Finished watch before any modifications

Making My First Watch: Adventures Of A Beginner

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.

The 2014 Tour de France riding past the Chronophage clock at Corpus Christi College Cambridge

Tour De France Races Against Both Time And The Time-Eating Chronophage Corpus Clock

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.

Central triple-axis tourbillon of the Vianney Halter Deep Space Tourbillon

Why I Bought It: Vianney Halter Deep Space Tourbillon

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.

Dial of the Gustave Sandoz Regulator

Urwerk And The Gustave Sandoz Clock That Doesn’t Tell The Time

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.

Philippe Dufour in the film "Timepiece"

‘Time Piece’: If You Only Watch One Film On Independent Watchmaking, Watch This One

The short documentry film “Time Piece” features two of the world’s best living watchmakers, Philippe Dufour and Vianney Halter and provides insight into what makes the watches by these masters so special.

A happy momement. Your author collecting his Simplicity from its creator, Philippe Dufour.

Why Philippe Dufour Matters. And It’s Not A Secret

“I have no secrets as past watchmakers had. There are graveyards full of secrets and that’s enough.” –Philippe Dufour, 2014

Have you heard of Philippe Dufour?

Chances are, if you have been collecting watches for any significant period of time, his name is well known to you. If not, let me enlighten you.

Dial close up of the Greubel Forsey Tourbillon 24 Secondes Contemporain in red gold

Give Me Five! Tourbillons From Baselworld 2014 Part 3

This is the last in our three-part series on tourbillons from Baselworld 2014. It includes fantastic timepieces from Blancpain, Greubel Forsey, Girard-Perregaux, Hautlence and Vianney Halter I have stretched the criteria a little here: while I saw the Greubel Forsey and Vianney Halter watches during Baselworld, neither of them was actually exhibiting at the fair.

Close up of the Girard-Perregaux Tri-Axial Tourbillon

The Mechanism That Sparked A Passion: Thank Heavens For The Girard-Perregaux Tri-Axial Tourbillon

Today I don’t want to talk about one specific watch (though the Girard-Perregaux Tri-Axial Tourbillon gets special attention). Instead I want to discuss a whole class of mechanisms that made me cross the line from watch fan to so-called “watch idiot savant” (affectionately abbreviated as WIS): the multi-axis tourbillon.

Close up of the dial of the Ulysse Nardin Freak Blue Cruiser

Give Me Five! Tourbillons From Baselworld 2014 Part 2

Continuing our series on tourbillons from Baselworld 2014, here are a few from Breguet, Chopard, Ulysse Nardin, Grönefeld and Kari Voutilainen.

The engraved eyes of the Sarpaneva Doublemoon

Stepan Sarpaneva’s Man In The Moon

Most of Stepan Sarpaneva’s timepieces involve the moon in some way. And of one thing I am certain: it is surely Sarpaneva’s stylized rendition of the earth’s satellite that has drawn me to his work in such a powerfully magnetic way.

The moon seems to draw Sarpaneva himself in, but this trademark element came about in a bit of a surprising way, with much less advance planning as one might think. And, surely this is how the best things come about.