Celebrating twenty years of his unique form of art horlogerie, French independent watchmaker Vianney Halter has become one of the most adored figures in modern watchmaking, and his astonishing watches are found in the collections of the world’s most discerning connoisseurs. Creating small numbers of watches which transcend the parameters of design and horologic concept, Halter is recognised as a true pioneer and a master of his skill.
Produced in a limited edition of only twenty pieces, the Vianney Halter Anniversary is based on probably his most conventional piece to date, the Classic, and it is his first piece to be created in stainless steel. So perhaps more accessible than most of his work it may be, still the hallmarks of eccentricity which define this exceptional watchmaker are evident throughout.
Distinctly porthole like in its aesthetics, with twelve screws surrounding the inclined lip of the bezel, and a crown embellished with individually set studs, the Anniversary comes in a round case which measures an unassuming non gender specific 38mm which, thanks to a single central lobe at each end, on which the strap is secured, has the appearance of being poised and aloft on the wrist, as opposed to being strapped down.
Beneath the flat sapphire glass, the dial is made from 925/1000 sterling silver and around its perimeter the minutes are marked on a printed rail track, with Arabic numerals for the hours. In the recessed centre, the panel features a hand signed autograph of the watchmaker. The steel hands are coated with luminous material and taper into fine points at their tips.
Through the sapphire case back the Calibre VH100 self-winding movement features another Vianney Halter twist, as with no obvious winding rotor, its components are exposed without obstruction thanks to the simple but delightful solution of a sapphire oscillating disc, with a weight hidden from sight under the bezel, creating the horologic illusion of “mystery winding”.
The plates are finished with brushed parallel bands, and between the immaculate anglage on the curving edges, the balance wheel and escapement govern the forty hours of power reserve, running at 28’800vph.
As a fond retrospection on a twenty-year career creating his unique and inimitable genre of independent watchmaking, the Vianney Halter Anniversary is a wonderful and rare watch from one of our time’s most talented and expressive individuals.