Andreas Strehler

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Andreas Strehler

Andreas Strehler

Master watchmaker Andreas Strehler loves watches. It’s a theme, pervasive in his work life.  Andreas is a true independent watchmaker and has been since 1995.

Andreas grew up in a family bakery with his grandfather, the baker. Andreas thought he himself would become a baker and he still has a great passion for baking and cooking in his life today.

Andreas’ father was an automobile mechanic and a single car taxi, also utilizing the family bakery as a home base for business. His father loved clocks and watches and Andreas became fascinated with the watches his father brought home. Andreas Strehler, liked to disassemble his fathers watches to see how they worked, even after stern warning not to do so. When Andreas was 16, his father brought home a complicated pocket watch, which belonged to his friend, a watchmaker. Andreas was keen to view the mechanisms for the complications, which are under the dial. He removed the hands and dial to inspect the complicated movement, then reassembled. Andreas was hooked. Traditional schooling was not something Andreas enjoyed. So, he decided on an apprenticeship at Frauenfeld, a watchmaking school in Solothurn (Switzerland).  Andreas Strehler thrived in watchmaking school and by 1991, he was working at Renaud et Papi as a prototypist, continuing to soak in knowledge of horological engineering. Working with Dominique Renaud and Guilio Papi has proved to be a fertile beginning for so many watchmakers from this era. Andreas Strehler, Stephen Forsey, Bart Grönefeld, Tim Grönefeld and Peter Speake all flourished into independent watchmakers after working at Renaud et Papi.

Andreas Strehler began the toil of an independent watchmaker, on his own in 1995. Andreas Strehler began to garner attention in the World of horology when he designed, handcrafted and presented the  “Tischkalendar” , based on A.L.Breguet’s “Montre Sympathique”. A pocket-watch displaying the time is inserted into the desk calendar unit which is, in fact, a perpetual calendar. Once the owner goes away from his desk, he takes the pocket watch with him. The desk calendar stops. Once the owner returns to his desk after some days or weeks, he inserts the pocket watch into the desk calendar. The desk calendar knows how long the owner was absent and sets the date right. It has a mechanical memory. In 2002, Andreas Strehler designed a special project for Chronoswiss, the “Chronoscope”, a monopusher automatic chronograph, built from vintage Enicar movements. The watch won “Watch of the Year 2003” . In 2003, the group whom restarted Moser et. Cie decided they wanted unique calibres to launch the rejuvinated Schaffhausen marque. In 2005, Andreas Strehler founds UhrTeil to manufacture parts , develop prototypes and calibres for other manufactures.

The creation of UhrTeil brought responsibilities for the management of employees and a very significant workshop. The work was steady and high quality. However, Andreas is happiest making his own watches for clients. In addition to making the parts and hand finishing the parts for his watches, Andreas enjoys getting to know the clients for these watches. There’s joy in knowing about the homes where these babies will reside and be cared for. Andreas also has an idea that his watches and his parts which make his watches are eminently serviceable by a (very) good watchmaker. He makes a good point to say that a commerical watch may require to have many of it’s parts replaced during first or second services. However, with his watches, a good watchmaker need only disassemble clean and oil and reassemble.

The first watch, pre- Andreas Strehler watches, was the Harry Winston Opus 7. Opus 7 had a very strong theme of bridges in the skeleton form of a butterfly (a Papillon). The Papillon theme becomes an organic structure for Andreas’ first watch of his own eponymous marque.Andreas Strehler Papillon When you see Papillon for the first time, besides the bridge in the form of a butterfly, one particularly notices the large central gear wheel. Upon closer inspection of the gear train, one notices further that there are only two gear wheels whose movement is barely visible. A seconds-wheel with its fast revolution is completely missing. Andreas Stehler not only wanted to create a movement like a natural, living organism. By omitting the “hectic” second and the reduction to only two wheels, the movement has an even more delicate aspect.  Andreas Strehler always loved the Art Nouveau’s flowing lines and shapes, which often took precedence over color, explaining many of the forms in his designs, including the leaf-shaped hands. But working with subtle lines and contours is exceedingly difficult and usually requires a lot of tweaking to create an ideal design. The cushion-shaped case, which Andreas uses for all his watches, is based on his love of Art Nouveau. Started at the end of the 19th century, the movement aimed to restore quality – of production and design – to ordinary objects used in daily life. Andreas’ design of the case was not just aesthetic; he incorporated removable, “slide-on” lugs that also form the flanks of the case. That ensures easy accessibility to all parts of the case for refinishing during servicing, allowing for polishing without destroying the lines of the case, particularly important since the case design incorporates both convex and concave contours. (Papillon is produced in a Platinum case, 123,000 CHF)

The next watch, Cocon, an elegant and traditional format runs into Papillon. The Papillon (butterfly) withdraws into the background, in its cocoon, hidden under the dial.The gear train, previously so dominant, is now hidden beneath the dial, invisible to the wearer. The delicate butterfly-shaped cage, formerly the visible hallmark of the movement, is now at the back of the watch, well protected, but still visible under glass. he watch does have a certain transparency. Andreas opted against the classical layout of the dial displaying hours and minutes with a separate small seconds dial. The breathing spirals of the hairspring are visible through the dial, just below small seconds. This enables the wearer to look into the dial rather than at it. Starting with the small seconds counter in its dominant position at 10 o’clock, which has never been before realized in any movement. The wearer can follow the different increasing increments of time as they are displayed on different levels of the dial. (18kRG 84,000 CHF, Platinum 99,000 CHF)

The Sauterelle, an introduction which turned a few collectors to the idea of a mystique in watchmaking, Constant Force. Constant Force= The constant and linear supply of energy to the balance is the ideal in watchmaking. It is the basis for precision.To achieve this aim and to get at the same time a solid basis for future complications, Andreas Strehler was looking for a solution to completely uncouple the escapement from the gear train. To do this would ensure that the escapement is not influenced by what is happening upstream, i.e. in the gear train. The intended device should be of compact dimensions, guarantee a permanent (i.e. long-lasting) constant amplitude. Further, the solution to be found should be a universal one; this means it ideally should work independently of the frequency of the escapement. This would enable Andreas Strehler to use the device on any future movement he would be designing. Andreas Strehler has placed his remontoir d’égalité on the (jumping) seconds wheel. Every second, the visible satellite gear supplies the escapement wheel with exactly the same amount of energy. At the same time, the deadbeat or jumping seconds (Sauterelle means “Grasshopper”=seconds jumping) are indicated. The energy is accumulated in the course of every second by a star shaped satellite through the tensioning of a hairspring. The mechanism is then released, the balance receives the energy stored in the hairspring and the satellite wheel again rests against the stopping jewel.The system has the advantage that the complete escapement, including the escapement wheel, moves freely between two impulses, uninfluenced by the movement. Allowing the use of the Swiss anchor escapement unimpeded. The advantage is escapement type perfected and proven over a period of more than 200 years. Watches may be ordered in 18kRG or Platinum  (92,000 CHF or 107,000CHF)

The Sauterelle a lune Perpetual uses the remontoir d’égalité as Andreas intended initally, as an organic foundation to a more complicated watch. Romontoire d’égalité, proven, now regulates the energy as the complication of the phase of the moon is incoprporated.The Sauterelle à lune perpétuelle is the most precise phase of the moon indication ever built in a wristwatch. It made it into the Guinness Book of Records. It is also the most precise phase of the moon by some margin: Approximately 2.045 million years.The runner-up, by the way, is Andreas Strehler’s predecessor Sauterelle à lune perpétuelle with its precision of 14’189 years. Technically, the Sauterelle à Lune perpétuelle 2M is based on the Sauterellewhich Andreas Strehler presented last year. Like the Sauterelle, the 2M has Andreas Strehler’s unique remontoir d’égalité. This provides a constant supply of energy to the escapement. (18kRG 98,000 CHF, Platinum 113,000 CHF)

The Papillon d’Or “A Living Organism.” Andreas often describes his movements as living organisms. Organic forms, meet technology and sublime hand finishing to create each unique watch from the same pair of hands. For this watch, Andreas has taken what was Cocon and inverted the movement. So, the movement is “upside down” seeing what is seen through the caseback of Cocon, now as the “Dial”. A large solid gold bridge in the form of a butterfly holds the superbly finished gear train with its two sapphire crystal gear wheels and supports the white fired silver dial ring. Delicate yet sturdy. On the back of the Papillon d’Or, the power reserve is indicated. This looks like a simple hand on a simple scale. But in fact it incorporates what is probably the world’s smallest differential gear. This, of course, is built with Andreas Strehler’s own true conical gear wheels. And yet it flies. (18kRG 108,000 CHF/ Platinum 123,000 CHF)

The Lune Exacte features a new patent pending high precision moon age indication, and Andreas Strehler’s patented remontoir d’égalité. It also happens to be the most precise phase of the moon indication ever built in a wristwatch. The Lune Exacte is the logical next step of the Sauterelle à lune perpétuelle which features a phase of the moon indication with a precision of one day in two million years. In 2014, this feat of engineering earned the Sauterelle à lune perpétuelle an entry in the Guinness Book of World Records.Andreas Strehler Lune Exacte A record that still stands to this day. Incorporated a Vernier Scale, this exceptional wristwatch can be read and set to an astonishing three hours at any time, thanks to its new and patent pending mechanism. This high precision moon age indication displays : http://astrehler.ch/read-moon-vernier-scale-featured-lune-exacte/the age of the moon in days and further increments of three hours. (18kRG 112,000 CHF/Platinum 125,000 CHF)

GPHG Lune Exacte by Andreas Strehler from Andreas Strehler on Vimeo.

The Sauterelle a Heure Mondiale  being a Sauterelle, has the patented Andreas Strehler remontoir d’égalité at 10 o’clock.  At 8 o’clock on the dial, there is a three-dimensional view of the northern hemisphere as seen from above the north pole, rotating counter clockwise once in 24 hours, as the earth does. This is where the phase of the moon indication used to be (not to worry, it still exists and it is still as precise as ever, but we come to that later). This earth on the dial rotates under Andreas Strehler’s familiar sapphire crystal minute ring which here indicates night on earth.On the movement side of the watch, there is a ring with 24 names of individual cities, representing the 24 time zones. In the centre of this ring, there is a blue steel arrow.

Now, imagine you are a traveller. In preparation for your next journey, you take your Andreas Strehler Sauterelle à heure mondiale out of its box and wind it gently. You will notice that winding an Andreas Strehler watch is a very pleasing experience. This is due to his use of true conical gear wheels in the winding mechanism. The movement starts to work and you notice the remontoir d’égalité coming into action, charging the escapement every second with the exact same amount of energy and indicating the seconds. You continue to wind the watch until the twin mainspring barrels, linked by a differential gear, are fully wound. Due to the special Andreas Strehler stop works, limiting the mainsprings to their sector of linear energy discharge, this moment is distinctly felt.

Before your journey begins and to synchronise the watch, you turn the watch around and pull the crown to the first position. You then set the blue arrow to London/GMT.Then, while looking at the dial again, you pull the crown to the second position and set the hands and the earth to the correct time for GMT, the earth serving as 24 hour and day/night indicator.Andreas Strehler Mondiale GMT is now your reference time and you are ready for take-off.During a relaxed flight, the Captain – or ideally: your own pilot – tells you the time at your destination (or your local time). With the crown pulled to the first position, the hour hand can be set in one-hour-steps independently from the minute hand and without stopping the movement. Simultaneously, the hand in the middle of the destination-disk at the back of the movement is moved to the correct time zone, also indicating the relevant GMT offset. GMT and day/night at Greenwich always remains visible at a glance on the dial.And now, as promised above, we come to the moon which Andreas Strehler after all has not entirely left: On the movement side of the watch, next to the crown, there it is: The world record phase of the moon. (Platinum 125,000 CHF)

Trans-Axial Tourbillon In his quest for perfection, Andreas Strehler has designed, constructed and built a movement where internal influences on the already pretty linear power supply from the epicyclically limited twin mainspring barrels is filtered through a Remontoir d’égalité and transferred to a Tourbillon escapement mounted on the same axis to eliminate the influence of gravity on the escapement. ===Voilà the Trans-axial® Remontoir Tourbillon. The Trans-axial® Remontoir Tourbillon escapement is hand wound, using Andreas Strehler’s own true conical gear wheels (which are the envy of the watch industry).To show the power left in the two mainspring barrels, the movement has a power reserve indication using an extremely small differential gear, another speciality of Andreas Strehler.

In Andres Strehler’s Remontoir d’égalité, the energy supplied from the twin mainspring barrels through the gear train is accumulated in a spring, acting on a satellite arm held in position by the star wheel (the satellite). One tooth of this star wheel is resting on the palette-stone of the palette arm. This palette arm constantly moves ahead. Every second, the palette arm releases the star wheel. The star wheel turns by one tooth and the satellite arm jumps ahead by 6°. The satellite wheel then rests again against the palette-stone and the cycle starts anew.When moving ahead by 6°, the satellite arm recharges the spring which drives the escapement. The amount of energy transferred to the escapement thus is always the same, it is constant. The energy is transferred to the escapement through an axis.

 

 

 

 

 

Papillon d’Or 

Lune Exacte

Lunar Perpetuelle

Heuere Mondial

 

Transaxial Tourbillon

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