Sven Andersen: a legendary genius in the world of the complication watch and a pioneering presence who has inspired countless independent watchmakers over the decades.
Born in 1942 in Denmark, Andersen completed a four-year qualification at watchmaking college before moving to Switzerland in 1963. He found work at the distinguished watch purveyor Gubelin, where he quickly established his credentials in the restoration and repairs workshop before being head-hunted by Patek Philippe to develop complications for their watches. He further broadened his expertise by working with watch case manufacturers, until finally he was ready to set up as an independent watchmaker. In addition to creating many of his own striking designs, he has provided specialist advice and consulting services to leading brands on complication mechanisms such as perpetual calendars and retrograde functions, as well as a number of specially-designed pieces. Andersen was a leading figure in establishing the position of independent creators in the watchmaking industry, and also has a strong commitment to passing on his expertise and experience to the next generation of watchmakers. with Many of the independent watchmakers that he has supported over the years are active in the Swiss watchmaking industry today. Andersen is something of a father figure in the world of independent watchmaking.
An innovative minute repeater and perpetual calendar timepiece based on an antique movement
The art of restoring antique clocks and watches is regarded by many independent watchmakers as the true origin of their craft, and has been the important first step of many an illustrious career in the industry.
Examining the craftsmanship of previous watchmakers and studying their creative legacy is an important part of learning the craft.
Anderson, who has made an enormous contribution to the development of complicated mechanisms such as the perpetual calendar and world time, started his career in Switzerland with restoration. Anderson moved from Denmark to Switzerland in the early 1960s and it was his exceptional work at the restoration workshop of an established watch retailer that first earned him acceptance and recognition within the Swiss industry.
This minute repeater perpetual calendar timepiece with its rich, deep blue dial is a truly unique timepiece emblematic of the master’s inimitable talent.
It is an exceptional restoration of a 1920s minute repeater movement from leading watch brand Jaeger-Lecoultre enhanced by the addition of Andersen’s own perpetual calendar module.
At first glance, there seems to be no evidence of a perpetual calendar or minute repeater. There is nothing on the dial that resembles a perpetual calendar display, while the case is bereft of levers and buttons. In fact, the month and date are indicated by two additional hands that rotate on the same shaft as the hour and minute hands. They are shorter with a blue gold finish for differentiation.
The longer hand shows the date, indicated by numbers on the outer rim, while the shorter hand shows the month, indicated by the hour numbers. The leap year indicator—a vital part of the perpetual calendar—is an ingenious combination of horizontal lines passing through the 6 at the bottom of the watch face.
The minute repeater function is accessed by rotating the bezel.
A striking feature of this model is the elegant color of the two hands of the perpetual calendar, which contrast beautifully with the blue gold dial typical of many Andersen pieces.
This is surely one of the most unique and beautiful pieces we have seen from Sven Andersen.