Halda: Uniting traditional watchmaking with modern technology
Sweden has always been known for creating innovative designs which have their own unique engineering DNA. The principles of Scandinavian design aim to preserve functionality without eliminating grace and beauty. Fiercely independent, Sweden has produced some true icons – the Viggen fighter jet, the Koenigsegg supercar, Volvo ‘The Saint’ P1800 and in the field of watches – Halda Watch Company.
The Halda name will be familiar to many Londoners as they manufactured the Taximeter which recorded the time and fare of the London Taxi Cab journeys for decades. It was Henning Hammarlund who founded Halda in 1887. He began by manufacturing his own tools which he then used to perfect his own watch movement designs.
The company's reputation for fine engineering and intricate craftsmanship grew and Halda's team of mechanical experts, with their gift for precise engineering, also led them to other fields in which they are still world leaders. Under the Haldex name, they develop sophisticated gear boxes for some of the most exciting and glamorous performance cars such as Porsche, Lamborghini, Maserati and Bugatti.
Fine watchmaking has always been a staple of the company. Halda is an obvious choice when fine engineering is called for and, when asked to develop a space watch, the company accepted and rose to the challenge. Terrestrial use and space use present two extremely differing environments. Halda's answer was not to construct one over large mechanical monster but to divide the roles with two distinctly different modules – one for space use and one for those sophisticated moments in life, which could be inserted quickly and easily into an elegant, and shared case.
Halda's Space Module must not be confused with a mere digital watch. The Space Module is a wrist instrument developed in-house from the ground up by Halda engineers. Each of the functions have been designed in accordance with NASA astronaut’s advice; G-Force sensors, Earth Timer, Event Log and Mission Elapsed Timer to name but a few. The case of the Space Module is built from Tecamex, the first use of this unique material outside the current space programme.
By contrast, Halda created the mechanical module to satisfy the most demanding horological fan. Simply using a standard mechanical movement would not have been sufficient for the exacting standards of the company. Halda sought the advice of renowned watchmaker Svend Anderson and he sourced some very special 'high beat' movements operating at 36,600 bhp. These movements are known both for their beauty and accuracy and Andersen personally modernises and tunes each and every one.
With these two exceptional movements, the Halda Space Discovery gives the best of both worlds. And with the launch of Virgin Galactic due this year and flights to 70,000 feet now commercially available, the Space Pilot watch may very well become the watch of choice for the traveller of the future.
With the knowledge gained through work on the Space Discovery Pilot, it was entirely feasible that Halda's next project should be into the world of motorsport. The company developed the Race Pilot which shared the same modular concept as the Space Discovery. However, not wishing to rest on their laurels, Halda developed new modules with revised specifications and an aesthetic suitable for the race track or the paddock club.
The Halda Race Module again features a bespoke computer which contains a number of unique functions; FIA approved F1 countdown timer, chronograph measuring speed, lap timer, g-force meter and circuit details of over one hundred of the world's most prestigious racing circuits. This is an entirely new module containing innovative features, purpose built for Formula One racing drivers. The mechanical module is powered by the renowned Zenith calibre 685 movement. Housed in a DLC-treated titanium case, there are the options of three different dials exquisitely finished in Gun Metal, Black Luminova or Silver Geneva. Each dial contains twenty nine individual pieces and is decorated with Cote de Geneve and Clous de Paris.
The Halda creations have been awarded with both Red Dot and a nomination to the German Design Award. Up to the present time, Halda watches have only been available to a privileged few, F1 driver and Halda ambassador Marcus Ericsson is one of them. With only 128 Space Discovery watches being made and relatively few Race Pilots, Halda timepieces are indeed a rare breed.
To ensure that the Halda client receives the undivided personal and expert attention that they require, we at Page and Cooper have been chosen to offer our own unique level of personal attention to our exclusive clientele.
We will be pleased to take all Halda enquires and we will be holding some exclusive events for Halda during this exciting year.