Andreas Strehler – The Philosopher of Time
“Watchmaking is my life.“
From an early age it was clear what path Andreas Strehler’s life would take. In pursuit of his dreams he became an extraordinary human being, although even today he still describes himself as a „mere“ watchmaker. But a watchmaker with heart and soul.
Born in 1971, Andreas Strehler discovered his love of mechanics at an age when other children were still playing „cops and robbers“. He began dismantling his first technical appliances – and then putting them back together again so that they still functioned. Hardly anything in his parents’ home was safe from his attention, whether cuckoo clock, electric railway or atransistor radio. He was interested in their function, the interaction of their mechanics and their precision. His father even allowed him to take apart wristwatches from his collection to see how they worked. Hardly surprising then that this aroused his wish to become an inventor and a watchmaker when he grew up – although his initial idea was to invent robots and „time machines“.
Andreas Strehler eventually started learning the profession of watchmaker in Frauenfeld in 1987. After completing his training in 1991 he worked for four years as the head of prototype-development with „Renaud et Papi“ where he gathered wide experience in the development and construction of complicated machinery. And in 1995 he set up business as a self-employed watchmaker, concentrating of the restoration of antique watches.
Over the next few years, Andreas Strehler used the experience he had gathered to create a number of unusual timepieces. And more and more watch-lovers wanting their own individual watch turned to him to realize their dream. And so it happened that year after year he created a series of individual watches which met the exact demands of his customers who, in Andreas Strehler, found a „watchmaker“ with a dedication to detail and perfection and the ability to fulfill their wishes.
Besides that, Andreas Strehler continued to present unusual timepieces which captured the imagination of the watchmaking world. In 1998 his „Perpetual Calendar“ represented a new version, a new interpretation, of Abraham Louis Breguet’s Sympathique. In the same year, he patented a time-display switch with push-button operation. The following year saw the presentation of the corresponding pocket-watch „Zwei“ (Two).
Andreas Strehler also turned his attention to the use of new materials in watch construction. For example, the compensating carbon balance-wheel which he patented in the year 2000.
The „Chronoscope“, which Andreas Strehler developed for Chronoswiss in 2003, was elected Watch of the Year.
Besides developing and producing watches of his own, Andreas Strehler continued to construct movements for other famous brands. His cooperation with H. Moser & Cie began in the year 2003 and led to the creation of the Moser Perpetual which won first place at the Grand Prix de Horlogerie de Geneve for the firm in the complication category. In 2006, he developed „Le Chronographe“ for Maurice Lacroix, their first inhouse movement. And in 2007 the Opus 7 appeared in cooperation with Harry Winston.
In 2005 Andreas Strehler founded his own development centre, UhrTeil AG, which enabled him to attain the greatest possible scope of manufacturing precision. As a result, today Andreas Strehler is not only an extraordinarily gifted developer and constructor with a high reputation for reliability, but also an entrepreneur who is able to develop almost all component parts for watches and to manufacture them in his own UhrTeil AG. What’s more, if a machine required for their manufacture does not exist, he develops one himself.
The models Papillon (2008) and Cocon (2012) are examples of Andreas Strehler’s philosophy of the perfect minimalisation of a movement as a living organism, giving a new interpretation to the traditions of the watchmaker’s craft.
As a child he wanted to construct robots and time-machines – today he creates a living micromechanical cosmos between tradition and innovation – which some people would call watches.
Andreas Strehler is a founder member of the Watchmakers Club.