Who would have pegged Antoine Preziuso for such a romantic?
The unbiased watchmaker who obtained not one, however two, awards on the 2015 Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève for his extraordinarily masculine and sturdy Tourbillon of Tourbillons (see Antoine Preziuso Tourbillon Of Tourbillons: Fractals Meet ‘Inception’) returned in 2016 with a watch impressed by one in every of his favourite components: the guts of a taking pictures star.
Let’s get this straight proper from the beginning: regardless of its unimaginable attractiveness, the Stella Polare Tourbillon Muonionalusta is hardly much less technical than the Tourbillon of Tourbillons in some methods because of each its sophisticated regulator mechanics, and the technical materials used to prop and defend these mechanics. Regardless of all its scholarly expertise, for my part the Stella Polare Tourbillon Muonionalusta is much extra wearable for slimmer wrists than a few of this technical virtuoso’s different creations.
And far more aesthetically pleasing.
Antoine Preziuso: A wealthy profession
Preziuso can look again on an extended and affluent profession as an unbiased watchmaker.
He is a Geneva-born watchmaker of Italian descent whose father was additionally a watchmaker (which makes his son, Florian, who works with him, the third era of Preziuso watchmakers). Graduating in 1974 from the Geneva Watchmaking College on the prime of his class, he was recruited by Patek Philippe.
By 1980 Preziuso was organising Antiquorum’s first restoration and appraisal workshop; in 1981 he based his personal atelier on the age of simply 24. It was then that he joined the Cabinôtiers de Genève, a predecessor to the A.H.C.I., which was likewise based by A.H.C.I. co-founder Svend Andersen. Preziuso each labored on developments for main watch corporations and his personal distinctive timepieces earlier than in the end launching his personal model in 1990. He first exhibited at Baselworld as a candidate member of the A.H.C.I. in 1995, turning into a full member in 1996.
Preziuso’s visibility amongst a wider watch gathering public was heightened when he created the Opus 2, the second Harry Winston Opus for the newly based Harry Winston Uncommon Timepiece division headed up by then-CEO Maximilian Büsser launched in 2002 (see The Harry Winston Opus Collection: A Full Overview From Opus 1 By means of Opus 13). Immediately, Preziuso’s enterprise is a tight-knit household affair.
Antoine Preziuso: An extended-standing love affair
The ladies in Antoine Preziuso’s fast household – spouse Might and daughter Laura – give attention to making jewellery, whereas the lads – Antoine and son Florian – think about watchmaking. This proficient and extremely inventive household has naturally discovered a solution to work collectively, most notably by combining each disciplines in distinctive items supplied within the “By Laura Preziuso” line.
Subsequently it mustn’t come as so stunning that Antoine has an actual eye for aesthetics. And, rising from this, it could really be mentioned that he has performed a pioneering function in using meteorite in watchmaking.
Antoine started getting an increasing number of inquisitive about astronomy as a younger watchmaker and eventually stumble on the concept of contacting a meteorite hunter to see if it had been doable to seek out the correct of fabric to be used in his personal private artwork of watchmaking. It was an extended and complex journey to seek out his desired piece of the sky, however he discovered it – and his love of the fabric has stayed with him all this time.
Seduced by the fantastic thing about meteorite along with its philosophical and symbolic representations, his creativeness was stimulated – and extremely tantalizing and uncommon distinctive items have emerged from his workshop in a constant method.
Meteorite is ferrous “stone” that’s truly a chunk of iron-rich area rock that sooner or later entered our earth’s environment and landed on terra firma, ready to be discovered.
Meteorites are named for the locations they’re discovered, and Preziuso prefers to work with two going by the names of Gibeon and Muonionalusta. These two iron-nickel-based meteorites exhibit distinguished Widmanstätten buildings – the everyday striations and patterns that develop into evident as soon as the fabric is subjected to a chemical tub.
Gibeon, believed to have fallen to earth in prehistoric occasions, was present in Namibia, whereas Muonionalusta, first discovered by kids in Sweden in 1906, is estimated to be about a million years outdated.
The uncooked stone comes from meteorite hunters, who should present a big sufficient block from which Preziuso should have the ability to minimize a case. Slices are first minimize by wire spark erosion to get the final dimension. As soon as that’s achieved, the cutout is distributed again to the spark erosion tub to make the exact case form.
Then the case is then precision-milled by a CNC machine so as to add the mandatory technical options corresponding to holes for screws and the crown, grooves for the case again, and different components. Then the case is cleaned, polished, and soaked in acid, which permits the meteorite construction to totally materialize.
The ultimate step is to coat it with rhodium for that stunning silvery glow that Preziuso’s meteorite circumstances usually exhibit or black gold for a extra yellow glow, which a few of Preziuso’s meteorite watches even have. The coating does greater than embellish the colour; it additionally protects the fabric.
Preziuso introduced his first timepiece containing meteorite out in 1991, lengthy earlier than anybody else was dabbling in such a difficult-to-work materials. The primary watch he created with it was 1991’s Quarter Repeater, which was outfitted with a Gibeon meteorite dial and a rotating bezel that acted because the repeater set off.
A few decade later, in 2002, he launched the Tourbillon Meteor, uniquely housed in a meteorite case, adopted by the Tourbillon Muonionalusta of 2004, for which he employed that new kind of meteorite for the primary time.
The New Artwork of Tourbillon Meteor from 2006 and the Subsequent Full Moon of 2007 featured not solely case and dial made from the fabric, however at occasions even palms and buckles. Subsequent Full Moon was a watch that additionally revealed Preziuso’s playful mechanical aspect: a pink hand factors to a date show at 2 o’clock, whose sole function is to alert the wearer when the subsequent full moon might be seen within the evening sky. A big moon part show within the reverse nook of the dial between 7 and eight o’clock offsets it.
To this point, Preziuso has produced ten timepieces utilizing Muonionalusta meteorite.
Stella Polare Tourbillon Muonionalusta
This brings us proper as much as the now, and the most recent in line in addition to the primary in a small new sequence of meteorite timepieces by Preziuso: the Stella Polare Tourbillon Muonionalusta, whose title tells us precisely what this watch is all about (“stella polare” means “polar star” in Italian). The “polar” bit refers back to the Arctic Circle, which is the place the Muonionalusta meteorite got here to relaxation.
This specific mannequin is conceived as a watch for girls, although I personally discover it to be fairly unisex relying on the strap connected to it. The sunshine inexperienced strap it at the moment wears, which completely offsets the textures of the meteorite case and visual hand-engraved bridges and plates of the motion, is made from Nile perch lined with lizard pores and skin.
Maybe it’s the varied textures of this watch that make it appear female: the Nile perch strap, which is dyed to boost the distinction, is graced with massive scales not not like snakeskins which are used for watch straps. The strap just isn’t solely casually luxurious, but additionally fairly trendy in its type.
The Widmanstätten patterns of the Muonionalusta meteorite embellishing the 40 x 10 mm case are clearly seen, whereas the hand-engraved bas reduction stars of various sizes and craters in between them cowl the massive central bridges and plate peeking out beneath within the decrease third of the dial space.
The higher plate appears as if it may be set with gems in the event you simply look at it rapidly because it sparkles so brilliantly. Upon nearer perusal, you uncover that it’s actually one other set of craters positioned far more carefully to one another. The impact is a superb shine that catches the sunshine playfully – like a starry sky in a distant location on an ultra-clear evening.
This is a wonderful instance of the engraver’s artwork; it even fooled my skilled eye the primary time I noticed it.
The mix of all of those varied textures is nothing wanting enchanting: the compelling attract I felt inside was actual and visceral.
Thank goodness this watch has no actual dial to cowl up the intriguing view of the richly adorned plates and bridges – which nearly pull your entire consideration away from that which ought to be the primary focus: the one-minute tourbillon beating its coronary heart away at 6 o’clock.
Between all of these attention-grabbing components, you nearly don’t even notice that the richly cratered plate at 12 o’clock covers a big spring barrel, which is just barely seen via the openworking.
Oh, and the again of the Antoine Preziuso Stella Polare Tourbillon Muonionalusta!
For those who flip the watch over, the bedazzling view (together with the lizard pores and skin on the strap) is amplified, however the spring barrel turns into extra seen because of a strategically positioned cutaway. This spring barrel ought to be onerous to overlook as a result of it comprises a mainspring massive sufficient to energy this unimaginable manually wound look ahead to 110 hours with out having to wind once more.
The case again made from white gold additionally options two small stars set with brilliant-cut diamonds replicating taking pictures stars. A big expanse of sapphire crystal reveals your entire enthralling fantastic thing about the motion.
The bottom plate continues the star-and-crater engraved design from the entrance, however provides a taking pictures star on the correct aspect, whose tail options the phrases “Stella Polare” in blue engraved-and-lacquered letters that proceed the blue theme from the lettering and palms on the entrance of the watch.
“I designed this watch as a result of it made me dream,” Preziuso mentioned. Thanks, Antoine, for doing that as a result of now you’ve additionally made me dream.
For extra info, go to www.antoine-preziuso.com.
Fast Info Antoine Preziuso Stella Polare Tourbillon Muonionalusta
Motion: manually wound Preziuso caliber T.21 with one-minute tourbillon and 110 hours energy reserve
Case: Muonionalusta meteorite and white gold (case again), 40 x 10 mm
Features: hours, minutes
Limitation: distinctive piece inside a restricted sequence
Worth: 240,000 Swiss francs
* This text was first revealed on August 11, 2016 at Antoine Preziuso Stella Polare Tourbillon Muonionalusta Fell From Heaven.