The world of horology is a very diverse landscape, which is interpreted in several different ways. In the last few years, the traditional wristwatch market has experienced fierce competition. Many buyers have now opted for smartwatches from brands like Apple, Garmin and Samsung. In contrast, the clockmaking industry is experiencing a renaissance period. I have selected three innovative examples that display an exceptional level of craftsmanship.
Frank Buchwald Nixie Machine III
Frank Buchwald is an accomplished designer and manufacturer of furniture, lights, and objects. After studying at the University of the Arts in Berlin, Germany Frank practised as a painter and freelance illustrator. Subsequently, he focused on custom made exclusive products for discerning clients. One of Frank Buchwald’s recent creations is called the Nixie Machine III, which was exclusively made for the MB&F M.A.D.Gallery (owned by Maximilian Büsser). This amazing clock has a futuristic industrial appearance that will appeal to appreciators of modernistic design. The machine has a solid cylindrical base, which supports the central bracket. Every component is fastidiously hand-sanded and polished including the massive steel bolts, brass discs etc. On this project, the collaborator is Dalibor Farny, who is an engineer that specialises in repurposing Nixie tubes.
Miki Eleta Svemir
Even though Miki Eleta was born in 1950 in Visegrad (Bosnia and Herzegovina) he has resided in Switzerland since 1973. Like Konstantin Chaykin he is a member of the Académie Horlogère des Créateurs Indépendants (AHCI). Most of his horological masterpieces are made to order or exhibited in prestigious museums. A great example of his talents can be found in the magnificent Svemir that was created in 2020. This highly complex 1850 mm tall gold plated brass clock combines two astronomical models in one. In fact, this mechanical marvel features minutes, hours, world time, months, seasons, signs of the zodiac (with start and end date), equinoxes, solstices, moon phases, solar eclipses, tides, geocentric model, heliocentric model.
Narbel & Co ROOTS
Narbel & Co is a unique independent horological platform that is located in the Jussy region (Canton of Geneva) of Switzerland. The company is the brainchild of watchmaker Philippe Narbel who previously worked for Audemars Piquet. ROOTS is his debut timepiece that draws on his extensive industry experience. With a brushed steel case measuring 40mm x 40mm the watch displays modest proportions. However, the minimalistic composition gives the timepiece a contemporary appearance. What makes this watch so appealing is the solid 925 (black PVD treated) German dial with raised indexes and textural centrepiece. Other features include 5N gold plated skeletonised hour/minute hands and ornate crown. Beneath the sophisticated façade is an exclusive cushion shape mechanical hand-winding movement. This calibre has been developed in house by Philippe Narbel exclusively for this timepiece.