When I first got into watches, I started out with vintage watches, primarily from the known names such as the company with the crown logo and the one where the watch flew to the moon. It took me more than a decade until some doors opened to show me the real watchmaking. A hidden world, a world which you cannot see when you are going to your authorized dealer, a world most other collectors do not even know of and where it rarely happens to find owners of these rare timepieces as most of them only make a few, sometimes maybe 50 or 100 timepieces a year at most.
That is the world of independent watchmaking. Having visited many of the big name manufacturers in Switzerland as well as in Germany, I started to look into those whose names we largely do not know. I visited people like Andreas Strehler, like Kari Voutilainen, like Laurent Ferrier and like the Groenefeld brothers. I even wrote about my visits in my watchblog and in other publications. These visits were different from the big ones. It was exciting to get to see them.
As I went along, I got to meet even more of the, members of the AHCI such as Konstantin Chaykin, Andersen Geneve, etc..
Stories are endless actually. Switzerland as the hub of watchmaking has so much to offer.
So I ran into a "project" at Ulysse Nardin some years ago while visiting their booth for my press appointment. It was a unique once in a lifetime project they showed me sitting in a showcase. A "Boat" as I first said realizing that it is a catamaran. But not just a model boat or anything like it, no, it was a deskclock, and a very fancy one at that. When I asked them who created it, Ulysse Nardin stayed silent. I do not know why, but that is ok. It took me some time to research who was behind this boat. I do not know if the boat has been sold by now, but I will try to find that out. So anyhow, this is the boat, posted with permission of its creator.
This boat was designed, developed and created by one person with some serious talent. His name is John-Mikaël Flaux. He was working at Ulysse Nardin on this boat for over one full year. And even though I cannot find my old pictures any more as this was a few years ago, the boat is simply amazing in my recollection.
Last year, John decided to go his own ways and became an independent horloger. He has created some other amazing clocks. But that is something for another time. I hope you enjoyed this?