The Goldpfeil Vianney Halter is born of a special project initiated by the German luxury company Goldpfeil (German for Golden Arrow) and seven members of Académie Horlogère des Créateurs Indépendants (AHCI). The AHCI masters of Sven Anderson, Martin Frei with Thomas and Felix Baumgarter, Vincent Calabrese, Vianney Halter, Frank Jutzi, Bernhard Lederer and Antoine Preziuso each created a special piece unique and a set of series production watches to showcase the collaboration.
Review: Goldpfeil Vianney Halter
It is no secret that Deployant owners and staff are huge fans of Vianney Halter. A fascinating and ultra creative watchmaker, Vianney has the knack to turn out unusual watches, which at first glance often defies logic. Taking the concept of a circles within squares, he stretched the idea to create a watch with a powerful visual impact.
The featured watch in the photographs is the property of a Deployant Friend, who when asked why he sought out this particular piece to buy and own, simply said, “Because it is a Vianney and is quirky, but in a most beautiful way.” We present the photographs in an “as-is” worn, well loved watch instead of a cleaned up, for display watch.
The layout of the indicators are distinct as a square, a circle and a rectangle in a subtly curved rectangular case. The hour is display on the tip left rectangle aperture, with a jumping hour mechanism. A rather unusual interpretation of the moonphase display is provided right of the jumping indicator aperture. A blued steel arrow tip revolves around a subeial, giving a pictorial picture of the cyclical nature of the phases of the moon, which are marked as icons on a plate on the case. The minutes are shown by a “Goldpfeil” hand, also blued steel, large and distinct on the large square dial below. And a smaller arrow pointer marks the seconds passed. Square, circle and rectangle within a rectangle: a geometrical demonstration that is a study of elegant proportions and alternation of symmetry and contrast.
Vianney furthers this thought process with the interplay of contrasting textures, and the use of materials: matt and sandblasted metals, hollow engravings in synthetic enamel, the sheen of the solid white gold case and the blue leather strap.
Even the play of texture of the polished frames of the apertures and bezel and the case which is hand finished by making markings with a blunt nail, one at a time, each individually made by Vianney himself. Fascinating.
Through the caseback, one can see the movement, the three armed rotor gliding on the brushed finish of the main plate, and glow of jewels and blued steel screws. The finishing of the movement is standard level of engineering finish. There is no hint of a decorative finishing, it is apparent that Vianney’s focus on this watch is in the design and interplay of geometric shapes and textures. Even the display back sapphire opening is indicative of this. Note the caseback is cut with a polished shoulder elongating the opening in the north-south direction while keeping to the sides of the circle in the east-west direction. This further emphasizes on the circle in a oval in a rectangle play on geometric shapes.
Fascinating timepiece from a fascinating maker. The entire Goldpfeil collection was unveiled in BaselWorld 2001, and while all the watches have long since been sold out, good examples turn up rather frequently in auctions and pre-owned stores for reasonable prices. The total number made is a bit confusing when we started our research for this article. Some reported 17, others 75. So we asked Vianney himself, and he said that he made 108 pieces, plus one more with jewellery. We feel this watch is definitely collectable.
Goldpfeil Vianney Halter
|Retail price at launch:
|29.1mm X 40mm
|18kt White Gold
|Alligator/Crocodile Leather Blue
|Special designed tang buckle
|Scratch Resistant Sapphire
|Screw Down Crown: