Almost a year ago we did a post about Thomas Prescher’s Mysterious Double Axis Tourbillon. Although the time spent with this watch was very short it stayed in my thoughts, and I wondered whether I would ever have the opportunity to see it again.
It turns out that I did have the chance to look at it again during a visit with a member of the Horologium team and #thewatchnerd to Thomas and Heike Prescher early this year. I have already mentioned some of his Tempus Vivendi dials we saw on that day, and in particular the Qatar one for which we saw a dial and completed version, but today it is time to revisit the Mysterious watch.
I received many queries about how the ‘mystery’ behind ‘the Mysterious’. People puzzled over it. Thomas Prescher is a highly specialised independent watchmaker, and perhaps it is in some part due to this status that this piece, although not a new model, is not as widely known as it should be, that its ‘firsts’ and the astonishing ‘mystery’ are not as widely known as it should be. Hopefully, today we can introduce it to a new audience.
You may recollect my mentioning in the previous post that the focus on this watch was visibility – of the (double axis) tourbillon, and of the oscillating weight with its integrated calendar. Today is all about sharing what could not be seen in the previous post.
Thomas Prescher’s idea was to create an automatic movement with a horizontal swinging oscillating weight, with the movement hidden on the left and right sides of the case, inside the bezel.
So about the movement. It is the automatic Calibre TP MANDAT No1. Developed and made by Thomas Prescher, it measures 38mm x 33mm in diametre, 12.35mm in height, and has 394 components.
This watch was the first double-axis tourbillon wristwatch with a constant force mechanism in the carriage, the first wristwatch with a calendar in the oscillating weight, the first automatic movement with a horizontal oscillating weight, and the first automatic movement with upright mainplates – these are what you can now see in these photos but which are hidden from view in the watch’s final form.
At 36.75mm wide, 41.20mm high and 16.50mm thick, this watch may appear hefty and angular to some, but not only does it feel perfectly fine on the wrist, but there is a reason for its shape and thickness, and that lies in what Thomas Prescher sought to achieve (and did) with this watch. In this sense it is a very minimalist watch, but it is not only a remarkable piece of horology but also very intriguing and appealing aesthetically. In a way it is almost easy to forget its timekeeping aspect when examining it, but this is a watch that I would be more than happy to have on my wrist.