Andreas Strehler Papillon d’Or Watch Hands-On

Andreas Strehler Papillon d’Or Watch Hands-On

Andreas Strehler Papillon d'Or Watch Hands-On Hands-On

The most famous aesthetic element of Andreas Strehler watches is the butterfly (papillon in French) motif. It's sort of funny given that Andreas Strehler makes men's watches, and - at least in America and other parts of the West - butterflies are usually associated with more feminine items (and not men's watches). Lower-back tattoos and such aside, in the context of the horological world, think of fancy watches from Van Cleef & Arpels and their regular emphasis on butterflies. So, the question we ask is whether or not the Andreas Strehler Papillon d'Or ("butterfly in gold") watch does its job asserting itself as a masculine item?

Andreas Strehler Papillon d'Or Watch Hands-On Hands-On

Perhaps more so than the butterfly-shaped bridge in the movement, Andreas Strehler watches are distinctive because of the case shape. Elegant and original-looking on the wrist, this hybrid "TV screen and cushion" case design works well and is also comfortable. The size of the Andreas Strehler Papillon d'Or watch is 41mm wide, but 43.40mm wide including the unique crown design. The watch further has a 47.2mm long lug-to-lug distance. Moreover, the lugs are curved, making for a comfortable fit on the wrist. I would suggest that given the design and size of the watch, for most men's wrists, the Andreas Strehler Papillon d'Or will look best if you are wearing long sleeves (but of course, that is a matter of taste).

Andreas Strehler Papillon d'Or Watch Hands-On Hands-On

Andreas Strehler Papillon d'Or Watch Hands-On Hands-On

Toward the higher end of the always boutique Andreas Strehler collection of timepieces, the Andreas Strehler Papillion d'Or attempts to celebrate the full spectrum of talents and skills offered by the independent watchmaker. Fit and finishing is quite good (as it should be for the price) and movement decoration and design is very attractive. In fact, the major reason for buying a timepiece like the Andreas Strehler Papillon d'Or is, of course, the mechanical movement within.

Andreas Strehler Papillon d'Or Watch Hands-On Hands-On

Inside the watch is the "Calibre Papillon d'Or" (at least you know it isn't being used in other watches), and it is produced from 162 parts operating at a frequency of 3Hz (21,600 bph). The movement was first presented in 2015 - so as of writing, it is still a new caliber. While not incredibly complex, the movement is both useful and elegant. There is no running seconds hand, and time is indicated via the off-centered dial for the time placed toward the right of the dial. To the left is a view of the free-sprung balance system which has a Breguet overcoil on the hairspring.

Andreas Strehler Papillon d'Or Watch Hands-On Hands-On

The movement uses a double mainspring barrel system for a total power reserve of 72 hours (three days). There is also a handy power reserve indicator located on the rear of the movement - which I agree is a more or less necessary element for manually wound movements. According to Andreas Strehler, a very small (in their words, "perhaps the world's smallest") differential gear is incorporated in the power reserve display system as connected to the hand.

Andreas Strehler Papillon d'Or Watch Hands-On Hands-On

Andreas Strehler Papillon d'Or Watch Hands-On Hands-On

Speaking of hands, all of them are beautifully produced and flame-blued. Back on the dial, you can see a machine guilloche engraved ring used as the minute and hour marker scale which helps to both make legibility high and make the overall design attractive and classic-looking.

Andreas Strehler Papillon d'Or Watch Hands-On Hands-On

Much of the value in the Andreas Strehler Papillon d'Or movement is the finishing and decoration. Finishing is very good, and Mr. Strehler is not shy about the pride he has in his work. I appreciate that, in addition to aesthetic considerations, a number of steps have been taken to ensure that the movement operates as accurately and reliably as possible. The movement even includes an "Andreas Strehler escapement" which is unique to his timepieces. Also note the two gears in the movement produced from transparent sapphire crystal, something else which is rather special.

Andreas Strehler Papillon d'Or Watch Hands-On Hands-On

In my opinion, the Andreas Strehler Papillon d'Or movement is quite beautiful, and as the name of the watch implies, the butterfly-shaped bridge is produced from 18k rose gold. Is the butterfly feminine? I wouldn't say so. In fact, I think Andreas Strehler succeeds in bringing a pleasant genderless celebration to the Lepidoptera order of flying insects. According to Wikipedia, there are actually 180,000 species of moths and butterflies within the order. I am sure more than enough lepidopterists who also enjoy timepieces will see appeal in this collection. And even if you aren't traditionally a butterfly fan, then the original take on the theme for a men's watch might be enough to garner interest in the watch (in addition, of course, to Andreas Strehler's demonstrated proficiency at movement decoration and polishing).

Andreas Strehler Papillon d'Or Watch Hands-On Hands-On

The deep view in the the skeletonized movement offers a rich opportunity to view the finely beveled edges and clever skeletonization techniques. In terms of mechanical movement architecture, the Andreas Strehler Papillon d'Or is top notch in its presentation. You might also notice that various Andreas Strehler Papillon d'Or watches out there are given slightly different decorative techniques. This version, for instance, has different finishing on the back of the movement than the one on Andreas Strehler's website.

Andreas Strehler Papillon d'Or Watch Hands-On Hands-On

While not strictly limited edition watches, I would imagine that most Andreas Strehler Papillon d'Or watches are produced on order only. That would translate into a rather high level of exclusivity for the brand which probably only makes a few dozen timepieces per year. The Andreas Strehler Papillon d'Or comes either with an 18k red gold case (as you can see hands-on in the article you are reading) or in platinum. Prices are 108,000 and 123,000 Swiss francs respectively. astrehler.ch

What do you think?
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  • IanE

    I wouldn’t feel embarassed to wear that (though my bank balance would). Is that oil droplets on the plate next to the power reserve scale?

    • JosephWelke

      They look like small pits in the metal, to me…

  • Roman

    If I buy this watch, my wife will take it from me and will wear it herself.

    • Shinytoys

      go for joint custody 🙂

    • IG

      Then you could take her Louboutin high heels and wear them.

  • MEddie90

    A watchmaker I have a huge amount of respect for but never seems to produce a design that really catches me, seems to be a common issue. When it comes to independents they are often driven by a single individual and so finding one who can both, put together a well designed movement and a pretty face/case/hands is quite rare. They either produce an interesting movement but leave the face of the watch a little to bland and safe or alternately produce a very unusual aesthetic which fits a specific niche.

    A really impressive movement, interesting to see a sapphire set of gears too, can only imagine the intricacies of getting those teeth to mesh snugly without too much backlash.

    • iamcalledryan

      I agree and disagree! The first time I saw a Journe I was suspicious of the teardrop hands, the visible dial screws, the rose gold, the skinny crown. The LF case, skinny hands, the Kari teardrop lugs and oversized breguet moon hand. Over time I began to equate these design cues with individual representations of their mastery and have come to love them. In the same way, with every AS I start to hope that he never changes his style.

      • MEddie90

        I think those makers are unusual in their designs (forgot to mention R.W Smith and De-Bethune too) and certainly may take some warming too but ultimately they have a certain cohesiveness in their designs that marries the visual and technical-movement based aspects and avoid being overly bombastic. Same goes for other independent makers like Ochs und Junior, they have a modus operandi and create a design which complies with that on all levels.

        With AS I just don’t get the same feeling for some reason, though its probably more a matter of taste than bad design.

  • Raymond Wilkie

    Yummy.

  • hatster

    Call me a luddite but it looks almost unfinished. I think the dial needs a stronger design as it is almost too unassuming. But very impressive, all the same.

  • egznyc

    Androgyny on the wrist. Not really my cup of tea but there’s a lot to respect and admire here.

  • iamcalledryan

    Really beautiful and unusual. Love his bridges and wheels.

  • Jerry Davis

    Not even if I had the money.

  • WINKS

    It’s not a testo fest like a Breitling Avenger DLC Chrono, but at 41mm there is nothing effeminate about it except maybe the name.

  • Shinytoys

    I love the shape, and that movement is sweet.

  • Marius

    I have always been a fan of Andreas Strehler watches; but I don’t like the price-quality ratio of this brand. I mean, this watch is certainly very nicely finished, but not good enough for the over $110,000 price tag. Moreover, keep in mind that this watch features only a simple complication. Sure, it’s a limited production watch; however there are other brands that also have a limited production — Laurent Ferrier, Voutilainen, MB&F — but are better finished, as well as more complex. What’s more, for this price you could easily buy a Patek Perpetual Calendar Chronograph, or a Lange Datogragph Perpetual — two watches that besides being much more complex and better finished are also quite rare.

  • peter_byford

    Value for money, competition & brand awareness in the sub $5,000 & lower, is a relatively easy affair for most of us to have a mental concept of. If we like it, can afford it, we may make a few decisions that edge us towards purchasing one watch over another. The same is true, to an extent, for watches in the higher price band, like this piece. Those that can afford it, have the advantage of their purchasing power to ignore subjective value for money issues, but still buy into exclusivity, limited editions, &, well, because they simply like it. I have no issue with this………the only person that justifies the price they pay for anything, is the person who bought it. As Marius alludes to, with this amount of wealth to splash out on a piece, I’d be looking at Lange too, but that’s just me too. This AS is not as ugly or grotesque in design as many others currently are IMHO, & yes, I could happily wear it lol !

  • Sevenmack

    Lovely. Just lovely. Unlike Marius, I would choose this watch over a dull Patek.