It’s a story that could have come out of a thriller novel, and it’s about the oldest known watch in the world, which was made in 1505 by Peter Henlein. The Pomander Watch (‘Bisamapfeluhr’), as it is known, was confirmed by committee of experts as having been the work of Peter Henlein in 1505.
SalonQP isn’t simply a watch exhibition: it’s a watch exhibition inside an art gallery (the Saatchi Gallery), a setting that both the defines and enriches the brands and watches on display. And Hermès, very cleverly and very creatively, especially attracted visitors’ attention at SalonQP.
This young award is just barely three years old, but indeed it has already managed to reward some of the greatest personalities in the world of watches for their “passion” and “talent” – which are undeniably the most essential ingredients for the finest watchmaking. A jury from the Cultural Council of the Fondation de la Haute Horlogerie (FHH) honored two exceptional personalities in 2014: Philippe Dufour for his “talent” and Henry-John Belmont for his “passion.”
SalonQP, London’s premier watch exhibition, ran from the 6th through the 8th of November 2014 at the prestigious Saatchi Art Gallery in central London. It was bigger and better than ever in terms of both size and visitor numbers.
Read on for more than just a few reasons (and lots of photos) why SalonQP is my favorite watch exhibition.
In this final round table discussion, my Quill & Pad colleagues Ian, Joshua, Gary and I discuss the amazing night that was. I am glad to talk about this incredible event and provide a few behind-the-scenes insights. Being on the jury for the third time in a row this year, I knew what to expect and could relax enough to enjoy the discussions and preparations.
There were new models launched in Hong Kong at the second edition of Watches & Wonders from Jaeger-LeCoultre, Richard Mille, Vacheron Constantin, A. Lange & Söhne, Montblanc, Audemars Piguet, IWC, Roger Dubuis, and Panerai.
Now we get to the real nitty-gritty at the Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève.: the Aiguille d’Or. There are no ifs, and or buts any more, just a decision on which of the 72 pre-selected watches is the best overall timepiece of the year. It is the most prestigious of the awards given.
Which could be our panel’s favorite to win? The Margot by Christophe Claret? Urwerk EMC? Perhaps the De Bethune DB29 Maxichrono Tourbillon? Or will it be something else entirely?
The Petite Aiguille category is for watches under 8,000 Swiss francs (approx $8,500). The contenders are Bell & Ross BR03-92 Ceramic Black Matte, Chopard Grand Prix de Monaco Historique Chrono, Montblanc Meisterstück Heritage Moonphase, Seiko Grand Seiko Hi-Beat 36,000 GMT, TAG Heuer Carrera Calibre 1887 Chronographe “Racing,” and the Zenith El Primero Synopsis.
The Sports watch category has always been one of the most hotly contested prizes because these are the watches that many people actually wear. Our pre-selected contenders in the Sports category this year are: the Bell & Ross BR126 Vintage Sport Heritage GMT Flyback, Blancpain’s Fifty Fathoms Bathyscaphe Chronographe Flyback, the Aerofusion Chronograph Pelé by Hublot, Tissot’s T-Touch Expert Solar, the Tudor Heritage Ranger, and the El Primero Lightweight by Zenith.
Contendors in the Artistic Crafts category of the Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève are: Chanel’s Coromandel Twin Volute Enchantée, Precious Watch Attrape-Moi… Si Tu M’aimes by Chaumet, Greubel Forsey’s Art Piece 1, Arceau Millefiori by Hermès, Jaquet Droz’s Petite Heure Minute Relief Saisons and Hisui by Kari Voutilainen. Which of these exceptional works of art would you choose in this category if you were on the jury?