Friday, April 3, 2015

Vianney Halter & Goldpfeil

Long before Max Busser and other brands got together with friends and partners to collaborate on developing unique and technically challenging timepieces, Goldpfeil of Germany was already doing so. The German luxury products maker collaborated with a group of independent watchmakers and developed 7 timepieces for the brand under its name. What Goldpfeil told the AHCI members is that they are to create unique timepieces that reflect a high level of aesthetics and technical sophistication worthy to be part of a a historic collection.

The German luxury marque approached the Academie Horlogere des Createurs Independants (Horological Academy of Independent Creators - AHCI) to commission a few watchmakers to develop a one-of-a-kind timepiece featuring style unique to each watchmaker. The watchmakers were invited to the Offenbach headquarters outside Frankfurt to view the works of Goldpfeil and probably to draw inspiration to their own masterpiece. The invited AHCI members were Sven Andersen, Urwerk Founders (Thomas & Felix Baumgartner & Martin Frei), Vincent Calabrese, Vianney Halter, Frank Jutzi, Bernhard Lederer and Antoine Preziuso.

The year was 2001 when the “dream team” unveiled the 7 timepieces - all uniquely reflecting the character of each watchmaker. One of the more sought after piece from that collection came from Vianney Halter. And in my recent trip to Japan, I managed to pick up one piece for a friend - and what a catch it was!
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Each Goldpfeil timepiece has the signature Goldpfeil arrow - either as a minute or hour hand or as engraved on the crown. In the case of the GPVH 11149, the blue Goldpfeil arrow is the minute hand.
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The timepiece displays a “jumping” hour, a rather unique “moon phase” indicator and the larger minute window taking up the centre space.
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The rectangular white gold case with a curved back sits nicely on the wrist.
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Even the crown is unique.
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Another unique feature of the timepiece is the “dimpled” case. One look and it is instantaneously recognisable.
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And what about the moon phase indicator? Well, instead of showing a revolving moon as most other timepieces will show, Vianney decided to change the display. And what a novel way to tell the moon phase using a rectangular pointer to indicate the phases of the moon.
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Right in the centre is the minute and seconds hand - the blued Goldpfeil arrow indicating the minute and the sweeping red hand the seconds.
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The hour is represented by a “jumping hour” display on the top left corner of the rectangle case.
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At the back, one can see the calibre modified by Vianney for this timepiece.
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One can see the signature of Vianney on the end of the rotor.
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And featured here with my Goldpfeil Vincent Calabrese - another “jumping hour”. Case is also white gold.
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And the movement side…
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In the entire Goldpfeil collection, I love the Vianney Halter the most. Why? Well, the unique nature of the timepiece and the complication truly reflective of Vianney and the Goldpfeil brand.
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Made in limited quantities, the Goldpfeil collection is actually 14 timepieces - 7 piece-unique timepieces for auction and another 7 “regular” pieces bearing the watchmaker’s signature and the Goldpfeil name. For the Goldpfeil Vincent Calabrese please find my post on that piece.