The creations of this self-taught, iconoclastic watchmaker-philosopher represent provocative challenges to mechanical traditions in general and to horological traditions in particular. The number, the diversity and the originality of his creations have earned him international fame as one of the most fertile creative minds in the watch business. Vincent Calabrese is one of the rare watchmakers capable of building movements by hand.
Inherently eclectic by taste and talent, he is capable of creating a diversity of models ranging from a popular watch such as the Commedia or a gold-plated quartz watch, to a specially commissioned, customised and entirely hand-crafted watch in 18-carat gold or even in 950 platinum. He is the father of mechanical poetry and playful watch making and was also the first one to construct a centrally jumping hour indicator.
The Regulus saw the light of day in 1997 based on his flying vortex created in 1985. The clockwork, completely handcrafted, is made of 18 karat gold, including the vortex cage. The casing, consisting entirely of sapphire, was produced without any gluing together and, thanks to the resourcefulness of its creator, makes it possible for the watch to remain waterproof at a depth of more than 30 metres.
The creations of his new brand [NHC] consist of some very exclusive pieces that are unique, innovative, ultra-modern and affordable. [NHC] is well on its way to becoming successful and its partners worldwide are looking forward to being allowed to advertise this timeless and unusual brand. All models come in stainless steel or 18 karat gold and their edition is not limited, nor is their time, for that matter …
»52« created in 2006, commemorates its creator’s 52nd birthday. The extensive calendar shows, in addition to the 52 weeks, the months, the days of the week, the date, the reserve power and a double time zone. Room for the seven mechanisms required for this is less than one millimetre thick and all corrections can be carried out quickly thanks to the wind-up crown and without any additional buttons to press.
Vincent Calabrese, the renowned watchmaker, is now making use of modern tools of communication such as websites and social media platforms to ensure a sound supply structure and efficient world-wide distribution of his horology creations.
Vincent Calabrese has responded by offering an attractive, classic collection, featuring some of his most celebrated complications. Certain distinctive models will continue to be available by special order.
His new web-site, which will facilitate the purchase of all of his models and their delivery throughout the world, can be viewed at this address: http://www.vincent-calabrese.com. There will be constant updates on the social media providing clear information, along with the opportunity for a one-on-one chat that will answer all your questions.
One of Vincent Calabrese’s notable achievements was the founding of the Académie Horlogère des Créateurs Indépendants (AHCI) in 1985, which includes among its members, past and present, such figures as Frank Muller, F.P. Journe, George Daniels and many others. Mr. Calabrese is known throughout the world for his extraordinary creations—for example, Corum’s Golden Bridge and Blancpain’s Tourbillon-Carousel—and he was also the first to produce (in 1985) a wristwatch with a flying tourbillon.
Vincent Calabrese – Biography
In 1977 Vincent Calabrese’s creative career took off when he won the gold medal at the International Inventor’s Show in Geneva. In the same year, he sold the patent of the linear movement, including the manufacturing and commercial rights, to the watch company Maison Corum, This linear movement came from his “SPATIALE” invention and it would lead to the creation of the well-known Corum Golden Bridge, one of the most iconic watches in watch-making history.
In 1985, he founded the AHCI (Academy of Independent Watch Creators) and created his first wristwatch Tourbillon, as well as the symbol of his watch-making, the « ESPRIT ».
In 1986, he created the Flying Tourbillon for the Maison Blancpain. Today, 27 years after its creation, it is still the slimmest tourbillon in the smallest eight-day movement ever made. Until 1988, he concentrated on his « SPATIALE » watch-making and produced movements with varying shapes and materials. He learnt how to make all watch parts by himself, from the movement to the exterior of the watch, including the enameling, the engraving and the crimping.
In 1988, he also created his own famous « FLYING TOURBILLON ».
In 1989, he accepted a challenging order from an Italian magazine to make 10 Flying Tourbillon watches in the space of 18 months. While he was engaged in the creation of these timepieces, he embarked upon a period of diversification and threw a mischievous wink at traditional watch-making. He invented the miniature clock « TWO HANDS », which associates the immobility of the pendulum to the mobility of the tourbillon. He also made the « BALADIN », which provides a unique display, combining digital and numerical displays with a wandering jumping hour. Having successfully created timepieces for famous watch brands, he finally decided to launch his own Collection with his original mechanisms.
In 1990, the « COMMEDIA » was born, a watch with a jumping hour that was transformed into the « MONA LISA » in 1991. Thus, he created the first watch with jumping images.
In 1992, the creation of the « POWER », which encompasses a very flat and reliable power reserve, started the range of « TECHNIQUES ». This collection offered one or more mechanisms with additional displays, all independently adjustable with winding crown only. The « TRANSWORLD », created at the same time, offers a mechanism that includes two different times, one with 24 hours and one with 12 hours.
1993 was the year of the realization of the « DAILY », a dual-time with a sub-dial indicating the weeks. The « MOBIL » was created in 1994, with a very special dual-time.
In 1994, Vincent Calabrese created his own company, Vica SA, also known as “Poésies mécaniques”.
1995 saw the creation of the <NIGHT & DAY>, with an automatic change of the numerals at noon and at midnight, with Roman figures showing in the morning and Arabic figures showing in the afternoon.
In 1996, he bought back the rights of the “BALADIN” and also created his “LUDIQUE COLLECTION”. Still in 1996, the year of his fifty-second birthday, he created the « 52 », which is a true treat for admirers, collectors and even the non-initiated, encompassing some very useful indications such as the date, the day of the week, the period of the day, weeks, months and even more! Regarding his « SPATIALE > watch-making, he built the archipelago of « JAPAN », « EQUUS », which represents a rearing winged horse and a Tourbillon with regulator called « REGULUS ».
In 1998, he added the creation of the ‘Ludique’ timepiece « HORUS », which features a previously unseen turning display put into a new case with central clips, which he also created.
To celebrate the year 2000 and the 21st century, two new models were produced: The first is the VINCENT. Due to an optical illusion made by its sapphire glass and inclination, the inside of the watch disappears. The watchcase has been drawn to resemble a flying saucer which gives a playful touch to this refined-looking watch. The second is the 2T (2 Times), a model with a novel mechanism with a turning display of hours and minutes, together with a “Grande Date” and a weekly display. Only twenty 2T watches have ever been made.
In 2001, one of the most amazing achievements was the “SUN-TRAL”. The jumping display, placed in the middle of the watch dial, still gives purists and technicians a headache. Vincent Calabrese always dreamed of this watch and only he has been able to build it!
Between 2002 and 2004, many mechanisms and achievements were realized By Vincent Calabrese for watch-making companies but, of course, these do not mention the name of their creator. However, this period also saw personalized timepieces under the <SPATIAL> label.
Wanting to be free of commercial constraints, in 2004, along with an associate, he created his own brand known as NHC (Nouvelle Horlogerie Calabrese). At first, the brand was a great success with a four-model collection, including 2 new creations, at Baselworld. However, bad management on the commercial side of the enterprise obliged him to stop the activities of NHC.
2006 was the year of his first joint venture with the watchmaker Maison Blancpain. The project was to stop the false acceptances of the difference between the Tourbillons and the Carrousels. He decided to stop the controversy and make the impossible – a carrousel which completes one revolution in exactly one minute with a central balancer, theoretically a demonstration that the Bonniksen invention was far superior to that of Breguet. The prototype was presented at Baselworld 2007 and had such great success that Vincent Calabrese decided to stop being self-employed.
In 2008, he sold his company to Maison Blancpain, for whom he started to work, creating a research and development department in his own premises in Lausanne. From 2008 to 2011, he realized numerous projects for Maison Blancpain, from which nine new patents have been registered.
In January 2012, Vincent Calabrese returned once again to being self-employed and decided to take over the activities and creations of his friend Jean Kazès in order to continue Kazes’s work with sculptural clocks.
In 2014 he has a mandate for the manufacturer L’EPÉE and creation of a table clock named “TWO HANDS” Chronometric clock table with double reversed Tourbillon. One with a slow movement, the other with the escapement with a pendulum oscillating at 18’000 alternations per hour.
In 2015, creation of the NHC watches: “THE STONES” The dial moves around and displays a stone at each hour, A window in the dial reveals a gorgeous stone! Every hour, the dial moves round one twelfth (30 degrees) and displays another stone. Either twelve identical stones or twelve of a different color, material or weigh can be chosen.
In 2016, creation of the NHC watch KRONOS in collaboration with the Japanese painter Shinji Himeno. It shows Kronos, the Titan god of time. He is flying, clasping hours and minutes in one hand, seconds in the other. A young woman is chasing the time in vain, attracted by eternal youth. The position of the window indicates the minute, whereas the number indicates the hour. At the sixtieth minute, the hour showing gives way poetically to the next hour.
In 2017 creation of a new line of the Spatial watches.
Official website: http://www.vincent-calabrese.ch/