This year’s Tour de France started in Britain and the riders raced past one of Cambridge’s most interesting and unusual horological sights: the Corpus Christi Chronophage (“time-eater”) on display on the outside of a prominent building of the Corpus Christi College, one of the most prestigious at Cambridge University.
This is the first in a planned series of “why I bought it” articles that will unfold here over time. Of course, there will be photos – and lots of them – but I hope you’ll find my commentary on a collector’s mindset and the motivations, delights, and possible misgivings behind each individual transaction interesting, too. Let’s start the series off with a bang: the Vianney Halter Deep Space Tourbillon.
Starfleet Machine by MB&F is a very functional piece of fantasy for your desk.
Your desk? Well, yes, silly. You see, following Musicmachine, this is the second non-watch machine for MB&F, though this one actually does tell you the time.
Beside being a fantasy machine, it is also a table clock built with the wonderful skills of historic Swiss clockmaker, L’Epée 1839.
With Starfleet Machine MB&F shows us yet again why the brand is inspired by science fiction and the race to the stars, because it is simply fantastible!
The shape of the Starfleet Machine alone is enough to inspire wonder in those who view it, but when you peer into the depths of the exposed works and start to notice the details; a whole new appreciation begins to form. So let’s take a look at it.
A photo of soldiers hoisting the Soviet flag over the Reichstag at the end of WWII, became one of the most iconic images of the century. One of the subjects in the image was wearing two watches, one of which was removed in official reproductions of the photo. The camera used to take that iconic image, a Leica III, is to be auctioned by Bonhams, and it’s expected to fetch more than £300,000 ($500,000).
In Einstein’s Special Theory of Relativity, the great man introduced the concept of “spacetime: henceforth, space by itself, and time by itself, are doomed to fade away into mere shadows, and only a kind of union of the two will preserve an independent reality.” Which segues nicely into the discovery of a clock by Gustave Sandoz that doesn’t tell the time: it tells distance.
The A.H.C.I. (Academy of Independent Horological Creators) is a group in which diversity is not only accepted, but truly rules.
Nowhere is this better exemplified than the friendship between Russian Konstantin Chaykin and Ukrainian Valerii Danevych, two artists peacefully co-existing in goodwill and appreciation to produce their high expressions of art side-by-side.
Early American historian and Harvard professor Laurel Thatcher Ulrich titled her 2008 book ‘Well-Behaved Women Seldom Make History.’ Ulrich would probably be very interested to know about three famous Swiss and French brands whose very first wristwatches were made for – and in a way by – women. Their watches have made history.
With the FIFA World Cup still feverishly underway, I’d like to take a brief look at ten – well, eleven – of the most interesting soccer-related timepieces. Among these are the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Leo Messi and Richard Mille’s RM 11-01 Roberto Mancini. Flip through the list and see which is your favorite.
Arnold & Son, the relatively young brand founded only in 1995 has its roots firmly planted in the tradition of John Arnold and the chronometers he and his son created 250 years ago. The brand’s wristwatches excite and inspire me because they are a mix of classic styling and modern design, with a dash of ingenious mechanism detailing to satiate even the hungriest of watch nerds.
Roger Federer is a long-time Rolex ambassador, and as such naturally owns a few Rolex models, both new and vintage. In this video, Federer explains the personal significance of three of his favorite Rolexes.