Paul Gerber Retro Twin, 157, White Gold

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Paul Gerber is perhaps best known for his work on the MIH watch as well as on the “Superbia Humanitatis” with Franck Muller, named the most complicated wristwatch ever created in 2005. This Retro Twin 157 is technically accomplished, combining two platinum rotors in the movement, an arrangement that Gerber holds a patent for. Meanwhile, the aesthetics of the dial are simple yet elegant, demonstrating his skill in finishing. Such an array of artisanal watchmaking elements are difficult to find at Paul Gerber's price level.

What is independent watchmaking?

Giving a straightforward definition of independent watchmaking is a near impossible task. In recent years, the question has become even harder to answer – ask any collector what they would define as “independent” and you’ll almost certainly get a wide range of answers, each drawing different parameters for the category, or defining it by completely different rules.

Notably, a condition for becoming a member of the Académie Horlogère des Créateurs Indépendants (AHCI) is that the watchmaker should “independently develop and produce their creations” but, once again, leaves the word “independent” up for debate. In the context of the AHCI’s creation, we can perhaps comfortably assume that they mean watchmakers who are independent of big brands or larger conglomerates. But since then, the world of independents has only grown and, with it, the many different interpretations of watchmaking that each artisan brings to the table.

At its very core, the term “independent” is defined as “not [being] influenced or controlled in any way by other people, events, or things”. Within watchmaking, this does not only have financial implications, but can also have creative, technological, or literal ones, especially regarding the watchmakers themselves.

Independent watchmaking