Right this moment, we’re again with our Collector’s Collection column, the place we go away the stage to a collector, sharing his views on considered one of his watches. And what a watch that is! The final word customization companions, that is how we may summarize this piece that outcomes from the collaboration between BCHH and Andersen Genève. Right this moment’s collector, Jonathan Quayle Higgins III, is a 58-year-old watch fanatic from Germany. He has simply acquired his absolutely personalized Benjamin Chee Haute Horlogerie x Andersen Genève Celestial Voyager, and he’s over the moon! And he’ll clarify to us what makes it so particular.
Frank Geelen, MONOCHROME – We all know what BCHH stands for, however for many who don’t, are you able to introduce the model to us?
Jonathan – BCHH stands for Benjamin Chee Haute Horlogerie. Benjamin is an Artwork Aficionado from Singapore with a really broad watch data. He began creating his personal watches 10 years in the past and he began the cooperation with Andersen Genève for the Celestial Voyager. The Celestial Voyager is created from scratch by Ben Chee. The manufacturing and the coordination of all of the concerned artisans is then as much as Pierre-Alexandre and the group at Andersen Genève, who’re making Ben Chee’s concepts and imaginative and prescient come true ultimately. As you already know, Svend Andersen himself is 80 years outdated now and the godfather of Indies and he’s nonetheless within the atelier in Geneva. A person of specialization, in his profession of over 50 years, he solely produced 1,400 watches!
It isn’t your on a regular basis watch model, I admit. I examine them first on MONOCHROME, in an article which summed up the most effective GMT watches for 2021. I instantly contacted Benjamin Chee himself to ask if he had any Celestial Voyagers left.
Good to listen to we impressed you! And now to procure the BCHH Celestial Voyager. What do you admire most about this mannequin?
It’s higher than any Worldtimer watch that has been created earlier than. It has a platinum case, after which there are these attractive lugs! The cloissonée enamelled dial is absolutely customizable (and hell did I customise it!), with an actual aventurine metropolis ring on the surface, stunning palms and on the again, you see the well-known blue gold rotor. What I valued too, was the direct contact with the designer Benjamin Chee and Pierre-Alexandre from Andersen Genève, who manufactured my watch.
What was so good concerning the cooperation with these manufacturers?
Benjamin Chee was completely approachable. We had many conversations concerning the watch normally and the probabilities for potential customization. He organized a private meet-up in Berlin to check out the watch in actual life and to debate the probabilities with Pierre-Alexandre (I solely name him Alex), the proprietor of Andersen Genève, who travels on behalf of the corporate. Benjamin simply needed to make a really completely different and exquisite World Timer in comparison with Patek Philippe, and for my part, he did. Additionally, it is a world timer that’s obtainable, at Patek you may be placed on a ready record…
The humorous factor is, a lot of the planning was completed by means of Residence Workplace, I noticed a Celestial Voyager in actual life first in February final 12 months, and had a second have a look at it in November. On each events, I may put on the watch and see if the 37.8mm wasn’t too small for my wrist. It was completely excellent. However Benjamin Chee solely noticed the look ahead to the primary time in November 2022. This demonstrates the extent of belief and communication between the 2 corporations.
I’d like to present you an instance of the extent of non-public interplay with them. The primary Cloisonnee Dial was broken throughout printing, in order that they needed to begin another time. Alex referred to as and advised me that he had some concepts to additional enhance my dial and that I’ll see these enhancements on the following one.
Some weeks later, I noticed a TV documentary about Lake Baikal in Russia and I referred to as Alex, if he may incorporate Lake Baikal on my dial. He referred to as me again some minutes later and advised me “That is your fortunate day as they’re making the dial as we converse and Lake Baikal will probably be featured.
This stage of communication goes far past what we’re calling customer support!
Inform us extra concerning the customization of your watch!
Within the first dialog, Ben advised me what the inspiration was for the Celestial Voyager: it was at first of COVID and all of us had been at house form of locked up and he thought that it might be good if we may journey in our minds to all these wonderful locations across the globes that now we have been to or that we’re dreaming of going to. I may completely relate to this and I began to ask questions if he may tailor my watch to my private most well-liked locations and he agreed.
So what customizations did he do for you?
First, he made a particular Cloisonnée dial with an excerpt of the globe that may incorporate the three most necessary locations for me: Hamburg (I’ve spent most of my life right here), Hong Kong (my second house) and Bora Bora (probably the most stunning place that I’ve ever been to). And he highlighted these three locations with golden dots on the dial.
Then, I requested him if the Himalaya and the Alps might be highlighted in a darker tone, and if Lake Baikal might be highlighted on the map. Andersen Genève even added the Caspian Sea.
For extra distinction, I additionally needed the tone of the continents brighter and the tone of the deeper areas of the Oceans actually darkish. In order that’s what they did. I pulled Alex’s leg by saying that I needed the German Bodensee on the dial, too. Thoughts you, the dial diameter is barely 18.3mm, have a look at the Himalayas after which think about the dimensions of the Bodensee, it might be invisible! It remained a operating gag between us.
Moreover, I needed to alter a number of cities on town ring tailor-made to my needs, for instance, Hong Kong as an alternative of Shanghai, Wellington as an alternative of Auckland (simply because I appreciated that city extra after I visited New Zealand), Helsinki, and Aspen needed to be on it as a result of that’s the place the place I married.
There have been three controversial factors of debate. Usually, Rio de Janeiro is simply placed on a hoop as Rio, however I assumed it appeared a lot too empty between all the opposite, longer names. So Rio de J. (Full Janeiro would have been too lengthy) it was. Then I selected the Bermudas as an alternative of Bermuda, as a result of to me it’s a bunch of a number of islands. After which, Bombay. It might be the outdated colonial title for Mumbai, however to me, it evokes romantic concepts about India. And it’s my watch!
Additionally, I needed the GMT to be there as a homage to John Harrison, the godfather of Chronometry and so forth. By the best way, the flicker of the Aventurine (Andersen Genève is utilizing actual Aventurine and never synthetic) is mind-blowing.
And the again of the watch?
The again of the watch was tailored, too! I needed the Blue Gold rotor to have the magic lozenge guilloche sample and the color to be actually brilliant blue, identical to the dial on Andersen’s Leaping Hours fortieth watch! I’ve been given the possibility to choose my rotor out of 4 proposals after I visited Andersen Genève in November 2022.
And as a particular be aware to me and my love for French Polynesia and black Tahitian pearls, Alex from Andersen Genève made the ring across the motion in black Mom of Pearl!
Does your watch get a variety of wrist time?
I’ve owned the look ahead to 10 days now, and I’ve worn it day-after-day. However now I’ve put it apart for some time as a result of I will probably be taking part in a video battle with an expensive buddy of mine, to see if his Patek Philippe Cloisonnée is best than my BCHH. I need to make certain there aren’t any scratches after we make high-resolution close-up footage. In any other case, I feel a watch ought to be worn, so I hardly have any secure queens in my assortment.
Have you ever bought any reactions from household, pals, different collectors, or full strangers?
I’ve been on nearly each YouTube channel that I frequent. The reactions had been combined – from congratulating for having completed a very private watch to “You’re a moron spending such a ridiculous amount of cash on a watch that nobody is aware of and that you’ll by no means have the ability to promote.”
What’s the market worth of this watch?
The present market worth could also be round CHF 65,000 plus taxes.
How would you describe your watch assortment to this point?
It’s bought a robust Rolex core, a smooth spot and fervour for Lange, respect for IWC and a Porsche Design reissue as a result of I really feel that it’s completely me.
Why is that?
I like the Porsche Design Chrono 1, as a result of again after I was an 8-year-old boy (when the primary Chrono 1 was launched) I discovered it insane that somebody could be prepared to spend DM 725 (the identical value for a Rolex Sub again then in Germany) on a watch. That was the epitome of madness to me.
The 50 Years Re-Version represents me in some ways: not mainstream again within the days, sort of old school from as we speak’s customary however true to itself and nonetheless sort of cool (for my part after all).
Are there any extra watches you want to purchase?
I’ve a Credor Eichi II on order and a Czapek Antarctique. In the future I’d like to personal a Cartier Assortment Privée. And I’ll get the Andersen Genève Leaping Hour fortieth sooner or later (Blue Gold dial).
A powerful style for comparatively small unbiased manufacturers. Why is that?
I’ve had nearly all mainstream manufacturers, nonetheless love a few of my Rolexes however we live in wonderful instances: the technological progress permits small independents doing all these loopy problems and that opens your perspective to a wholly new side of watchmaking. One thing that you simply don’t get from mainstream manufacturers!
Which different manufacturers do you assume are doing attention-grabbing work on the market?
Lange & Söhne as a result of they’re so completely different and higher than the holy Trinity and I actually love their Lange 1. In my view, the Lange 1 is THE iconic watch from the final 3 a long time. Ferdinand Berthoud as a result of they’re a younger model initiated by a small firm (Chopard) they usually do completely high-end chronometry-inspired watchmaking. How will you not love that?
Greubel Forsay provides the most effective ending of watches in the meanwhile and super-crazy high-end watchmaking. Their Hand Made 1 is out of this world! Moritz Grossmann for being so completely different to everybody else, I like their Tremblage dials and their motion constructions and their palms are the nicest within the enterprise. H. Moser, I like their creativity – notably their Streamliner Chrono and using Vantablack.
What ideas would you give different collectors who need the BCHH Celestial Voyager you possess?
Hearken to your coronary heart! If the watch speaks to you, get in contact with Ben Chee and have a chat with him. He’s a tremendous individual to speak to and in case you pull the set off, you possibly can ensure that you might be in the most effective palms with Ben and the group at Andersen Genève. The complete expertise is so completely different to what you usually hear with functions, want lists and so forth.
Do you’ve gotten basic ideas for individuals who need to begin accumulating watches?
Search sideways from the hyped manufacturers! There are such a lot of watches on the market which might be under-appreciated and supply unimaginable worth for the cash. Attempt to discover a native and well-qualified watchmaker. Oh, and in case you purchase Lange second-hand, have them verify the watch within the manufacturing unit (ask for an estimate).
Learn, learn, learn. Be part of YouTube channels and comply with the discussions there. Steer clear of the drama, and take heed to true watch discuss which generally can sound boring.
Are you in contact with different collectors?
With many! Significantly since my actions on YouTube. It means rather a lot to me to share experiences and to get impressed to take a look at watches that I didn’t have on my radar. Moreover watches, we created friendships for all times and a few of these friendships have been honoured intimately by my new watch.
Along with my buddy Swis, I’m operating a tiny YouTube channel, referred to as the Swis and Jon Present the place we repeatedly are speaking about watches in a way that we don’t cowl the mainstream manufacturers, worth retention and the place to seek out the most effective offers. We concentrate on Excessive Horology and Independents, issues that we each genuinely love and luxuriate in speaking about.
We generally seem on different watch-related channels and attempt to unfold our love. Due to these actions, now we have met many like-minded individuals who genuinely share our ardour.