An important, unusual and collectible one-of-a-kind meteorite-iron tourbillon wristwatch of the haute horlogerie Swiss brand Antoine Preziuso Genève, founded in 1990 by independent watchmaker Antoine Preziuso. Made in 2005 for charity auction Only Watch. Case milled from single piece of Muonionalusta meteorite, diameter 40mm, 10mm thick, sapphire caseback with rim in stainless steel engraved with two comets, each set with a diamond. Dial milled from Muonionalusta meteorite, large luminous numerals at 3, 9 and 12, lower part cut-away for tourbillon. Caliber AP/T.21, hand-wound, double barrel, power reserve up to 72 hours. Functions – indication of time in hours and minutes, tourbillon. Grey leather strap, Antoine Preziuso pin buckle milled from meteorite. Piece unique.
Antoine Preziuso, a Swiss watchmaker of Italian origin, graduated in 1974 from the Geneva School of Watchmaking as a top student, before beginning his career at Patek Philippe. In 1981, he founded his own atelier, specialising in developments for watch companies. Gradually, he accumulated a portfolio of his own projects, and in 1990 he launched the Antoine Preziuso Genève brand. The brand’s highest achievement was its double victory at the Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève in 2015, where its Tourbillon of Tourbillons watch was recognised as the best in the Innovation Watch Prize category, also taking the Public Prize. Triple tourbillon wristwatches, invented by the master himself, are his most recognised creations.
Preziuso created the present example as a unique piece for the inaugural Only Watch charity auction, a key event for the modern watch industry and one which has been held from 2005 with the assistance of the Antiquorum auction company. This watch was sold on September 22, 2005, as lot 2.
The peculiarity of this watch is the case, which is precision machined from a single piece of meteoric iron, a fragment of the famous Muonionalusta meteorite that was originally discovered in 1906 in northern Scandinavia, west of the border between Sweden and Finland. Antoine Preziuso was quite possibly the first watchmaker to use meteoric iron not just to decorate the dial, but to make the watch case. Since meteoric iron is susceptible to corrosion, a milled blank that was chemically treated to reveal a characteristic texture, known as ‘Windmanstatten patterns’, is protected by a special coating. In addition to the case of the watch, its dial and strap buckle are also milled from the Muonionalusta meteorite.
The AP/T.21 caliber of the present example was produced by Antoine Preziuso on the basis of the 13.21 caliber, a movement-blank of Swiss Time Technology (STT, originally Progress Watch AG, now the Dimier 1738 movements factory), famous for the project of the so-called ‘affordable’ tourbillon. STT supplied custom calibers for its clients. In particular, the caliber of this example is decorated with four chatons attached with screws, and Antoine Preziuso also further produced a decorative finish, engraving the caliber’s bridges with a space theme. It continues on the back cover rim, where two comets encrusted with diamonds are engraved.
An image of this historically important piece can still be found on the antoine-preziuso.com site.
Reasons to bid
The Antoine Preziuso Genève Muonionalusta Meteorite Tourbillon Ref. T.21 Piece Unique would be an attractive purchase for the collector thanks to its unique execution, the presence of the tourbillon complication, and not least as a historically important watch, a participant in the first edition of the Only Watch charity auction, now one of the most significant events in the calendar of the modern watch industry. Connoisseurs of fine watchmaking will be attracted by the rare combination of tourbillon and stand-out design with a case crafted from Muonionalusta meteoric iron with a thoroughly-revealed texture of ‘Windmanstatten patterns’, forming a fine, attractive, unique and irreproducible image.