The pre-selected Calendar watches in the 2014 Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève are as varied as they are superb: the A. Lange & Söhne Richard Lange Perpetual Calendar Terraluna, Montblanc Meisterstück Heritage Perpetual Calendar, Van Cleef & Arpels Midnight Planetarium, Breguet Classique Tourbillon Quantième Perpétuel, Zenith Captain Winsor Annual Calendar and the Jaquet Droz Perpetual Calendar Eclipse Ivory Enamel. Which would you choose?
Ferdinand Adolph Lange had already been selling watches in Saxony’s capital city Dresden since 1844. Follow us on a historical journey through nineteenth-century Dresden to lightly trace the footsteps of the Glashütte watch industry’s founding father, which continues in the modern day with A. Lange & Söhne’s new boutique on New York City’s Madison Avenue.
Ninety years is a ripe old age to reach for anyone, and few actually reach it. But it doesn’t surprise me that Walter Lange has reached this age so gracefully. He was, after all, 66 – retirement age for most people – in 1990 when he embarked upon the new business venture with Günter Blümlein to refound his family’s birthright.
The 2014 edition of the Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este on Lake Como, Italy was exceptional, with both stunning automobiles and fantastic weather. Pour yourself a chilled glass of Chianti and enjoy the photos.
De gustibus non disputandum est, as they say: there is no arguing about taste! In particular, I’m not one to tell people what they can do with their belongings. If you, for instance, want to take your Ferrari, paint it pink, and put a giant Hello Kitty decal on it, that’s your privilege. That doesn’t mean that I have to like the item in question. In this instance, I am referring to the Grieb & Benzinger re-interpretation of the classic A. Lange & Söhne Pour le Mérite Tourbillon christened Blue Merit.
Quill & Pad has the extreme honor to introduce you to the Grieb & Benzinger Blue Merit, a unique collector’s item created from one of the rarest serial movements in watch history: A. Lange & Söhne’s Tourbillon Pour le Mérite.
My first rule when it comes to collecting is to avoid setting too many exclusionary rules.
I am sure that there are many theme-centered watch collectors who put emphasis on things such as owning one of each Omega vintage chronograph from a certain year or Elgin railroad watches of a particular decade. These people might consider what I do far too haphazard to be labeled “collecting,” for instance.
If, however, I force myself to set criteria for what constitutes collecting to me, I keep coming back to two rules for myself: passion and enjoyment.
And this is perhaps best defined by asking yourself, “Are you emotionally engaged with the items you collect, be they watches, cars, or bottle caps, and do you take advantage of all of the enjoyable aspects of owning them?”
With watches, I believe, the former criterion – passion – is what separates collectors from investors and accumulators. Which brings me to the second criterion: deriving the full enjoyment from the things you own.
This year’s SIHH is full of complicated revelations. And, even more surprisingly, we have found at least five perpetual calendars at the fair, all of which are very different in approach, design and even price.
Traditionally, the right to be called a grand complication is reserved for timepieces containing at least three of horology’s most difficult complications: a chronograph or split-seconds chronograph; an astronomical complication such as a perpetual calendar; and a striking complication, e.g repeater or sonnerie. Naturally, these rules are unwritten and therefore subject to interpretation.