VIANNEY HALTER - ANTIQUA
THE ONE THAT STARTED IT ALL
By « it » i mean, the Contemporary « Movement » of non-traditional case shapes.
The history of the « Perpetual Antiqua » is pretty amazing! It actually started as a collaborative project between two main characters : Jeff Barnes & Vianney Halter.
Jeff Barnes had the initial idea and designed the timepiece. He then sought a partner to give life to his creation. After sharing his story/drawings to some people, he ended up meeting a Watchmaker of a small village named Sainte-Croix (Switzerland), Mr. Vianney Halter.
Vianney Halter built the first prototypes and quickly orders came in. On the first batch of sellables, the company name « Halter Barnes » was engraved in the middle of the big hour/minutes portal but quickly things became « complicated ». I don’t know exactly why the collaboration stopped and it’s not the goal of this article but i do know that dials were replaced by Vianney Halter when watches came back for service so if by any chance, i see a « Halter Barnes » model (which i have not, so far), i’ll probably pass out.
Not only its case architecture is a piece of Art but the VH198 movement offers what i consider to be The Watchmaker top complication : The Perpetual Calendar
With four portals : A Day of the week (upper left) - Hour & Minutes (upper right) - Month & Leap year (lower left) and Date (lower right) indications, the creation was developed to be easy readable and convenient. I love the fact that the first two indications to show up on your left wrist (if you’re wearing a shirt) is the Time (on top) and the Date (below). It also shows how deep the thoughts were prior production.
The Rivets (or « metal dots ») are all around the timepiece (even of the rotor). It has somehow become Vianney Halter’s signature and give this incredible “Steampunk” aesthetic. I also love how the lugs connect the case to the straps… Well, when you’re in front an Icon, you can go on and on.
The Antiqua isn’t a novelty, its production started in the late 1990’s and stopped more or less around 2015.
It was impossible for W4watch to start 2019 without a Vianney Halter review and even if my personal favourite is the « Classic Janvier », the Antiqua will always have a special place in our hearts and for many collectors. Some for the good, others for the bad…
HAPPY « FUTUR ANTÉRIEUR » YEAR 2019