. This exclusive watch is entirely hand crafted & limited to a mere 10 pieces.
Andersen Genève Kamar
The Kamar is a sensational timepiece produced by fine watchmaker Sven Andersen for his company Andersen Genève. This beautiful watch epitomises refinement, class & sophistication. The exquisite dial is imprinted with striking large Arabic numerals complimented by the delicate fine gold hands. At the 12 O’clock position a large round aperture display a sublime mother of pearl moon phase indicator. This entire splendour is encased in a choice of either white or red gold
Masahiro Kikuno Tourbillon 2012
Thirty-year-old Masahiro Kikuno is a remarkably talented Japanese watchmaker. Amazingly the extraordinary ambitious Tourbillon 2012 is only his third model. Each piece is a completely hand crafted without the intervention of CNC machines. Aesthetically the timepiece is minimalistic & I feel that is integral to the success of the design. The herringbone finish on watch face works in perfect harmony with the exposed Tourbillon movement & offset gold sub dial.
Magellen Watch Meteorite
Swiss Watch Company Magellen produces a range of radically designed watches. These awesome timepieces depict a range of different themes including Earth, Planet & Northern Hemisphere to name just a few. The Meteorite draws inspiration from space & is perfectly encapsulated within domed Sapphire crystal. The 3D aspect to these innovative timepieces makes telling the time a totally stimulating experience.
The WATCHe We3S symbolises an exciting new innovation developed by watchmaker Luc Pellaton. This concept centres on a module that can be used for different applications. The watch design is very effective in combining Swiss mechanical movements with contemporary high performance cases. I personally love the cool futuristic skeleton dial that revolves in the sleek red aluminium case.
Ireland isn’t a place normally associated with Haute Horlogerie. Brothers John & Stephen McGonigle are definitely trying to change this perception. Since their formation in 2007 they have produced a limited range of impeccable timepieces. The Tuscar is a prime example. This glorious watch derives its name from a group of rocks. Apparently these are the first to be sighted by those approaching by sea from the east of Ireland.