The watches in the Ladies category of the Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève can only feature two of the following functions at most: date, power reserve, classic moon phase, and a second time zone. The watches may be adorned with a maximum of 5 carats of gemstones.
In the world of complicated watchmaking, that which might appear simple when seen from the dial may often be quite complicated when you turn a watch over and peer into its depths.
In Kari Voutilainen’s case, not only does his style comprise an uncommon sort of complicated simplicity, it is also riddled with the thing that eludes many watchmakers: near perfection.
Stefan Kudoke’s Real Skeleton was inspired by 400-year-old memento mori timepieces, which address the transience of time in a symbolic manner. This model is just plain fun while displaying Kudoke’s creativity, make no bones about it!
Many watches hold a special significance for their owners. The watch I am chronicling here didn’t just change someone’s life, it changed MY life: the Jean Daniel Nicolas Two-Minute Tourbillon by Daniel Roth.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
“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.