I hope you’ll find this commentary on a collector’s mindset and the motivations, delights, and possible misgivings behind why I bought a Vianney Halter Deep Space Tourbillon interesting and helpful.
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
Recently, a good friend and avid collector gave me the mouth-watering opportunity to photograph two splendid Patek Philippe minute repeaters: the 5074P and 5078P. If you’re one of those people who believe in wearing a watch with your tuxedo, I don’t think you’d ever go wrong in pulling the 5078P out of the safe to wear. What else is interesting about it?
Here begins a very special three-part series looking at, and listening to, two of Patek Philippe’s splendid minute repeaters: References 5074P and 5078P. If there’s any curiosity about which of the two I prefer, I’ll get that question out of the way right now: I consider the 5074P to be one of the finest contemporary wristwatches; it is a piece that awes me every time I handle one.
When collectors gather anywhere and talk about their collections, recent purchases, and executed or potential sales, there’s a term that comes up more often than not: “getting hurt.” Here I provide a master class in how not to get hurt in the world of watch collecting.
When my grandfather passed away, he left a watch in safekeeping for me and I treasure it to this day. Fully forty years later, I inherited a previously unseen box of my grandfather’s watches, revealing him to have been what I had become: a watch collector.
What is the real difference between a novelty watch and a classic timepiece? Is it possible to make a watch providing a novel and entertaining display of time that is wearable in a variety of settings and will be respected years from now? I believe that I own such a piece: the Ludovic Ballouard Upside Down.
I love independent watchmaking and independent watchmakers; one of my great joys as a collector is having the feeling that, in a small way, I am supporting their efforts.
So I put some thought into why independent watchmakers struggle in a business sense and how they can remain relevant in changing market situations.
Like many people, my starting point for serious watches was with a well-priced brand long known for its expertise in developing movements, justly viewed as offering good value for money – but not necessarily for the refinement of its movement finishing, at least on its less expensive pieces. What have I learned since then?
Just as the journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step, a collection, no matter its eventual size or value, begins with a single watch. This is the story of the first watch that I bought for myself, one that I still own and wear 45 years later: a chronometer bearing the Bucherer name.
A piece that for me is a long-term keeper, is the wonderful Antiqua by Vianney Halter. The truth is that I fell for the Antiqua when I first saw one more than a dozen years ago; while many of my friends will freely confess that at the time they were at first put off by its looks, I was smitten from the start. But that’s not all that I love about this watch.