Monochrome Watches
An online magazine dedicated to fine watches

Benjamin Chee x Andersen Genève Celestial Voyager “Aurora” and “Arctic Sunrise” (Live Pics & Price)

Two heavenly enamel and guilloché editions of the Celestial Voyager world timer.

| By Rebecca Doulton | 5 min read |

A seasoned collector turned entrepreneur, Benjamin Chee is passionate about exquisite bespoke handcrafted objects. To sate his thirst for refined watches, the Singaporean created his flagship Benjamin Chee Haute Horlogerie (BCHH) in 2019, teaming up with some of the top names in watchmaking like Svend Andersen of Andersen Genève. One of the most remarkable models to issue from BCHH in Switzerland is the Celestial Voyager, a refined high-end world timer. Two new Celestial Voyagers in pink gold with cloisonné enamel dials – “Aurora” and “Arctic Sunrise” – are launched following in the footsteps of the much-praised “Sunset over Cappadocia” of 2022.

Chee & Andersen

Benjamin Chee, who describes himself as the founder and visionary-in-chief of BCHH, relies on the best talent and manufacturers in Switzerland to bring to life his dream watches (he is also the name behind the Chinese brand Celadon and Milléchron). One of his collaborators is none other than esteemed master watchmaker Svend Andersen. After a nine-year stint at Patek Philippe working in the Grandes Complications atelier, where he became familiar with Louis Cottier’s 1930 World Time complication, Svend Andersen founded Andersen Genève in 1980. In 1989, Andersen presented his first World Time watch.

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Svend Andersen’s ultra-thin world timer, the Mundus, with a case of only 4.2mm – circa 1994

Like the two earlier editions of the Celestial Voyager, the watch marries a sophisticated world-time movement to an artisanal métiers d’art dial, entirely decorated and finished by hand. Marking the first of the Celestial Voyagers to appear in 18k pink gold cases, the dimensions – 37.7mm diameter x 10.1mm height – are compact. One of the signature features of the design is the graceful scalloped shape of the lugs, referred to as “eagle’s wings”, which are soldered to the case and brightly polished by hand, like the bezel. In contrast, the caseband features a fine satin-brushed finish.

BCHH x Andersen Geneve Celestial Voyager Sunset over Cappadocia World Time

Andersen’s world timer, emulating Cottiers, relies on two crowns: the left crown bearing the BCHH seal adjusts the city ring, while the right crown engraved with the Andersen Genève logo adjusts the time. In line with the elegant dress watch mood of the watch, the crowns are recessed into the casebands and are almost imperceptible.

Cloisonné enamel and guilloché

Once again, the Celestial Voyager flaunts a stunning handcrafted guilloché and cloisonné enamel dial. The layout of the dial is identical to the former editions and displays a two-tiered city ring with 24 cities inscribed in rose gold powder on an iridescent mother-of-pearl base. Surrounding the dial is a rotating dark blue 24-hour ring with pink gold numerals set against a darker background.

The pièce de résistance is the remarkable scenery depicted on the central 18mm disc. As mentioned, there are two models and two themes: “Aurora” recreates the surreal glow of the northern lights produced in the Arctic with purple and claret tones; “Arctic Sunrise” portrays the dawn with a vista of snow-capped mountains and a clear blue sea.

Using a solid gold base, the first procedure is the hand guilloché to create the patterns, followed by the cloisonné enamel to form the mountains’ silhouette and the scenery’s changing colours. Cloisonné enamelling is a complex three-part process. First, the flat gold strips, cut from more than a metre of gold wire, are used to outline the image and have to be soldered onto the dial’s surface, creating miniature cells. Once the outline has been made, the artist selects a colour palette and applies vitreous enamel colours into the tiny cells with the help of a thin natural bristle brush. Entirely crafted by hand, the dial is then fired up to 20 times in the kiln and polished to achieve a smooth, uniform texture. You can appreciate the guilloché used to create the textured sunrays of “Arctic Sunrise” and the dramatic striated night sky of “Aurora” and how the ridged textures and enamel colours play with the light. The rose gold leaf hands are skeletonised to ensure an unimpeded view of the artwork.

The BCHH Celestial Voyager has a vintage movement sourced from A. Schild S.A. and is entirely restored and decorated by Andersen Genève. The base movement – calibre AS 1876 – is fitted with a proprietary Andersen Genève world time module and runs at 3Hz. As you would expect, the decoration is sublime, with a 21k BlueGold rotor (produced by heating the metal) decorated with a beautiful guilloché pattern composed of overlapping waves. The Geneva stripes and anglage are done by hand, as are the chamfered and mirror-polished ratchet and crown wheels, while all the visible surfaces of the wheels are decorated with circular graining ad snailing. A mother-of-pearl ring bearing the inscription Benjamin Chee Haute Horlogerie and Andersen Genève completes the picture.

Availability & Price

Only 15 pieces of each model will be produced, with a maximum of five pieces produced each year over a period of three years. “Aurora” and “Arctic Sunrise” Celestial Voyagers retail for CHF 58,800 and are available exclusively from BCHH and Andersen Genève. There are also customisation options; a bespoke city ring will add CHF 4,800 to the price, as will your choice of hand-engraving on the rotor. If you are interested in a fully customised BCHH model, don’t miss our Collector’s Series interview to get an idea of the infinite bespoke options BCHH offers.

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1 response

  1. Andersen has been making these watches for decades. His erotic automatons are also rather famous and funny.
    But a pocketful of gold and an outsized ego buys one the right to put your name first and call oneself a visionary… Distasteful.


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