Vianney Halter Classic, White Gold

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Here is an early example of Vianney Halter’s second release in the steampunk inspired Futur Antérieur range, the Classic. It’s white gold 36mm case is complemented by a silver dial with engraved details filled with black enamel paint, applied by hand. Another feature that dates it as an early production piece is the shape of the bridges, which are much more like the ones found on the Lemania ebauche the self-winding calibre VH198 is based on.


Existing somewhere between the past and the future, between reality and fiction, Vianney Halter has created watches over two decades which challenge our traditional notions of what horology should look like.

If you were to visit his workshop, without even meeting the man himself, it would quickly become apparent that Halter is no ordinary watchmaker. On the shelves, you can find scattered photographs of astronauts, dramatic science fiction film posters and intricate clocks dating back hundreds of years. Sitting on a hanger, you’d find his watchmaker’s apron, stitched with the profile of a cartoon character from the television series Futurama. Above it all, Halter has suspended a broken airplane, which he once flew through a storm and crashed, after being struck by lightning.

Halter’s first watch – the Time Machine Perpetual Calendar Antiqua – stands out for the inventiveness of its concept and design, at a time when watchmaking was much more conservative than it is today. It draws upon many different influences, from an early submarine prototype to steampunk aesthetics. The design was heavily inspired by the work of Jules Verne, a French novelist from the 19th century, which has sometimes been described as the “father of science fiction”. The overall aesthetic of watchmaking cemented by Halter came to be described as the “Futur Antérieur”, or “Past Future”, which depicts a vision of the future as seen from the past.