It’s March madness in the watch industry, with Baselworld just around the corner. The massive industry fair takes place between 22-27 March in Basel, Switzerland, and the communications divisions of watch brands are now firing at all cylinders.
With the inboxes of watch industry journalists being flooded during this period, it’s sometimes difficult to isolate the real standouts. But that’s not necessarily the case with Andersen Genève, as the watchmaker always has a way to capture our attention.
- Andersen Genève, a provocative watch brand
Take, for example, the amazing feat that brand founder Svend Andersen accomplished in the 1970s, when he built a clock inside a bottle! It “only” took him five months to do so, and surely the purpose was to simply showcase his extraordinary skill, and patience.
Then, in 1989, he developed the world’s smallest calendar watch - measuring 6.5mm by 17.4mm – which was roughly the size of a match head.
I won’t even mention and illustrate all of the erotic timepieces that have come out of the Andersen Genève manufacture over the years (just in case you’re reading this at work). It suffices to say that the brand’s Eros collection boasts some of the most complicated erotic automatons available on the market.
One collection that I can get into graphic detail about is the Montre à Tact, which was first introduced in 1998. With this collection time-telling is secondary because the watch doesn’t actually have hands on the dial.
The time is rather displayed discreetly in a window between the strap lugs. Seemingly simple, this feature requires a seriously complicated movement. Because the display drum around the movement makes winding by crown impossible, the watchmaker had to move the winding mechanism to the back of the case.
- The unique Montre à Tact collection
Thanks to that complication, the dial is liberated to serve as a canvass that offers a wide range of personalization for customers. One of my the more quirky models of the Montre à Tact collection sports the dogs playing poker motif.
With Baselworld 2018 coming up, we’re expecting something new from the collection. At least that’s what we are led to believe from the brand’s latest press release.
- What can we expect at Baselworld 2018?
The announcement came with an accompanying teaser line: “It looks like one of the “Dogs” from our Montre à Tact “Poker” has left the table...” I’m curious to discover where that dog will actually end up, but I have a feeling the strap will have something to do with it!
Svend Andersen sold his company a few years ago, but the septuagenarian is still in the board and remains involved with the brand during a transition period. And it seems like his exuberant watchmaking spirit is still being carried on by the brand.