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.
Quarter Repeater (Released 2005)
A beautiful and unique piece housing two horological complications – a quarter repeater and a perpetual calendar that transcends time.
This is a grand complication model that combines a vintage manual wind movement housing a quarter repeater manufactured by the renowned Jaeger-LeCoulter in 1899, with a Preziuso original perpetual calendar module, and another Preziuso original complication – a retrograde flyback-type seconds indicator.
At the 12 o’ clock position, an aperture shows the day of the week; at the 3 o’ clock position is a pointer-type month indicator that also shows leap years. At the 6 o’ clock position is a pointer-type date indicator, while at the 9 o’clock position is the retrograde flyback-type seconds indicator. The face of the watch has a design of flowers carved out in relief by hand.
Pulling on the slide lever to the left of the case activates the two hammers built into the movement, which then strike the ring-shaped gong on the periphery of the case to indicate the hour and the number of quarter-hours that have passed since the hour in a pleasing timber. A gold ladybug sits to the left of the day of the week indicator at 12 o’clock. The story goes that a ladybug, which is considered a sign of good luck in Western Europe, flew into the studio when this watch was being manufactured. This was what led to its inclusion in the design. The episode reveals the playfulness of Antoine Prejiuso, a master who has continued to enjoy watchmaking as his calling.
Also noteworthy is the fact that, in addition to the relief engravings on the face of the watch, you can glimpse a fetchingly ornamented manual-wind movement that uses a classic balance-screw type barrel through the back of the case.
The balance weights, embedded in the periphery, have been manually set by the watchmaker. The balance is affected by the number, position, and tightness of the screw of these weights.
Below the day of the week indicator of the perpetual calendar, a Preziuso original disc for indicating the day moves once every day. The pointer of the month indicator has been designed to make a full circle once every four years. Next to the four Januaries, there is an indication of which of the four years following a leap year the current year is. The portion following the first year’s January has an open construction, which allows you to enjoy the mechanism below the watch face. The pointer-type date indicator makes a full circle once every month. At the end of February, the pointer moves correctly depending on whether or not it is a leap year. The watch-face design, which incorporates so many complications as well as engravings in a simple and easy to view design is brilliant. The retrograde flyback-type seconds indicator flies back to the top the second after it reaches the 60-second mark at the bottom. This dynamic mechanism can be enjoyed once every 60 seconds.
A classic slide lever has been used for activating the quarter repeater.
The hammer is vital for producing sound as part of the quarter repeater functionality. The hammer strikes the ring-shaped gong on the periphery with precise timing, generated by the inbuilt speed regulator for the repeater. Preziuso himself manually adjusted the hardness and shape of the gong, which vibrates to produce a beautiful sound when struck by the hammer.
Having decided the length, the gong is thermally processed into its ring shape. Minutely adjusting the timbre of the gong’s sound is one of the most difficult tasks, where the skill and experience of the watchmaker comes into play. A file is used to subtly scrape the ring to produce a timbre that resembles the beautiful sound of a church bell. Of course, this too was manually done by Preziuso himself.
This ultra-complex timepiece is the only one of its kind in the world, created through a fusion of the best present and past watchmaking technologies spanning over 100 years, by one of the greatest independent watchmakers of our time, Antoine Preziuso.
This piece can be viewed in the Gallery. Please note that appointments are required for viewing.
*Gallery viewings by appointment only
18K white gold case
Water Resistant to 3 ATM