Over the last few days, I have received a few press releases from brands exhibiting at Baselworld. The event seems really low key in comparison to other years. I couldn’t attend the fair this year because of other very important projects, which had to be prioritised. However, if I did have the time and money I would probably visit the show to meet members of the AHCI (Académie Horlogère des Créateurs Indépendants). These craftsmen really stimulate me to write about horology because of their integrity and passion for the industry.
A few days I met up with watchmaker friend and co-collaborator. In his capacity as a watch restorer/repairer, he closely inspects pieces from several brands. Unfortunately, most are poorly made and profit, rather than quality seems to be the primary motivator. Essentially, far too often it’s a case of style over substance, which is hugely disappointing. However, all the members of the AHCI, strive to produce the absolute best timepieces for their devoted customers. A brilliant example is the brilliant “Vita Vinum” from the forthcoming ‘Art and Culture Collection’ by Andersen Genève.
One of the reasons that the “Vita Vinum” really resonates with me is the wine connection. South Australia (where I reside) is renowned for its beautiful wine, which is exported worldwide. Sven Anderson (under the label Andersen Genève) has created an exquisite timepiece that chronicles the various stages involved in the wine-making process. This is characterised on the miniature acrylic painted and 21-carat blue gold (with “tapisserie” guilloché pattern) dial. Other features include white gold polished hour/minute hands and raised numerals.
Beneath the handcrafted (42.5mm x 11.5mm) two-tone white/red gold case is a refined self-winding movement. It has been specially upgraded to include a special module, which operates the 365-day disc. This amazing mechanism comprises 25-jewels and oscillates at a frequency of 21,600 vibrations per hour. Functionally the “Vita Vinum” features hours, minutes, wine grower’s annual calendar indication and a power reserve of 36-hours.
The “Vita Vinum” is limited to 12-pieces and retails for 42,800 CFH (approximately $43,054).