Tourbillon Pièce Unique
Alain Silberstein SPECIALLY FOR THE EVENT
A unique, attractive and collectible yellow gold metiers d’art tourbillon wristwatch from the Alain Silberstein brand, established in 1987 by Parisian architect and designer Alain Silberstein until it disappeared in 2012. Piece unique produced in 1994. Case in 18k yellow gold, diameter 38mm, sapphire caseback. Dial with enamel decoration, branded Bauhaus-style red and blue hands. Caliber LWO 387, Swiss made, hand-wound, power reserve up to 50 hours. Functions – indication of time in hours and minutes, tourbillon at 6 o’clock. Black leather strap, Alain Silberstein yellow gold pin buckle. Piece unique.
Alain Silberstein watches had a strong charisma from the moment the brand was founded, based on the unique vision of Alain Silberstein in his interpretation of the Bauhaus style and inspired by the art of Wassily Kandinsky. The typical design for the brand includes the use of the primary colours blue, red and yellow, and basic geometric shapes such as the circle, square and triangle. In addition, Alain Silberstein was prone to experimentation and risky ventures, which include the present single piece edition, primarily sold by Artcurial auctioneers during the judicial sale in 2014 following the brand’s bankruptcy.
The strong charisma and creative nature of the brand’s collection, unfortunately, proved to be underestimated by the market, contributing to the deterioration of the financial health of the brand. In modern times, thanks to a significant increase in interest in the watches of independent masters and small creative brands, Alain Silberstein watches may be regarded as very attractive and promising collectibles. Alain Silberstein was able to create his own, easily recognisable and memorable style, which cannot be confused with watches created by other designers. In many of his creations he was ahead of his time, offering watches that remain relevant to this day, such as the present example.
The status of collectible is also given to this watch by its remarkable decorative design, with a crescent moon-shaped dial with a black background and an image of a holly branch, which is made in the combined enamel technique by the master enameller Michel Vermot from Donzé Cadrans
First of all, the execution level of this unique piece should be noted, which is unusually high for the brand. The basis of this model is the caliber LWO 387 produced by Nouvelle Lémania, at that time the supplier of Breguet, Daniel Roth, Vacheron Constantin and a few other brands. For Alain Silberstein, this caliber received a special execution with an unusual and large S-shaped tourbillon bridge that dominates the dial side of the watch. Caliber LWO 387 is a representative of the first generation of this movement, an analogue of caliber 558 in the Breguet designation. Alain Silberstein used this movement until approximately 2000, prior to the moment he launched models based on the more affordable Progress Watch/STT/Dimier tourbillon caliber. Featuring a high-end caliber, the Tourbillon Cloisonné Houx Piece Unique clearly stands out from most other models in the Alain Silberstein collection, which were mostly equipped with regular Eta calibers.
The watch comes in a massive 38mm yellow gold case, which also makes it stand out given that Alain Silberstein predominantly used stainless steel in his collection.
The status of collectible is also given to this watch by its remarkable decorative design, with a crescent moon-shaped dial with a black background and an image of a holly branch, which is made in the combined enamel technique by the master enameller Michel Vermot from Donzé Cadrans, now owned by Ulysse Nardin. The technique of cloisonné enamel is complemented by that of translucent enamel on an engraved base, the fusion of champlevé and flinqué enamel techniques. Even if this watch were not made in a single piece, it would still have the status of being unique since the manual production of such a dial makes each timepiece one of a kind.
The enamel dial of the present example leaves a very pleasant impression as a miniature work of art. It is devoid of traces of uncertainty and copying, which, unfortunately, are characteristic of many modern enamel dials. In the Tourbillon Cloisonné Houx Piece Unique dial, we find a bold style with an asymmetrical structure and a clearly articulated artistic message dedicated to the theme of Christmas.
The Alain Silberstein Tourbillon Cloisonné Houx Piece Unique No. 1/1 would be an excellent purchase for the collector who desires an extremely rare, attractive and collectible tourbillon wristwatch of a small independent and highly creative watchmaking brand, eminent producer of unconventional, provocative and playful watches. The extraordinary design and the rare decorative execution with notable enamel work of master Michel Vermot certainly add to the appeal of the present example, a piece of history of modern haute horlogerie.
|Case||Polished 18k yellow gold case with sapphire caseback & straight lugs & six sided star crown at 3 o'clock, Pièce Unique|
|Strap||Black Alligator leather strap|
|Dial||Openworked black enamel dial, with translucent holly common plant illustration & specially shaped hour & minute hands in gold, one-minute tourbillon at 6 o'clock|
|Movement||Rhodium plated Geneva striped hand-wound movement, with a minute Tourbillon complication|
|Case No.||Pièce Unique|
|Case:||Very good, small signs of wear|
|Strap:||Very good, small signs of wear|
|Movement:||Very good, all functions working properly|
|Amplitude (Dial on top/Lift angle 52):||Approx 230°|
|Accuracy (Dial on top):||Approx +30 sec/day|
Parisian designer Alain Silberstein, born in 1950, has always been swimming against the mainstream. Educated as an interior architect, Silberstein became interested in watchmaking and presented his first watch in 1987 at the Basel exhibition.