The Haldimann H9 Reduction is the sequel to the watchmaker’s astonishing H8. That would be the watch where journalists gasped in horror at a timepiece that didn’t tell the time. Look ma! No Hands! they cried. We don’t need no stinkin’ hands! Haldimann’s PR team [pretty much] responded. And now Switzerland’s oldest watchmaker’s doubling down . . .
It’s one thing to make a watch with no hands and no movement. It’s another make a watch with no hands with a movement of some sort, be it mechanical, quartz or a Spring Drive hybrid. It’s quite another to build this:
The tourbillon taking center stage in the platinum Haldimann H9 Reduction is mezmerizing in a way that no tourbillon has been before or, I would suggest, since. Because it’s alone. Freed from its task of motivating parts that measure time. Revealed in its single, solitary glory.
Looking at an H9 Reduction turning reminds of the first time I saw film of a beating heart. Just the heart, encased in a man’s, in someone’s chest. So that’s what inside us, I thought, agog. That’s what makes it possible for us to move, breathe, live. The damn thing has a life of its own. It’s alive.
Until it isn’t, of course.
There’s another reason I have such a visceral reaction to the Haldimann H9 Reduction: it will outlast me. With proper care and someone to wind it, the H9 will keep on turning long after my own personal, ultimate measure of time — my beating heart — stops.
Let’s talk money. Haldimann’s website doesn’t deign to the reveal the amount of filthy lucre required to add an H9 to your collection ofUnless it isn’t.
There are wealthy watch collectors for whom a $150k timepiece is as much of a financial burden as a Timex is for the average American. With the H9, extremely well-heeled horophiles separate themselves – both financially and metaphorically – from the 9 to 5 masses married to the clock. At the same time, their patronage supports an innovative watchmaker pushing the boundaries of what’s possible – and acceptable. Win win.