One of the most closely watched independent watchmakers of new generation, he uses traditional tools to craft one innovative mechanism after another.
Born 1964 in Emmental in the Swiss canton of Berne, Beat Haldimann comes from a long line of Swiss watchmakers that started in 1642. After graduating from a watchmaking school, he served an apprenticeship as a watchmaker in a movement manufacturer and then a well-established watch shop until he qualified as a watchmaker/watch repairer in 1985. In 1991, he established his company and started making watches of his own as well as developing mechanisms for other watch brands. In 1993, he obtained the ultimate certificate of Master Watchmaker. He patented the Haldimann escapement in 2000, and held his first exhibit at Basel World the same year. At Baselworld 2002, he unveiled the H1 Flying Lyra Central Flying Tourbillon which features a flying tourbillon positioned in the center of the dial, and went on to be selected as one of the world's 20 most prominent watchmakers by the German specialist watch magazine Chronos. He has since created a continuous line of complex watches that feature innovative mechanisms of his own design, such as the resonance regulator, an innovative system that regulates the oscillation of two pendulums in resonance, or a unique minute repeater, that have led to international awards and acclaim. Beat Haldimann is one of the most closely watched independent watchmakers of the new generation. Honoring the centuries-old tradition of watchmaking, he holds unshakable faith in the traditional tools and methods of his craft, which is part of the reason he commands a loyal following.
H1 Flying Central Tourbillon Platinum (First presented in 2002, available since 2003)
A large flying tourbillon featuring the Haldimann escapement sings the song of time in the center of the dial face.
The H1 Flying Central Tourbillon Platinum was first unveiled at the 2002 Basel World, one of the world's largest annual trade show of the watch and jewelry industry. This artistically crafted tourbillon watch won instant acclaim among watch dealers and collectors from around the world, catapulting Beat Haldimann's name into international renown. The most eye-catching feature of the H1 is the flying tourbillon positioned in the centre of the dial which rotates 360 degrees every minute, singing its rhythmic music. The tourbillon is the size of a pocket watch tourbillon, and its carriage, which also serves to indicate the seconds, was shaped to resemble a lyre. The carriage frame supported by ball bearings measures an incredible 31.58 mm in diameter - an unusually large movement for a wristwatch of this size, and the tourbillon is 17.8 mm in diameter - over half of the diameter of the movement. Positioned directly under the tourbillon is an oversized 14.5 mm balance wheel. The patented Haldimann escapement is significantly more accurate and durable than Swiss lever escapements commonly found in wristwatches, and the over-sized wheel has large rotational inertia, beating at a rate of 18,000 times an hour to keep time - a relatively slow frequency for a modern wristwatch.
The tourbillion was invented by the watchmaking genius Abraham-Louis Breguet in 1801, aiming to mitigate the effect of gravity that causes a watch to run slower or faster when it is tilted relative to the ground. When Beat Haldimann designed a tourbillon for the H1, he devoted himself to studying the work and the technological refinements made by Breguet and his successors. He addressed the challenge associated with designing a flying tourbillon that requires larger energy to drive than a conventional mechanism with an ingenious solution—a triple barrel mechanism to drive the movement. In the center of the face, the flying tourbillon establishes its overwhelming presence like a piece of modern architecture, rotating once a minute. Inside the tourbillion, a Breguet overcoil on the balance spring, a balance wheel with classic balance screws, and a Haldimann escapement consisting of a distinctively shaped lever and escape wheel, all work together to keep time.
The carriage encasing the Haldimann escapement is shaped like a lyre, whose base rotates to display the seconds.
The short hand on the outer circumference of the flying tourbillon indicates the hours, while the long hand indicates the minutes.
Through the transparent rear of the casing can be seen three barrels decorated with exquisite German-style sunshine grooves. The integrated base, meanwhile, has echoes of the German 3/4 plate design. The combination of exceptional accuracy and high rigidity ensures operational stability and longevity.
With an innovative high-performance mechanism and a unique exterior design aesthetic, this piece is a revolutionary tourbillon watch, and the pinnacle of horological virtuosity.
H1 Flying Central Tourbillon Platinum
This watch is available for viewing in the Gallery.
*Gallery viewings by appointment only
Case diameter 39 mm
Case thickness 10.8 mm
Power reserve 38 hours approx.