Watchmaker Andreas Strehler is introducing the Papillon, his independent follow-up to last years Opus 7 for Harry Winston.
Strehler's representative Curtis Thomson of Tempered Online described it for me;
"The Papillon functions differently than the Opus 7. The 7’s time was actuated via a button in the crow, with hours and minutes indicated on one disc – an ingenious system. The Papillon has two separate discs (an hours disc and a minutes disc), with each of the two mainspring barrels receiving a time disc. Normally this wouldn’t be possible, as the barrel turns too fast to indicate the hours and turns too slowly to indicate the minutes… normally. Andreas has developed a system to allow this to happen, with winding and time setting done with the crown. How? Some crazy ass gearing – that’s how ;-). The Papillon is artistic and technical – a super watch." The price is 140,000 CHF
“How to tell the time?” The “butterfly” bridge has two points – one towards the top and the second towards the bottom – which indicate the time (hours on top, minutes on bottom) as the respective discs travel past."
Watching The Passage of Time
At this year's Basel World, Swiss watchmaker Andreas Strehler will be presenting his latest masterpiece, the Papillon, for the first time. This watch, with its unusual time display, is fascinating at first sight and it inspires not only timepiece connoisseurs.
The unusual movement design was first employed in 2007. That was when renowned watch manufacturer, Harry Winston, asked Andreas Strehler if he would like to develop the legendary OPUS 7. Andreas Strehler, who had previously already collaborated with Chronoswiss, H.Moser&Cie and Maurice Lacroix, took up the challenge. He set himself the aim of designing a watch movement that would be captivating in its technical brilliance. But it still had to be easy to tell the time with it. At this stage he probably did not suppose that telling the time was actually to become a particular pleasure.
This concept is repeated in his latest work, the Papillon, but with Andreas Strehler's unmistakable signature and new technical refinements. The design and virtuoso technical sophistication of the watch movement puts everything that came before it into the shade, turning the watch into a coveted collector's item.
Spring barrels normally turn too slowly for the display of minutes and too fast for the hours. But in the Papillon the timing works differently. Its spring barrels are not firmly tied into the sequence of the movement. As a result the time display can be adjusted by means of the hand setting. In addition, two giant gear wheels with 192 and 175 teeth remove the need for a third wheel. This reduction in the number of wheels and the double spring barrel arrangement result in energy savings which extend the life of the watch enormously.
Along with the technical advantages, the unusual design is also astounding. The first thing you notice when looking at the movement is the shape of a butterfly, which seems to arise naturally from the arrangement of the bridges, hence too the watch’s name, Papillon.
Thanks to the special arrangement of the gear wheels, it has been possible to design the watch in an open way, offering the user the special experience of being able to watch the passage of time. The movement assumes the function of design. The consistently applied flowing forms endow the watch with elegance, and are reminiscent of the famous technical masterpieces of the Art Nouveau era.
Expressive Yet Quiet
Constructing a beautiful watch takes time. And it takes patience and endurance to achieve the longed-for perfection. Andreas Strehler combines these virtues most impressively. Anyone who can call a watch by Andreas Strehler his own also possesses the certainty of having discovered something special and unique. The exclusivity, the outstanding engineering and the deliberate understatement of the Papillon do not need to be shouted from the rooftops. The watch speaks for itself, emphasising the unconventional character of the wearer.
Made in Switzerland
Andreas Strehler is the owner of Uhrteil AG in Sirnach, where with a team of twelve experts, watchmakers, technicians and precision mechanics, he pursues his passion. The team not only develops and produces all the movements for the innovative mechanisms itself, but also the machines and computer software needed to make them. Andreas Strehler is convinced that opportunities in the field of "haute horlogerie" are still far from being exhausted. We will just have to wait and see what the visionary comes up with next.
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