It was the Friday morning training session before the 2014 Hockenheim Formula 1 Grand Prix race and we were on our way to watch from a most privileged position: the box. Or, as it’s called by the Anglo-Italo Marussia F1 team, “the garage.” Armin Strom has been sponsoring the Marussia team for three years and had invited me for a look behind the scenes.
One night I was doing my typical browse-for-tools-and-equipment-while-making-excuses-and-putting-it-off thing and I happened to be talking to my best friend about how I wished I could have what I needed to make the watch I had designed.
Having heard this story many times, she finally said, “Seriously, quit complaining and just do it.” Two days later I had an order of parts and raw materials headed my way on a FedEx truck. And here’s how I made my first watch.
Surprisingly, Montblanc has entered the 2014 edition of the Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève (GPHG). I say surprisingly because I know that Jérôme Lambert is not fond of “beauty contests.” Montblanc’s SIHH 2014 offerings were thoroughly exciting and Lambert came across like a miracle worker to me. In the short year he has been in charge, the collection now boasts clear divisions into three main pillars, the top of the line obviously remaining Villeret.
This past weekend I had the very good fortune to share an exceptional experience with good friends, a personal one, but it involved people I know through my work with watches. Over dinner we reminisced about a memorable trip back in 2009 to the Nice observatory for the introduction of the Ulysse Nardin Moonstruck wristwatch. Let me take you on a trip down memory lane with it.
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.
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.