Last week we had the enormous pleasure of hosting Thomas for a couple of days here in Solana Beach. He arrived via Amtrak, the Pacific Surfliner, late on Friday evening, having flown into LAX earlier in the day. This is not Switzerland unfortunately, where the trains have a station in the two international airports, Zurich and Geneva, which allows for seamless transfers. So, he was rather tired for obvious reasons!
Relaxing a little while later, he revealed to me for the first time, the "Nemo Sailor", never before having been seen, it was only completed on Wednesday! I had no idea what to expect, as the previous snippets of information being released through the Prescher website and Facebook site, we're cleverly non specific.
I was happily surprised to find a relatively simple two handed wrist watch with a date, cased in marine copper bronze and staybrite steel. Steampunk! A new direction for Thomas and a welcome one from my standpoint. He then explained the concept of the Time Capsule Project, which will initially be three models, the Sailor being the first one. As Basel is next week, we were blessed to have this new watch and Thomas here to premier it for the world, rather than Basel! Actually a huge honor, and one that we were rather humbled to host.
The following morning we enjoyed a coffee, and headed into the store for the days work. We hosted a couple of lovely people from Timezone, Jessica a local San Diegan, and Kohei, who made the huge effort to drive down from San Francisco to meet Thomas and see his creations. Thomas was able to give an in-depth interview with them and they took hundreds of pictures.
Kohei & Thomas
Jessica getting a shot of the serial number on the automatic rotor on the Mysterieuse Double Axis Tourbillon with my help!
Here is a link to the excellent write up on Timezone by Jessica.
We followed this afternoon of visiting with Kohei and Jessica, with one of our collector dinners here in the store. Several local collectors were in attendance and I'm thrilled to say one chap even came down from Santa Barbara to meet Thomas, as well as Pasadena. We enjoyed some good old fashioned fellowship over a glass of wine, then sat down to a three course dinner, kindly catered by our friends at Sbicca of Del Mar. During the interlude between the salad and main course Thomas showed us a slide show of his inspiration for the Time Capsule Project, and revealed some of his personal background, which was fascinating.
His watches, particularly the Triple Axis Tourbillon, got a lot of attention from the attendees, as it is such a mesmerizing piece to behold. His flying tourbillon is to my knowledge like no other, and still to this day, having spent several hours over the last few years studying it up close, photographing it and just staring at it for minutes at a time, I am blown away and fascinated by it.
He also brought the Mysterieuse automatic Double Axis Tourbillon prototype, that he revealed in Basel 2010. It garnered many a "Wow, how does he do that...?" Even knowing how and what he has done to hide the movement in the two sides of the case, it almost defies logic. That Thomas can dream up up these crazy ideas and then execute them is a testament to his brilliance as an horological artist and amazing micro-mechanical engineer!
The Mysterieuse automatic Double Axis Tourbillon.
Here are some other pictures from the dinner event:
The original piece that struck me as extra-ordinary in Basel 2003, the Double Axis Tourbillon pocketwatch.
Myself, Thomas and a guest.
Myself, a guest and Thomas.
Here are some pictures of the pieces Thomas brought with him:
The Tempus Vivendi Qatar cased in 18k YG.
The Nemo Sailor, this initial model in the Nemo series.
Those nameplates are made of copper, with the letters and number engraved then filled with black lacquer. The gorgeous hands are heat blued with copper ends attached, and are my favorite aspect of this lovely piece.
The bezel on the front and back of the case are made of marine copper bronze, a material used in propellor shafts of ships. The central section of the case is staybrite steel with a copper bronze crown designed after the valves in a submarine.
Thomas uses copper as the frame for the rotor, inspired by Art Nouveau designs.
On the wrist, quite a looker! Even though it is 44mm, the short lugs allow for a medium sized wrist guy like myself to be able to wear it.
The following morning was spent with a local collector and then I took Thomas around to see some of the local flora & fauna of San Diego, this he doesn't see in Switzerland!
On top of the cliffs near Torrey Pines.
Sea Lions & Cormorants share the rocks in La Jolla.
I'm pretty sure a cactus like this does not exist in Switzerland!
We finished up enjoying an espresso at a local coffee shop prior to Thomas boarding the Pacific Surfliner up to Los Angeles and then on to LAX for his flight back to Switzerland. Many thanks to Thomas for making the effort to come out and preview the new watch this close to Basel, and I look forward to seeing all the excitement at his AHCI stand in Basel next week!