By now, pretty much everyone who follows horological news has heard about and likely seen images of the Harry Winston Opus 14. Much of the hard data – the 1066 component parts, four separate stacked dials including three interchangeable ones, the formidable 54.7 mm diameter – is already well known. But how does this immensely complicated watch “stack up” after a bit of reflection?
It’s an extraordinary feat when some of the most established names in watchmaking and up-and-coming independents come together for a worthy cause.
The 2015 edition of Only Watch is to be held on November 7, and this sixth edition of the biennial charity auction sees the highest number of donated pieces ever: 44 in total.
Read on for a complete listing and photos, including estimates, of the all unique piece watches in the 2015 Only Watch auction.
I deliberately wrote the headline as “Why We Are In A Golden Age For Appreciating Superlative Hand-Finishing . . . ” because, the fact is that if many people do not appreciate superlative hand-finishing, then fewer will pay for superlative hand-finishing, so there is likely to be less superlative hand-finishing on offer. So what does any of this mean for the future of superlatively hand-finished timepieces?
For this special article, I have the pleasure of covering the wonderful Grönefeld One Hertz! For a watch fanatic, and especially for lovers of independent watch brands, it’s a dream come true to meet the makers of the watches that we admire. With the Grönefeld brothers, it’s that pleasure multiplied by two.
The inaugural Dubai Watch Week (DWW) has just closed its doors. And what a week it has been: sunny days filled withintroductory watchmaking classes, informative and often entertaining discussion panels, conversations with CEOs and watchmakers, and a multitude of watch collectors and aficionados enjoying all the event had to offer. But before we take a look at what was good about DWW, let’s get the “bad” and the “ugly” out of the way first.
Dear De Bethune,
Can I call you Thunie? Or, even better, just DB?
I have decided to place quill upon pad after all these years of watching you . . . no, I’m neither a stalker nor a star-struck groupie.
But more often than not you have intrigued, baffled, dazzled, and surprised me.
You do not remember our first meeting; how could you? You were just a baby, very different from what you are today. You had rather classic looks inside and out, but there was a je ne sais quoi implying that you might grow into something more interesting and perhaps flamboyant . . .
In this article I look at why high end watches cost so much by examining one of the most important factors. To answer this question, there are quite a few reasons, including low production numbers (mass manufacture brings prices down) and high complexity, but the one I will focus on here is hand-finishing, because unlike low production numbers and high complexity, ultra-high-level hand-finishing is not usually easy to appreciate.
I have a fairly narrow frame of reference when it comes to buying watches for myself: my taste runs to independents, in-house movements, and superlative hand-finishing. So why on earth am I sitting here typing about the Corum Bubble, which is from a big (for me) brand and outfitted with an ETA 2892 movement with an industrial finish? Well, this is why I bought it.
Eight years ago, Vacheron Constantin began building a mechanical work of art destined to become the world’s most complicated watch under the aegis of its bespoke watch division.
Atelier Cabinotiers offers connoisseurs the chance to commission a custom-made watch according to their own tastes and designs (but within the boundaries of the brand’s style). Reference 57260 came into being thanks to one of the world’s foremost collectors, a great connoisseur of horological art. This collector specifically requested that Vacheron Constantin create world’s most complicated timepiece for him.
In my view, every successful independent watchmaker has elements of a “house style” that may attract some buyers and put off others, but nonetheless sets him or her apart. And, at the highest level, this style goes beyond “branding” to become an expression of the personality and artistic vision of the creator. In the picturesque Swiss town of Thun, Beat Haldimann and his small team distinguish themselves by focusing on technical virtuosity of the highest order, as typified by the Haldimann H1 Flying Central Tourbillon.