This is the #13 and possibly last tourbillon* watch to emerge from Christian Klings' workshop. The watchmaker is known for his bespoke, handmade creations, and has previously said that no more than 13 tourbillons were produced over the course of his 50-year career. This example is especially intriguing because its rectangular case, which is so removed from Kling’s usual visual language. It is perfectly complemented by a symmetrical layout, both on the dial and movement-side.
Christian Klings’ work is a perfect example of how traditional watchmaking, from the likes of Abraham-Louis Breguet, can be carried into modernity. Based an hour outside Dresden in Germany, he crafts his watches by hand and with minimal, simple machinery. Having produced a mere twenty timepieces across a two-decade career, the watchmaker is highly regarded by those in the know, yet not widely known outside.
His limited output makes sense, when you consider that almost all of the parts for his watches are designed on paper and then made inside his workshop. This includes the bridges, wheels, springs, levers, tourbillon-cage, case, crown, gaskets, hands, and many others. Klings has been known to liken his work to sculpture, as he enjoys the process of shaping individual components by hand, using often nothing more than a file and polishing stick. As a result, each watch bears differences in the handmade work, leaving slight variants in the texture of the Geneva stripes or guilloché work on the dial.
As you might expect, Klings works on a commission basis, offering bespoke pieces to his clients. He has crafted a wide spectrum of pieces, from a ten second tourbillon with a free balance escapement to highly finished time-only watches with single-beat escapements. He has cited George Daniels, Derek Pratt and Richard Daners as inspiration for his work, which is evident not only in the designs, but also in how he goes about watchmaking. Klings principally attracts clients who value craftsmanship above all else, and don’t mind having to wait for it.