Svend Andersen co-founded the Académie Horlogère des Créateurs Indépendants (AHCI) with Vincent Calabrese in 1985. Yet beyond the ultra-high end circles of bespoke watches, most collectors are unaware of the mastery of this grandmaster. He was one of the early masters to Franck Muller, and holds several world premieres including the Perpetual-Secular-Calendar watch which is programmed for 400 years, the Hebraic calendar watch, the “Montre à Tact”, and famous for his smoothly operating erotic automata watches. Recently, there was some capital injection and a new management in the company, while keeping Svend as chief of the créateurs. And this BaselWorld 2015, they announced the 5th Edition World Time watch with indication of different time zones – The Andersen Genève Tempus Terrae.
In the early 70s, Svend had a chance to work on the world time complication developed by the Geneva based watch maker Louis Cottier. Cottier created the first world time watch in the 30’s and his work was featured in some of the iconic worldtimer watches by Patek Philippe. An example is the PP Ref 2523 described here by Christie’s. Cottier also made world time watches with the same mechanism for Vacheron Constantin and Rolex.
Svend had designed his first world time watch in 1989, to commemorate the Cottier’s invention, and it met with great success. Since then Andersen Genève has been developing different series of World Time watches and pièces uniques. World Time watches are indeed part of Andersen Genève’s DNA. And the latest edition is now here to mark the 25 years Svend has been making the worldtimers: introducing the Andersen Genève Tempus Terrae.
Andersen Genève Tempus Terrae
The characteristic Cottier double crown is present in the new watch, One located at 2 o’clock is marked with the “A” logo and is the crown used to set the hands. The second crown marked with a “TT and a globe” logo is used to set the city corresponding to the local time, so that when travelling, the world time can be read on the 24 hour subdial innner to the City dial.
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We find the dial is particularly magnificent. Anderson does their dial inhouse: starting with a blank 21 kt gold piece, the dial is hand guillochéd with a motif which resembles scales. And carefully hand blued to the desired color. The result a radiant, burst of brilliant blue, not quite captured by the photographs. As each dial is hand heated, no two dials are the same, making each a dial unique. Interestingly, note too that the Andersen logo is not present on the dial, but signified only by the letter “A” on the City Ring above the city of Geneve
An interesting trivia bit is that in all 5 editions of World Time watches have a detail in common: on the “City Ring”, “Moskwa” is written instead of Moscow. In the past, Andersen Genève used to write the names of the cities in their own languages. But now, every city is written either in French or in English except for “Moskwa”, which is Moscow but written in Romanized Russian language. This detail remained on every World Time watch to honor the Russian collectors who have been loyal to the brand since inception.
Andersen Genève is also able to offer personalizations to the dial, like a special city name, or a special text color on the dial.
The other trademark character of the dial side is shown by the hand brushed hands, which are stylized like the logo A. This also helps lighten the visual impact, but large enough for clear legibility.
In addition, as the Tempus Terrae comes with a hunter case back, the watch offers an additional spot for a special message or graphic to be engraved on the inside back cover.
The hinge for the caseback is a study in attention to detail. The hinge is designed to be hidden, meaning that it is not visible when the hunter back is closed. But when it is opened, the action is smooth and almost effortless, and it remains where it is left, held up only by friction. It opens to a maximum of 85°.
The movement is an outside source base, but is upgraded with the in-house time zones complications module which is developed and produced at the atelier. It beats at 21,600 bph, and runs with 40 hours of autonomy.
The movement finishing and decoration is not overly elaborate as some of the Independent watchmakers can tend to be, but one which is made to a high engineering standard. The standard Côtes de Genève and perlage is applied. And as a nod to the magnificent dial, the rotor is in blued gold hand guilloché; the same scale motif as on found on the dial.
Case size is a svelte 39 mm diameter, and a height of 9mm, and is rather a nice comfortable size.
The Tempus Terrae “25th Anniversary” is a limited edition of 25 pieces in yellow gold (2N), 25 in red gold (4N) and 25 in white gold. It celebrates 25 years (1990-2015) of World Time Watches with indication of different time zones by Andersen Genève. Price is CHF48600 for red and white gold and CHF46800 for the white gold version, tax free in Switzerland.
Andersen Genève Tempus Terrae Specifications
Movement: High quality automatic movement upgraded by Andersen Genève
with time zones complication module developed and produced in the atelier
Rotor: “BlueGold” 21ct hand guilloché Scale
Technical Data: 3Hz (21’600A/h), 21 jewels, with 40 hours power reserve
Case: 18kt gold with hunter case back to disclose the movement, two sapphire glasses
Water Resistant: 30m
Diameter: 39 mm Height: 9mm Width between lugs: 20 mm
Two crowns with “A” and “TT on a globe” logos stamped
Dial: Multi-part, with one rotating ring displaying 24 hours’ time zones
with day/night coloration in dark blue and silvery white metal
Centre disc: 18mm in 21ct “BlueGold” 21ct hand guilloché Scale
World time zone scale on a silvery white metal disc with dark blue city names
Personalisation available on colours and names of the cities
Hands: Brushed “A” Andersen shaped in white gold
Strap: Hand-stitched alligator leather with white gold buckle or fold-over clasp