The Vianney Halter Classic is a watch that just has to be seen to be believed. The hands are precise, beautifully blued, and are curved to be sensuously three-dimensional. We’ve held a lot of great watches, and for some reason, this one just looks and feels different from the others. It’s hard to put on finger on why, but we guess it’s because this watch feels very much in the spirit of the golden age of horology in the late 1700s/early 1800s–the time of Breguet and Janvier. That’s probably not a coincidence: Halter is so inspired by Janvier that he named his company Manufacture Janvier.
This is simply an awesome watch. See those rivets around the case and even on the crown? They’re not just surface decoration: they’re actually real rose gold rivets separately and individually made and then inserted into the white gold case.
One of the most important things to talk about this watch is the size. At 36mm it probably turns off a lot of people, but this watch simply demands to be tried on in the metal, because it wears much larger than you would think. We’re pretty sure that when wearing this watch you will never feel like it is small – not to mention you won’t stop smiling whenever you look down at it.
The display case back shows the signature “mysterious mass” winding rotor. The design of the rotor was accomplished by having a weight mounted on the edge of a sapphire rotor. It allows you the advantages of an automatic watch, without obscuring the beautiful view of the movement.
The Classic was made in a limited edition of just 250 pieces. Sales began in 2001, and of course, the watch has long since sold out. Interestingly, it’s one of the only pieces in the Vianney Halter collection that is a sold-out limited edition, making it quite collectible.
Vianney Halter Classic
Case: 18k white gold, 36mm with sapphire exhibition case back
Movement: modified Lemania 8810 automatic movement
Dial: Rose gold dial with blued steel hands and Arabic numerals
Condition: Watch is in excellent condition
Includes: A full set (box and papers)
While Vianney Halter is often lauded for the design of his watches, he is first and foremost a gifted watchmaker.
The De Bethune DBS
The DBS was the first watch by De Bethune to have their now signature 3D moonphase complication. They make it by taking a half sphere of steel and a half sphere of palladium and combining them to form a full sphere. Both halves of the sphere are silvery-colored to start with, but then they apply heat. The metal properties of steel are such that it turns blue at a noticeably lower temperature than palladium, so the steel half of the sphere ends up turning blue while the palladium side is perfectly unchanged. The result is a perfect half-blue sphere. Such is the level of detail that exemplifies De Bethune. Click to take a closer look at this piece!