In Conversation with A One-Of-A-Kind Watchmaker, Vianney Halter

Stepping into Vianney Halter’s workshop in Sainte-Croix is a life-changing encounter. Inside, a brilliant blend of old watchmaking machines are humming close by plane parts, stupendous clocks, books, drawings, engines and crude materials. It is by and large the workshop you have imagined about, but then everything is a surprise.

Xavier Markl, MONOCHROME – How did a Parisian child wind up crafting triple-hub tourbillons in Sainte-Croix? 

Vianney Halter – Indeed, it was impossible. I was brought into the world in Paris in 1963. At times entryways open throughout everyday life. To the extent I recollect that, I have consistently been fascinated by everything mechanical. Once, somebody asked my mom when ‘this’ all began, and she was unable to reply. It has consistently been there. Also, I was so genuine about it that when I was around ten, I got a pinnacle check which put everything moving. At school, I was a dolt; I was not interested in the thing I was being instructed. At 14, I was living in the Paris rural areas in Mantes-la-Jolie, and I needed to get familiar with some type of difficult work. I went to watchmaking school and graduated at 17. That was truly interesting to me, and I performed well overall. I promptly found a new line of work offer. For a year, I worked in Paris restoring clocks. At that point I worked in a shop that managed vintage tickers for more than two years. Working on exceptionally complex watches was a rewarding and educating experience. My ability for crafting complicated watches is no uncertainty indebted to that period.

One day I sorted out there was no future for me in Paris. In 1989, I chose I needed to leave the city. This was when François-Paul Journe invited me to work with him in Sainte-Croix. I preferred the spot, the climate, and above all, the work. This was an entirely different world, yet I could see no challenges there.

So that was the beginning of your THA period?

At THA (Techniques Horlogères Appliquées), there was F.P. Journe, Denis Flageollet, Dominique Mouret, Pascal Courteault… This gathering was established to make new, current, various things. There, I worked like insane on the Breguet Sympathique clock. This was very modern with a wristwatch and a 15 – kilo clock fitted with a bi-metallic equilibrium haggle gold cylindrical hairspring. I needed to make a detent escapement… that was difficult work. Once, I labored for 72 hours constant! However, I was in a climate where I could zero in 100% on, dislike in Paris. There I had an exciting life; going out to the Bains Douches, to the New Morning, to jazz clubs, to the Gibus… it was extraordinary. Be that as it may, the air changed. I needed to escape from that. François-Paul drove me out to Sainte-Croix for an end of the week, and I understood this was a completely extraordinary world.

But following three years, I had enough with THA. The work was genuinely interesting, yet I had enough with the connections. Fortunately, Dominique Mouret had introduced me to François Junod. François turned into my closest companion. We cooperated, and I wound up setting up a little workshop at his place. Somewhere in the range of 1992 and 1993, I began to work for Frank Muller, who was producing exceptionally complex watches. I had the option to make these complex watches, for the most part special pieces. As I got an ever increasing number of customers, for instance, Audemars Piguet, Mauboussin, Jaquet Droz and others, I made Janvier SA in 1994. I had a ton of work, yet in 1996, the work eased back down in view of a financial emergency in Asia. I needed to delay conveyances and acknowledged I was unable to introduce any close to home work. For legally binding reasons, I was unable to show my turns of events and manifestations. That is the manner by which I wound up creating the Antiqua that was conceived out of need. It was a method of displaying my capacity to imagine and make developments, cases, hands… This permitted me to get more work and more customers for my watches. It was for the most part interesting pieces, with no sequential creation… that was old-style conventional watchmaking.

Then came the Goldfeil project with the AHCI (Académie Horlogère des Créateurs Indépendants), the Classic to offer something a touch more reasonable and Max Busser with the Opus 3 (2003).

The Harry Winston Opus project was truly interesting. The test was to make a watch for another person that would mirror your own character and imagination. This is the reason the Opus 3 wound up being so incredible. It is a hybrid.

I continued developing ventures for prominent brands. I made the Cabestan watch that was originally an item evolved to be sold under my name however that I wound up selling to an outsider brand. I had a quite huge and talented group. I believed I could honor individuals who inspired me, explicitly Antide Janvier, with the Janvier N°1 in 2007. That was a top for me. I fabricated a couple of these. In the middle of this, I continued working on ideas like resonance and other inventive projects.

Below, the Janvier N°1 Moon and Sun, a yearly calendar watch with lunar calendar, moon stage, running condition of time:

Following the subprime financial emergency, I needed to pull together on what was essential to me. Since at that point, this center has been my need. We are five or six individuals in the workshop. That is sufficient for me. I would prefer not to oversee individuals, deal with a company, or travel a while a year to sell watches. I need to invest energy at the workbench, follow my craving to make new things and advance my work. At the point when I was managing 30 individuals, I had failed to remember what my work was about. I was done working at the seat; all I at any point needed was to be a watchmaker.

How are you working today?

I do nearly everything in-house, in the customary way. I get a couple of parts engine-turned or machined outside. Be that as it may, prototypes are completely made here. For instance, for the Deep Space Tourbillon Resonance, the 42 steel extensions of the tourbillon confines have all be totally made here. The equivalent goes for the cases. I fabricate cases myself. On the off chance that I have a progression of a couple of cases to make, I can at last get these pre-machined by a provider. However, the finishing is done here. In the end, we produce not very many watches: around ten watches for each year.

You likely know the majority of your clients?

Indeed. For instance, this is the situation for the Deep Space Tourbillon Resonance . There are not many customers for such watches. They are authorities. I have a couple of steadfast customers. Regardless of whether they have not seen the watch genuinely, this is a piece that they need to possess. This is fortunate in light of the fact that traveling is so troublesome these days.

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