Late in 2015 the news came through that A.H.C.I. co-founder Svend Andersen had sold his company. But how did Andersen get here? Let’s take a quick tour of 53 years’ worth of independent horology the Danish way to find out, which includes an extravaganza of worldtimers, unusual erotic watches, and even poker-playing dogs.
In 1985, Svend Andersen and Vincent Calabrese founded the AHCI: Académie Horlogère des Créateurs Indépendants. The aim was to help independent watchmakers survive at a time when large brands and quartz watches were dominating the horological world. In 1985 very few people even knew that there was such a thing as independent watchmaking, as advertising and exhibitions (of which there were very few) were far too expensive for them to participate in. Today, 30 years later, the AHCI boasts 35 members and four candidates. Not bad for an organization I once described as “like herding cats.”
In 2015, the AHCI celebrates thirty years of existence. This is a genuine milestone for any organization, and is really a grand, grand accomplishment for a loose grouping of more than 30 artisans of varying nationality, background, and level of accomplishment. Here we present five beautiful watches by AHCI members we saw at Baselworld.