A master watchmaker from Geneva who dazzles the world with his brilliant mechanisms
Antoine Preziuso was born in Geneva in 1957. Legend has it that he successfully assembled his first watch at the age of seven. At 17, Preziuso took admission in one of Geneva’s watchmaking schools. He graduated at 21 as the top student in watchmaking and restoration – a precocious prodigy in the art of watchmaking. Frank Muller was his classmate. Preziuso joined Patek Philippe, where he made top-of-the-line watches, while also gaining experience in the restoration of antique timepieces for auction houses and antiquorums. In 1981, Preziuso decided to go it alone. By 1993, he had announced the first watch under his own brand. In 1995, Preziuso became a regular member of the Académie Horlogère des Créateurs Indépendants, and came into the limelight after his first exhibition in the BaselWorld Watch and Jewellery Show. Preziuso’s specialty is creating ultra-complex timepieces housing complex horological mechanisms and automaton wrist-watches. His constant endeavor is to create beautiful and revolutionary timepieces. Preziuso also collaborates with other watch brands – Harry Winston’s Opus is his creation – and is one of Geneva’s best independent watchmakers today.
THE ART OF TOURBILLON Ref. ARTWG (Released 2011)
The passion and sensitivity of a prodigious watchmaker have been crystallized in this magnificent collection of tourbillon watches.
A tourbillon, the best known horological complication, is a mechanism patented in 1801 by the peerless horological prodigy Abraham-Louis Breguet. The dual attractions of a tourbillon are that it enables great timekeeping precision for a mechanical movement and is also extremely beautiful as a precision instrument.
The most complex and precise of the various horological mechanisms, and the nucleus of a watch’s timekeeping element is the escapement. A tourbillon operates and spins the entire mechanism of the escapement. It was developed as a bold idea for improving timekeeping precision, and involved counterbalancing the effect of gravity on the rapid and constantly oscillating hairspring. But a tourbillon does not simply give precision to a wrist watch, it is also a dynamically beautiful component that spins constantly, adding an element of fascination to a watch.
The pursuit of precision and beauty – two possibilities held within the tourbillon – is the life work of Antoine Preziuso. He has created a number of tourbillon watch models since becoming an independent watchmaker. The most artistic of these are part of a collection of watches called The Art of Tourbillon, which Preziuso has been creating since 2002. These watches contain the concentrated essence of his skill and artistic sensibilities. The processes of chamfering, polishing, skeleton work, and gem-setting add beauty to a watch. And then, there is precision adjustment.
Artistic challenges are involved in each of the above processes, all of which are performed manually. This unique timepiece, which was released in 2011, is a front & back skeleton watch made of white gold encased in an elegantly rounded and bulging tonneau case, with perfect skeleton work and engravings done manually, as well as an original tourbillon movement.
The base has been cut out to a bare minimum to make it easy to see all the parts of the movement from the back of the case, including the gears and the mainspring, how they are connected and how they work. The hands of the watch, which show the time, are also skeletal, with very minute engravings. The result is a work of art with all the majesty of a church held within a small case.
Despite only 21,600 oscillations/hour, which is rather slow for a modern-day watch, a very satisfactory level of precision in timekeeping is achieved by the use of a large balance wheel. The watch also has a very long power reserve of about 110 hours, which is quite revolutionary. The above two qualities are made possible because of the superior mechanism of the original, manual wind tourbillon movement “APG (Antoine Preziuso Geneve)/28T,” which is a big part of this watch’s attraction and cannot be skipped over.
The movement of the watch can be seen through the skeleton case on the back. Unlike photographs of the watch taken from the front, this picture of the back of the case shows how boldly it has been carved out.
This watch is the rarest and most elegant of tourbillon watches in the world today – a work of art that transcends time.
THE ART OF TOURBILLON
This watch is available for viewing in the gallery
*Gallery viewings by appointment only
18K white gold, skeleton case
Water Resistant to 3 ATM