An extremely rare, fine and attractive white gold perpetual calendar wristwatch from the famous Swiss independent watchmaker Svend Andersen, who established his brand in 1978. Produced circa 1995. Case in 18k white gold, diameter 37.5mm, sapphire caseback. Two-tone matte and sunburst silver-plated dial with blued hands. Self-winding caliber, chronometer certified, with month and leap year display on the back. Functions – indication of time in hours, minutes and seconds, perpetual calendar with date in aperture and leap year display on reverse of caliber. Andersen Genève black leather strap, 18k white gold Andersen Genève pin buckle with blue enamel Andersen Genève logo.
Svend Andersen is a notable and important watchmaker, one of the founding fathers of the Academy of Independent Watchmakers (Académie Horlogère des Créateurs Indépendant, AHCI) in 1985. Prior to that, from 1969, he had worked for nine years in the Atelier des Complications of Patek Philippe. That is what makes this lot extremely interesting, since in the restoration and adjusting of antique movements, he showed all his skills and experience accumulated over many years of working with complicated mechanical watches.
In the 1990s, with extensive experience with perpetual calendars, Svend Andersen undertook two extraordinary developments. The first was a double-sided perpetual calendar of a minimalist design – the present model, with a date display on the dial and an additional month and leap year indicator mounted on the back of the caliber, on top of the rotor. Using the same design, in 1996, the master complicated the perpetual calendar mechanism, programming it for 400 or 800 years of action – this is the so-called Perpetuel Secular Calender, which replaced the Chronometre Perpetuel 2000 model in the collection.
The paradox of this watch is to contrast the apparent complexity of the perpetual calendar mechanism with a minimalist design featuring a single calendar date display on the dial.
The Chronometre Perpetuel 2000 was only produced from 1993 to 1996 and in very small quantities, so it rarely appears on the secondary market. The heart of the automatic caliber is the Eta 2892-A2, a certified chronometer, powering an ingenious double-sided calendar module. Svend Andersen has throughout his career favoured unexpected, eye-catching and paradoxical decisions. The paradox of this watch is to contrast the apparent complexity of the perpetual calendar mechanism with a minimalist design featuring a single calendar date display on the dial.
A collectible and rare watch, at first glance it seems to be an ordinary serial production model with a date in the window – this was one of the master’s intentions. It is also worth appreciating his irony: the inscription “Chronomètre Perpétuel” looks like an allusion to the words “Perpetual” and “Chronometer”, which inevitably mark the dials of watches from the brand with a coronet, even if they had never had a perpetual calendar…. The Eta 2892-A2 is a mass-produced caliber, but Svend Andersen relies on its reliability and tested-and-proved performance – it is a real workhorse of modern watchmaking. However, in this case it features a high-grade chronometer execution. Thus, the connoisseur receives a rare collectible watch from an independent master suitable as a timepiece not to parted from for a single day.
Reasons to bid
The unique character and charisma of the Andersen Genève Chronomètre Perpétuel 2000 No. 27 is created by the contradiction of the apparent complexity of the perpetual calendar mechanism and minimalist design with a single calendar date display on the dial. This is a true masterpiece of an independent watchmaker – both in terms of complicated mechanics and of design. Therefore, the present lot would certainly be an excellent purchase for the collector who desires a rare complicated wristwatch of a legendary independent watchmaker, as well as an extraordinary daily wearer, unquestionably a piece of history of modern haute horlogerie.