On the weekend of November 11, 2017, it was once again time for Only Watch, the charity auction to fund muscular dystrophy research conducted under the sponsorship of His Serene Highness Albert II of Monaco. And, as in 2015, I was fortunate to be invited to join the Stern family and Patek Philippe team for the events of the weekend.
I am the resident “collector” for Quill & Pad. My enduring love affair with good watchmaking began in my formative years and has accompanied me throughout my adult life. In the fortunate position to be able to acquire luxury timepieces as an adult, I am choosy in terms of quality and meaning and do not follow the mainstream art of collecting as it is primarily understood today.
I have been an active contributor to online horological fora for about a decade as I have also become very interested in learning the art of macro photography and even take lessons with wizard photographer Ming Thein. I joined Quill & Pad as the concept of talking about what interests the contributors (and therefore the readers) rather than the act of being an amplifier for industry press releases appeals to me greatly.
Entries by GaryG
Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past several months, you are well aware that on October 26, 2017 Phillips conducted an auction in New York City at which the Paul Newman Rolex Daytona owned by Mr. Newman himself was sold for more than $17.5 million, a record price for a wristwatch of any kind. I was fortunate to attend the auction and its attendant events: there was much more to see and some lessons to take away, about both the current state of the vintage market and bidding at auction.
One of the great pleasures of being a contributor here at Quill & Pad is that it gives me an excuse to set aside other priorities on a regular basis and immerse myself in the world of macro watch photography. Along the way, I’ve been asked by a number of folks to reveal techniques that I use to create the images you see in my articles, so here are some of my tips.
The last time I wrote here on Quill & Pad about my relationship with the world’s greatest mass luxury brand was last year when I explained ‘Why I’ve Never Owned a Rolex – And Why I Might Yet.’ Well, to know me is to know that if I say I “might yet” buy something it’s likely only a matter of time. So, too, with this Rolex: the GMT Master II BLNR “Batman” with black-and-blue bezel.
The date: January 13, 2012. The place: Glashütte, Germany, where one of my best friends had arranged for the two of us to visit A. Lange & Söhne. The vision: my friend extended his arm from the sleeve of his shirt, and what I saw left me reeling – my first view of the Lange Datograph Perpetual in white gold. I was confident from that very moment that this was a watch for me, but pursuit of the piece took four long years.
Like many collectors, I’ve bought and sold a number of watches at auction over the years. So with the autumn watch auctions nearly here, and me being a systematic type of guy, I’ve taken the time to analyze my philosophy of auction bidding. Here I share some of the tactics I use with the hope that some may be useful to you in your own bidding.
Wouldn’t it be splendid to have everything your heart desired? Well, it’s a nice fantasy but it’s not going to happen for me. And besides, I’m not so sure that the experience of “selling to buy” isn’t actually a significant part, albeit a bittersweet one, of the collecting experience.
While my friends’ paths into serious collecting have been fairly diverse, I started with Jaeger-LeCoultre, which opened my eyes to the world of fine watchmaking and served as the foundation for my ongoing fascination with horology. Take a look at hishistory collecting fascinating timepieces by this Swiss brand.
If you’re just beginning to collect the works of independent watchmakers, I’m here to suggest that you give careful consideration to watches from Habring2, the small independent watchmaking company headed by Austrian couple Maria Kristina and Richard Habring.
“I have no secrets as past watchmakers had. There are graveyards full of secrets and that’s enough.” –Philippe Dufour, 2014
Have you heard of Philippe Dufour?
Chances are, if you have been collecting watches for any significant period of time, his name is well known to you. If not, let me enlighten you.