After I graduated from university with a degree in Art I became a frustrated with my career options. For a few years I illustrated children’s books and was actually an agent for 30 other artists. However the ultra tight deadlines and ridiculous payment terms made me look at other professional options. Subsequently I entered the competitive and high-pressure world of sales. As well as travelling across the UK on a regular basis I was also required to attend various seminars. Although they were supposed to be inspirational they seemed to have the opposite effect. That is one of the main reasons why I have never read any motivational books of this kind. By coincidence I was driving my wife’s car the other day and there was an Audio book playing by Richard Branson called the ‘The Virgin Way’. The advice he gave to all budding entrepreneurs (large or small) was to find something you enjoy and are passionate about. This message instantly made me think of all the small independent watchmakers I write about.


A few weeks ago I discovered a small boutique watch label called Antoine Tavan 1805. The brand name pays homage to the legendary 19th Century Swiss watchmaker of the same name. In 1805 Antoine Tavan was commissioned to design and produce 12 new mechanical escapements. This placed him in the history books and his work can still be viewed at Geneva’s Musée d’art et d’histoire. In 2008 Roger Zarzoso revived the name and aims to honor the work of this incredible craftsman by producing his own range of exquisite timepieces.


In July I wrote an in depth article about Antoine Tavan 1805’s wonderful Bird of Paradise Tourbillon. This watch truly is a work of art and perfectly illustrates why the Swiss are still considered the world’s finest watchmakers. After Roger read the article he was keen for me to review one of his other Skeleton watches. A few days ago the timepiece arrived and looks absolutely delightful in the metal. Dimensionally the watch is smaller than I normally wear and has a diameter of 44mm (excluding the crown). Nevertheless I did find it exceptionally lightweight and comfortable on the wrist. Primarily this is down to the elegant case design and choice of 316L stainless steel in production.


Visually the Skeleton Limited Edition Watch has a really delicate and sophisticated appearance. Generally I love skeletonized watches because I am fascinated by the intricate mechanical workings of a watch. Roger has personally decorated this watch by hand and the level of craftsmanship is absolutely exceptional. It would fair to say this is one of the most intricate Unitas 6497-1 skeleton watches I have ever seen. Other fine details include Cathedral style hands and a beautiful gold placard with the inscription ‘Antoine Tavan 1805’.


Beneath the refined façade lies a Swiss made Unitas 6497-1 hand-winding movement. The caliber comprises 17-jewels and oscillates at a frequency of 18,000 vibrations per hour. This entire splendor is also visibly showcased through the sapphire crystal exhibition case back. Functionally the watch features hours, minutes, seconds and has a power reserve of about 40-hours.


The Skeleton Watch is limited to 5 pieces and has a hand stitched blue alligator strap with matching steel folding clasp. Priced for the discerning at: €6,450 ($7,178).

For more information about Antoine Tavan 1805 visit their Facebook page: