Approximately two years ago in 2017, I approached a prominent global publisher with a book concept. The overall idea was to shine a light on the many talented craftsmen in the world of independent watchmaking. As well as featuring several well-known companies (Patek Phillppe, Richard Mille, Greubel Forsey, MB & F, De Bethune, Urwerk etc.) I also wanted to highlight small microbrands. In fact, I even got the opportunity to include my own ‘Pure Carbon’ watch which trades, under the label Paolo Mathai Horology.
Fast forward to August 2019 and the ‘Independent Watchmakers’ book was published and featured in The New York Times. It was one of the proudest moments in my career and a privilege to work with so many extraordinary craftsmen. A great example is German-born watchmaker Torsten Nagengast who has created a unique timepiece called the Extreme under the brand name TNTimeline. Over the years this watch has gone through many prototype stages and now it is finally reaching completion.
Originally, I discussed the concept of the Extreme with Torsten nearly four years ago. At that time, I was actually developing my own ‘Pure Carbon’ which turned out to be the world’s largest carbon fibre watch. This lightweight material absolutely fascinates me and that is why Torsten’s project instantly intrigued me. At this time the brands that were experimenting with high-tech materials priced their creations accordingly. The Extreme is constructed from forged carbon, titanium and unique type of hardened aluminium, normally used in precision manufacturing. What makes this timepiece even more special is the bespoke German-made aluminium mechanical hand-winding movement (based on the Unitas 6497-1).
As well as featuring the Extreme in my ‘Independent Watchmakers’ book I have also written a couple of reviews. Previously, I had only seen images or videos of the watch posted by Torsten on Facebook. However, a few days ago I received a completed review sample and am very impressed with the finished product. In fact, the light grey carbon composite material used for the case is unlike any material I have seen before. The model I opted for has a beautiful carbon fibre dial with contrasting blue detailing. Torsten is an absolute perfectionist and wanted to ensure every aspect of the Extreme was refined. Certainly, the project has overrun considerably but the end result justifies the means. It also highlights the challenges that independent watchmakers encounter when delivering something unique to the market.
For more information about the Extreme and Torsten Nagengast’s other work follow this link