Beat Haldimann has been producing timepieces for nearly two decades, according to the most traditional, artisanal methods. Having made his first clock that harnessed résonance in 2000, Haldimann has become renowned for mastering the phenomenon in his work, alongside his more complex flying tourbillons. After starting his career as a watchmaker in 1991, he made the surprising discovery that watchmaking was a family tradition stretching back to 1642. In respect of this lineage, he still restores and services all watches which bear the Haldimann name, completely free of charge.
The watchmaker works and lives in the peaceful Villa Nussbhül, which overlooks the River Aare. Tucked away from the world, George Daniels himself used to visit Haldimann here, describing it as the ideal setting in which to work. From his workshop, he engages in forward-thinking watchmaking, whilst remaining tied to traditional techniques. Only making a few dozen pieces a year, Haldimann’s workshop is one of the few remaining ones to produce and restore almost everything by hand.
The oversized tourbillon sits in the center of the dial, with an impressive diameter of 16.8mm, comparable to what you might find in a pocket watch from days past. Shaped like a lyre, the cage is made from stainless steel and finished by hand. This tourbillon is inspired from the works of Alfred Helwig, the German watchmaker who first invented the flying version of the complication.
The overall design of the case, dial and hands are retrained, yet characterful. The 39mm case is made out of platinum, which gives a satisfying heft when worn on the wrist. The striking black dial stand out against the white metal case, with the indexes being hand engraved and then filled in with lacquer. As for the hands, these are inspired by an 18th century Haldimann Frères pocket watch, with the seconds being indicated thanks to the rotation of the flying tourbillon cage.
The flying tourbillon requires more energy than a traditional tourbillon, which is fixed on a bridge. As a result, the H1 is equipped with a triple barrel mechanism, with two of these being connected to the tourbillon and the third one powering the hands. The movement is entirely hand-finished, displaying a subtle frosted effect. This meticulous details and finishing is all the more remarkable, considering it was created without the assistance of any electronic equipment. Indeed, Haldimann forgoes the use of CNC machinery in favour of antique tooling, continuing the legacy behind his name.
This Haldimann H1 Flying Tourbillon is accompanied by its outer box, inner wooden box and unsigned Guarantee booklet (undated). It is fitted to a bespoke grey saffiano strap and also comes with the manufactures platinum tang buckle.
Viewings are currently suspended for the time being.