Ultimate Cars, Watches & Hi Fi S04 ep4 : Andreas Strehler, Strehler Watches, [Switzerland]
Interview with Andreas Strehler
Andreas Strehler likes to describe himself as „a mere watchmaker“, although he has long since made a name for himself as a „createur“ of extraordinary timepieces. It all began in Frauenfeld in 1987 where he learned the profession of watchmaker. He then worked for Renaud et Papi where he was responsible for prototypes and developed and constructed complicated mechanisms. 1995 Andreas Strehler began working as a self-employed watchmaker restoring antique timepieces and started to develop his own watches. He also constructed movements for H.Moser & Cie, Harry Winston, Maurice Lacroix and Maitres du Temps. 2008 Andreas Strehler presented the Papillon, followed by the Cocon in 2012, examples of his philosophy of watch movements as living organisms. Their form also exemplifies a revival, and a new interpretation, of the traditional art of watchmaking.
I’m a watch maker, I create watches. I make my watches with a own identity, but I’m more
concentrated on the product. For me the movement of watches, that’s what I like and what I do. I
have my own brand and on the other side, I have my company which is developing movements for
other brands. Most of my time I’m doing this. I did the Opel 7 for Herb Vincent. Now the Chapter 3
for **** I did nearly all movement, in engineering for H. Moose and Company. I create it, but
production there, is their own production.
Basically when I was a child, I wanted to be an inventor, a creator. Somebody who builds robots and
time machines. In part because of my father, because he collects watches, mostly pocket watches with
little complications. He prefers to buy a steel watch with a complication, than a gold watch with
nothing. When I was a child, I was so trained to see watches. When somebody gave me a watch in my
hand, I could tell him immediately, on which age it was build, where it was build and everything. Many
person end of school, intended to become a watch maker, but life it was in the 80’s everybody said, no
watchmaking has no future. It was just at the end of the big crisis, and I said no. I want become a
watch maker. So finally, I found a workshop about 30 kilometers form my hometown, which sold and
repaired watches and I did an apprenticeship, Traditional Swiss apprenticeship in watch making. With
the courses at the watch making school in ****. As most of the boys had disassembled everything to
see what’s inside, destroyed motorcars, everything, and also watches. My father said, no you don’t
disassemble my watches, so I had to imagine how the watch should be inside, to make this happen
I have my own little collection, it’s a movement from Jean Antoine Lepine, who was also one of the
masters who trained Breguet. Lepine did a movement design like nobody did before. He really
studied what was finally the base for Breguet movement, but it was before he had his own gear trains,
his own bridge style. So repeater style was absolutely different. He was really creative. This was one of
my favorite watch movements I have. If you take apart a 200 years of Breguet, you can clean it, you
can put it together, it will work. They did everything in a good proportion, not going to the limits of the
materials, good solid engineer, that’s it. I always try to do the same. The inside has to be solid. We still
use the same techniques as 200 years ago. We have new materials, but finally the physics of physics,
you can’t change it. 05:12
The mechanical watch making is like an endless loop, always repeating the same technology and going
a little bit further, but it’s like we reuse just this little decade. We modernize it, we improve it, we tune
it and we can create every day, something new. It’s like music, you know the notes alone sends back,
they’re defined, but we can compose everything in new sound.
The watches done by Daniels, crazy because Daniels founded the new independent watch making.
Nearly everyone who made watches himself, have seen them making watches in his books, so it’s
nearly an instruction how to. Even if I work for several companies, most of the ideas of these watches,
are not born in my brain. They tell me what they want, like the window mechanism of metal on
Chapter 3. They have idea even to have these windows, but how to activate it, no idea. This is mostly
my work, but it’s not the same as ideas, as I did for Hemingson.
Kari [Voutilainen], we know each other, between 15 and 20 years. He told me about Chapter 3. He
already began to work with Maitre Du Temp. I said okay, we will do the improvements to the
production. I have known Stephen already before. We had already ideas together, but now I’m with
Chapter 3 and I like it. I really like it. I had a meeting with ***, he came to my workshop. He asked me,
do you have some things on show. I showed him my Papyon watch. It was just on the screen, but it
was already created, and he said, wow that’s it. That’s the design I want, do you have something else,
and then I showed him the switching indication watch, close by. And he said okay, this complication I
like, so can you merge these two together, and I said no. One is a understatement watch and the other
one is a show piece. So how can we merge a show piece and an understatement together, and he said
you will find a way. And finally it became the Opel 7. The **** wearing all that ** Stephen Farcey.
Everyone was in the same team. I think we had less than 10% Swiss in our ****. It’s good that we, the
watch makers are more visible in the market, but the other sense couple of the watch makers have
lost the name. A single pop star is still the same, but a pop group can be replaced by everyone.
OFFICIAL WEBSITE: Andreas Strehler, Strehler Watches, Switzerland