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Vicenzaoro September 2021: The Philosopher of Haute Horlogerie

After five centuries, Vincent Calabrese’s Calasys System has arrived causing an immediate revolution. It was discussed yesterday at VO Vintage

  • Vincent Calabrese

    Vincent Calabrese

A self-taught master in a teaching post. Vincent Calabrese is no novice to this type of exploit. Quite the contrary. We could say that he has spent a good part of his long career explaining and amazing with his numerous creations, often defined as, and actually being, revolutionary for the sector. Like the world premiere he presented here yesterday at Vicenzaoro as part of VO Vintage during the talk on Calasys, his latest invention. But first, a short look at who Calabrese is. Vincent was born in Naples in 1944 and, at the young age of 14, was already working in the most prominent watchmaking workshop. Four years later he took his first journey abroad: destination Switzerland. And his first job with Tissot. «In those years, when they asked me what I did and I told them I was a watchmaker, I often heard them say: you can’t be a watchmaker, you’re Italian!» Instead… to cut a long story short, that Italian immigrant, who now speaks with a distinct French accent, also went on to become the co-founder of the prestigious Académie Horlogère des Créateurs Indépendants, a school that, in the following years, would forge many watchmaking talents. After reminiscent stories deserving of Amarcord, the Master outlined the characteristics and potential of Calasys, defined in a nutshell as «a true alternative to the spiral hairspring », the oscillator created in 1675 by Dutchman Christiaan Huygens (1629-1695), and in use for five centuries with no substantial modifications. Calabrese showed how it worked on a pre-existing movement – the wellknown Eta 2892 – in which the spiral hairspring had been replaced by the Calasys connected to the escapement, keeping the rest of the mechanism totally intact. With an industrial prosect of global importance, the aim of the Calasys System is to “eliminate the defects of the hairspring simply and effectively” and “to be suitable for use in every type of escapement” obtaining greater performance and much easier maintenance. The other extraordinary aspect is that Vincent Calabrese will not sell the new system to the highest bidder. He will, instead, share the discovery with the entire watchmaking world: «I’m more interested in the philosophical development of our sector than making money.»

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