AHCI have announced a new, and very unique candidate to add to their wealth of watchmaking talent. Raúl Pagès may be youthful, but he is already a Master Watchmaker who has turned his focus to perserving one of the industry's oldest traditions, the construction of Automatons.
Automatons are a highly specialised genre. They are complex to construct, compelling to watch and beautiful in the extreme. Many consider them to be the first computers, such is their ability to be programmed, albeit via the use of cams and switches. Within this fascinating niche, the most exquisite of all are the animal automatons - miniature marvels which will blithesomely scuttle across a highly polished surface, thus animating their multitude of micro components so that the on-looker can partake of a moment of mechanical magic.
Raúl Pagès completed his education at the Technical School in Le Locle, but it was whilst gaining experience in repair and restoration that he witnessed at first hand the traditional techniques involved in automaton creation. His "La Tortue Automaton", unveiled earlier this year, powered by a spectacularly beautifully finished hand-made key-wound mechanical movement perhaps provides the best showcase for his talents.
The announcement of Raúl's acceptance by the AHCI as a candidate is proof, if it were needed that the Academy's original mission statement of "preserving and maintaining the horological heritage" is very much on-going, and the opportunities given to talents such as Raúl are of paramount importance,
The simply unmissable La Tortue Automaton.
The official website of the AHCI.