Thursday, February 4, 2010

Svend Andersen

Orbita Lunae
Worldtime 1884 18k yellow gold Limited edition 120pcs

Inventor and watchmaker Svend Andersen spent his formative years at the Danish School of Watchmaking, a school integrated into the Royal Technological Institute of Copenhagen. He was then apprenticed to a watchmaker in the city of Padborg for four years. In 1963, at the age of twenty-one, he went to Switzerland to learn more about the world's finest timepieces. His first job was with Swiss luxury jeweler Gubelin in Lucerne where he worked in after-sales service. Recognizing Andersen's talent for languages, the company sent him to Geneva in 1965 to help out in the store

In 1969 when Andersen presented a clock in a bottle on television that he had constructed after working hours. This project served its purpose, and Andersen was from then on known as the "watchmaker of the impossible," earning him a job on the Mount Olympus of watchmaking - in one of Patek Philippe's complication ateliers under the orders of Max Berney, the most famous maker of complicated watches with more than 45 years of experience with Patek Philippe.

In the year 1979, Andersen founded his own workshop in Geneva, notably working on his perpetual flyback. In 1989 Andersen created his first world time watch and christened it Communication. This was followed by the subscription series Communication 24, of which Prince Consort Henrik of Denmark wears number one.

In 1989 Andersen created the world's smallest calendar watch, a timepiece that was entered into the Guinness Book of World Records. The year 1993 saw the advent of Andersen's Perpetual 2000, as he puts it, "the only readable perpetual calendar on the market." The Mundus, a series of 24 numbered pieces from 1994, still counts as the thinnest automatic watch available (4.2 mm) and displays world time, various automata (some of them erotic), and some intricate designs based on vintage pocket and wristwatch movements incorporating every complication imaginable. During the same year, Andersen developed the Hebraika, a wristwatch displaying the Jewish calendar, together with Alain Silberstein. with the solar year. Allowing precious moments to be documented discretely is the domain of a watch created in 1998 appropriately named Montre a Tact. Here the time is not indicated on the dial, but changes in increments shown in a window placed between the strap lugs.The display drum surrounding the movement made winding by crown impossible, which is why Andersen moved the winding mechanism to the back of the case. He also used this same principle for his Montre avec Date Discrete where the drum features date divisions instead of hours. Due to the absence of a manual winding mechanism, the watch is supplied with a Scatola del Tempo watch winder. The case front, where the dial would normally be located, is available upon request with individual hand engraving. The Orbita Lunae model was introduced in 2002 in a limited edition of 31 pieces. Its blued, finely guilloche 22-karat gold dial turns over the course of a month causing the gold moon in the cut-away under 12 o'clock to always show the correct moon phase as would appear in one rotation of the moon around the earth. The hours and minutes are measured by the markers located on the dial's flange.

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