The watch community can be a pretty social place and comprise many watch enthusiasts. One of the guys I have become very friendly with is Jonathan Kopp. Our initial contact was in connection with AOS (Arthur Oscar Stamfli) Watches. Effectively Jonathan handles all their communications and marketing. However I have recently discovered that Jonathan is also an accomplished writer and contributes to many other magazines. Like me he is interested in a diverse range of watches and is very passionate about the world of horology in general. In one of his latest Facebook posts he promoted the talents of a brand called Antoine Tavan 1805. To be honest, prior to this I had never heard of this company but was keen to rectify that as soon as possible.
Antoine Tavan 1805 is the brainchild of Swiss craftsman Roger Zarzosa. In 1983 (at the youthful age of 22) he attended a watchmaking school, where he studied how to repairs clocks and timepieces. Subsequently he continued his education in Limoges, France and learnt the fine art of gem setting. Ultimately he utilized these exceptional skills when he worked for companies like Christophe Claret, Zenith, Ulysse Nardin and Manufacture La Joux Perret. In 2008 he took the next leap and established his own brand called Antoine Tavan 1805.
I am sure that Roger Zarzosa attended Basleworld in some capacity but unfortunately I didn’t get to meet him. It would have been wonderful to see some of his creations first hand (rather than in a 2D format) because they look pretty spectacular. However Roger has sent me many high-resolution images so I can visualise how they look from many angles. Dimensionally all the Tourbillon models have a 46mm diameter, which is hand crafted from 18-karat gold. For that reason they are highly exclusive and would probably only be reserved for very special occasions.
What originally motivated me to contact Antoine Tavan 1805 was their meticulous designs. Roger Zarzosa works on individual timepieces for several months and sometimes years. As an artist I can appreciate this level of craftsmanship and the desire to reach a certain level of perfectionism. What makes these timepieces so incredible is the exquisite open worked engraved and gem set dials. This feature gives the watches character and delicately exposes elements of the brilliant tourbillon movement. Recent themes include horses, dragons and a sublime bird of paradise. Normally they are limited to one piece and are specially created for the discerning collector.
Beneath the luxurious exterior lies a sophisticated Swiss made manual winding Tourbillon movement. The calibre comprises 19-jewels and oscillates at a frequency of 21,600 vibrations per hour. Each of the individual components are fastidiously engraved, decorated and assembled personally by Roger Zarzosa. This wonderful mechanism is perfectly showcased through the sapphire crystal exhibition case back. Functionally the watch features hours, minutes and an impressive power reserve of 100 hours.