In 1901 a Greek sponge diver came flying out of the water screaming “there are bodies down there”! They were statues from an ancient shipwreck off a 7.6 square mile, rocky outcrop, called Antikythera. Found among the debris was some kind of mechanical device. It was fused together and a mystery as to what it was…. Since there was no mention of any mechanical gears meshing together before 1500 AD, how could a mechanical device be found with a wreck going back 2500 years! I am sitting in the middle of two gentlemen that worked on discovery of the workings. On my left is Yanis Bitsakis, a Greek physicist. On my right is Mathias Buttet, a mechanical genius of Swiss engineering and watches. The device is credited to Archimedes and they think he was bringing the device to Sicily, where he was from. They determined this was a device to predict the movement of the Sun, moon, planets and could predict an eclipse. Knowing the eclipse of the moon could have a military advantage. Hublot made a tribute watch to the device and this is how we met. Yanis spoke English and would translate to French for Mathias. I said to Yanis,…There was one thing about the Antikythere device . Wasn’t it Earth centric? The ancient’s didn’t know we revolve around the Sun. Yanis told Mathias what I said. Yanis told me Mathias responded with … “ He is one of us “. Those words, coming from them, were an honor but humbling and I have this photo to remember that day!
I found this photo from a few years back. I have the black coat… This is Willy… He retired I believe, but he was a top watchmaker for Blancpain. I loved hanging out with him when possible. The photo was taken in Basel at the Blancpain booth where I had an appointment. Willy is one of the watchmakers that Bp put in the booth to explain what they were working on at the time. I noticed that he was wearing a Blacpain Equation Marchante or the Marching Equation of Time. The watch is a Perpetual Calendar with an extra hand to show the deviation of the true solar day. Anyway, I was lucky enough to have one of the 50 platinum pieces made in the LeBrassus case. I said, “We have the same watch on!” I took mine off and it was number 3. Willy took his off and it was number……. 000 prototype!!! He made the watch and I have this wonderful picture to remember the moment.