Founded by Svend Andersen in 1980, ANDERSEN Genève has been making exclusive watches for collectors for four decades.
In 2020, ANDERSEN Genève marked its 40th anniversary by presenting three phenomenal hand-crafted watches: the Tempus Terrae Worldtime with a bezel of baguette diamonds; the white gold Automaton JOKER (created in a collaboration with master watchmaker Konstantin Chaykin), and the Jumping Hours 40th Anniversary watch. These are now joined by the final watch in the quartet: a platinum version of the Jumping Hours.
With the new platinum Jumping Hours model unveiled in June 2020, the independent Swiss watch brand completes its quartet of special timepieces made to mark 40 years at the pinnacle of watchmaking.
The Jumping Hours, in which the hour is shown digitally while minutes are indicated by a hand, is one of watchmaking’s most elegant traditional complications. ANDERSEN Genève has now taken this genre to new levels of artistry and beauty.
Like all ANDERSEN Genève creations, this is a watch in which each element – dial, case, and movement – is treated with equal focus and delicate technique. The new model in platinum 950 sees the bar raised even further, since platinum is a far more challenging and arduous material to work with. It requires different techniques of machining and craftsmanship to achieve the most flawless finish. In platinum, for instance, the elegant lugs must be machined separately and painstakingly welded to the case barrel.
With this watch, ANDERSEN Genève presents an exceptionally refined interpretation of the classic Jumping Hours complication. The hour is indicated through a window at 12 o’clock, while the minutes tick by discretely on a beautiful sub-dial at 6 o’clock. Either side of the sub-dial sit two plaques inscribed with “1980” and “2020”, marking the company’s first 40 years.
The rest of the dial forms a canvas on which to exhibit the most outstanding craftsmanship, with a mesmerising “magic losange” guilloché pattern hand engraved into a dial surface made from a signature ANDERSEN Genève material: 21ct Blue Gold. To achieve this incredibly rare material that is used almost uniquely in watchmaking by ANDERSEN Genève, 24ct gold mixed with iron elements is heated in an oven, turning it a radiant shade of blue. In this completely artisanal process, no two dials emerge from the oven with quite the same tonality, making every dial unique.
Into this is inscribed guilloche work of a kind that is exceptionally difficult to execute, requiring three different machines to build up the intricately detailed pattern. The result is a dial with a truly unique appearance, which changes constantly as the light catches it from different angles.
The sapphire glass case-back reveals the beautiful anglage and hand-finishing of the movement, and the 18ct yellow gold rotor magnificently decorated with a “grain d’orge” guilloché pattern. Surrounding this, a ring of 21ct Blue Gold is hand-engraved with the text “40 years of independent timepiece creation”.
The watch is powered by the Frédéric Piguet 11.50 movement, one of the finest haute horlogerie automatic calibres in Swiss watchmaking. Its ultra-slim dimensions make it a perfect base to carry the jumping hours mechanism developed and manufactured in-house by ANDERSEN Genève, while its two-barrel architecture ensures a long power reserve of 60 hours.
The Jumping Hours 40th Anniversary in Platinum is a limited edition of 40 timepieces
The Other Anniversary Watches*
(1) Tempus Terrae with Baguette Diamonds
Svend Andersen’s famous association with the iconic worldtime complication, indicating all 24 time zones at once, originated before he even founded ANDERSEN Genève in 1980. During the nine previous years he spent working in Patek Philippe’s Grand Complications Atelier, he would often work on watches featuring the complication, developed by Louis Cottier in the 1930s. Since launching the Cottier-inspired Communication worldtime in 1990, ANDERSEN Genève has developed a succession of worldtime editions, as well as many bespoke variations.
The anniversary watch offers a sparkling twist on the most recent ANDERSEN Genève worldtime edition, the Tempus Terrae, unveiled in 2015. The 5N red gold case displays the crisp, sober aesthetic that is a hallmark of the ANDERSEN Genève watches, but is here adorned with a flowing ring of 36 baguette-cut diamonds, laid masterfully onto the bezel with an invisible setting. It is a halo of delicate beauty around the sumptuous worldtime display.
The centre of the dial is equally exquisite, made from beautifully decorated 21ct Blue Gold that is engraved with a complex, interlacing “scale” guilloché, enhancing the Blue Gold’s remarkable light-reflecting qualities. So as not to interrupt this feature, the ANDERSEN Genève logo is removed from the dial, replaced by addition of the “A” logo above “Genève” in the worldtime’s city ring.
(2) Automaton JOKER: ANDERSEN Genève & Konstatin CHAYKIN collaboration
Continuing a collaboration that brought astonishment and delight when it was revealed in 2018, the Automaton JOKER sees ANDERSEN Genève and the Russian watchmaker Konstantin CHAYKIN create one of the world’s most unusual and imaginative haute horlogerie timepieces. As such, it also represents a unique collaboration between the founder of the AHCI (Academie Horlogère des Créateurs Indépendants), Svend Andersen, and its President in 2018, Konstantin Chaykin.
On the dial side, Konstantin Chaykin boldly reimagines time as told through the face of Batman’s villainous adversary The Joker: his spinning eyes act as hour and minute indicators, while his mouth, grinning broadly across the lower half of the dial, doubles as a moon phase display. The reverse, executed by ANDERSEN Genève, is no less astonishing: an automaton animation in which the Joker’s seedy associates play a game of poker. Cards are dealt, hands move, eyes roll. Each part, cut, polished and painted by hand, moves with absolute precision.
This automaton builds on another crucial pillar of ANDERSEN Genève watchmaking: its EROS Automaton watches in which erotic scenes are mechanically animated. The remarkable skills involved in creating these intricate animations ensure wonder in the smallest details. For instance, every element in the poker game – the Joker’s roving eyes, the woman’s hands, the Penguin’s cards – is moving at a different speed, but with total harmony. This is an exceptionally difficult effect to achieve mechanically.
While the original run in 2018 was a limited edition of 20 watches in red gold, for the anniversary series the watch is created in a limited edition of 20 watches in white gold.
(3) Jumping Hour 40th Anniversary 5N red gold case
The first version of the Jumping Hours was presented in 5N red gold. Its exceptional levels of craftsmanship saw it nominated for the Artistic Crafts category at the Final of the Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève 2020.
The complication is one that has long held importance for Svend Andersen, who was first commissioned to create a watch with a jumping hours display in 1995, combining it with a minute repeater. Since then, ANDERSEN Genève has included the jumping hours in a number of “pièces unique” commissions.
The complication also gave rise to one of the most recognisable ANDERSEN inventions, the “Grand Jour & Nuit” with Jumping 24 Hours Hand, for which a series of watches were made for Cartier in 1998, as well as well-known editions for ANDERSEN Genève.
* Presented in 2020.