Restarting The Collector’s Series was already in the planning for quite some time. Not easy with our small team, especially since part of the team is on the road a lot, so the current situation proved to be the right moment to reach out to some friends and ask them to participate. The reason why I wanted to do this series is not just to show some remarkable watches but mainly to hear from the owner why he or she wanted to buy that particular watch. The story on “why”, is to me one of the most interesting stories. Today we’re talking with @watchonthewrist about his stunning Vianney Halter Classic with a salmon-colour dial.
We do not cover Vianney Halter a lot over here at MONOCHROME, but that doesn’t mean we don’t like his watches. We do! In fact, the watches mentioned by @watchonthewrist are also on my wish list! Vianney Halter is an artisanal watchmaker with his very own style, a recognizable and strong design, and someone who works at his own pace. This means that he won’t be introducing new watches at the same speed as, for instance, IWC, Rolex or Audemars Piguet. The last watch that Vianney introduced was the magnificent Deep Space Tourbillon and that was… 2013.
Frank Geelen – How did you come to choose a watch by Vianney Halter?
@watchonthewrist – I have been a fan of independent brands for quite some time now, and it all started 17 years ago when I ordered a Christiaan van der Klaauw wristwatch. When the watch was ready, approximately a year after ordering it, I visit the atelier from Mr van der Klaauw and I was amazed about the craftsmanship that went into these small masterpieces! Something you normally don’t see when you buy a watch at an AD or retailer. Also, you don’t notice the passion and creativity that these master watchmakers have unless you have met them and had a good conversation with them. After my first meeting with Mr van der Klaauw, I knew that if I would buy another “dream-watch” I would try to visit the brand and if possible, meeting the watchmaker in person.
Fast forward to 2017 when I was invited, through a forum where I was an active member, for a tour to with other watch collectors. We were to visit several great indie brands including Vianney Halter. I have always been a big fan of the brand because I do like that somewhat quirky and steampunk designs of his watches. After an impressive manufacture tour and seeing his amazing range of watches in progress where he explained the difficulties he needed to conquer before completing his watches and sitting next to Mr Halter at lunch and talking to him about his past and his passion for watches I knew that I wanted to own one of his watches someday in the near future.
Were you specifically looking to get the Classic?
The Classic is definitely an icon from the brand IMHO and a watch that I have seen a few times in person from other collectors, as well at GTGs and watch events. It’s also a watch that sometimes pops up for sale because Mr Halter made around 250 of them in different case materials and dial colours. I like it, it’s such a classic… pun intended.
How did you find this particular beauty? Salmon dial… very nice!
I have seen a few for sale and had been offered a few of them in the last few years but never found the right one. That is, until last year a Tokyo-based collector contacted me on Instagram, through a mutual friend, and asked me if I had any interest in buying his VH Classic. He wanted to sell his Classic, however, he demanded that the watch was going to someone who really appreciates the work of Vianney Halter. Because he was very close to Mr Halter, he didn’t want the watch to end up at a “watch-flipper” who just wants to buy the watch and then sell it for a (quick) profit.
I told him I was interested in buying the watch and asked for some pictures. After seeing these pictures I knew that this was the watch I wanted (no… needed) to have in my collection. People who know me and have been following me on Instagram and other social media know about my love (or some would say obsession) for salmon-colour dials. After talking back and forth about the price and terms we agreed that I would pick up the watch in Geneva, and so, last December I was finally in the proud possession of a gorgeous and true iconic watch, the Vianney Halter Classic, and I couldn’t be happier. This watch will be a permanent member of my collection for sure!
What do you admire in Vianney Halter?
Vianney Halter is, like I said before, a true master-watchmaker. He’s a person who follows his own taste and concept of watchmaking and doesn’t care what others think about his creations. I think you either love his work or hate it, and I really love his watches a lot. His steampunk (Jules Verne) style is very special and also very recognizable. A modern yet classic look that is easily recognizable from a distance.
Anything else from Vianney Halter on your wish list?
Everyone who is into ‘serious watchmaking’ knows Vianney Halter and his watches. When I randomly talk to a fellow WIS (Watch Idiot Savant) and ask him about a watch that he would love to own or what he/she thinks is extremely special (because it is an absolute icon for independent watchmaking) most people will mention the Antiqua. That watch is definitely on my wishlist, but I would need to win the Euromillions Lottery first, and the Antigua is almost impossible to find.
Also on my wishlist, is the Classic Janvier or a Harry Winston Opus 3, which is a collaboration between Harry Winston and Vianney Halter.
What is your advice for anyone who’s in the market for a Vianney Halter?
When other collectors are also interested in buying a Vianney Halter watch, I suggest them to contact him and see if it’s possible to visit him in his atelier. It will definitely be an experience you wouldn’t forget, and this will add up to the experience, whenever you strap a watch from Vianney Halter to your wrist. When buying on the preowned market, it’s wise to look for a watch with full service history. There are a few stories about collectors who had to pay an arm and a leg for a full service, because the watch was serviced before by an incompetent watchmaker.
But when you find and buy your Vianney Halter grail watch, you won’t be disappointed; I can promise you that. My Classic will definitely not be my last watch from Vianney Halter.
All pictures by A Collected Man from a similar Vianney Halter Classic they have for sale.
You can follow @watchesonthewrist on Instagram
If you want to participate in The Collector’s Series, then please send an email to [email protected]