For the past five years, I’ve had the delightful experience of traveling to Switzerland with several friends to experience SIHH week, before finishing up with a Friday night dinner at which we review our impressions of the week by answering what watch we thought was best of show at SIHH; what was the worst watch; what current-production watch that we saw at any event during the week would we buy if money were no object; and what current-production watch did we see that we would buy with our own money?
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.
I am a big fan of MB&F’s crazy Horological Machines and think that they make world of watchmaking much, much richer. Despite that, I have had a hard time imagining one on my own average-sized, conservative wrist. Whereas previous Horological Machines have been high-tech, miniaturized machines, the curved case and eye-like domes make HM6 feel organic and corporeal. . . a nice, friendly and (despite the titanium case) soft animal begging to be touched.
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?
While this category in the 2014 Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève is called “Mechanical Exception,” it could well be titled “exceptionally difficult to pick a winner.” And that’s because of the incredible selection of exceptional watches to choose from: Urwerk EMC, Jaquet Droz Bird Repeater, TAG Heuer Monaco V4 Tourbillon, MB&F Legacy Machine No. 2, Hublot, MP-05 LaFerrari, and Andreas Strehler Sauterelle à Lune Perpétuelle.
Here’s what our panel thinks of the Men’s watches pre-selelected for the 2014 Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève: Breguet Classique Chronométrie, Urban Jürgensen & Sønner Central Second, MB&F LM 101, Tudor Heritage Black Bay, Omega Seamaster 300, and the Bulgari Octo Finissimo. This category only allows men’s watches that do not have extra complications.
This month’s news roundup includes a complicated new timepiece by Audemars Piguet, a famous wrist wearing Jaeger-LeCoultre, Hublot’s latest high-profile partnership, George Daniels and Roger Smith’s only serial timepiece up at auction, Speake-Marin worn by the world’s most famous spy, MB&F’s MusicMachine 2, Arnold & Son’s elegant ultra-thin tourbillon in a new case, Jaquet Droz’ latest timepiece, a unique bespoke timepiece containing an historical movement by Grieb & Benzinger, and a wristwatch Chronoswiss has created to auction off for charity.
Starfleet Machine by MB&F is a very functional piece of fantasy for your desk.
Your desk? Well, yes, silly. You see, following Musicmachine, this is the second non-watch machine for MB&F, though this one actually does tell you the time.
Beside being a fantasy machine, it is also a table clock built with the wonderful skills of historic Swiss clockmaker, L’Epée 1839.
With Starfleet Machine MB&F shows us yet again why the brand is inspired by science fiction and the race to the stars, because it is simply fantastible!
The shape of the Starfleet Machine alone is enough to inspire wonder in those who view it, but when you peer into the depths of the exposed works and start to notice the details; a whole new appreciation begins to form. So let’s take a look at it.
Legacy Machine 101. Just when we might next expect to see LM3 featuring some new and unusual take on another traditional complication, this being MB&F, we get the complete opposite: a pared-down version of Legacy Machine No.1 called LM101 with a 40 mm case and a completely new in-house movement.
When MB&F launched its Legacy Machine collection in 2011 with LM1, it was with no small amount of trepidation. The young brand had quickly developed an excellent reputation and passionate following by creating avant-garde Horological Machines, and it certainly wasn’t a given that round watches featuring a reinterpretation of traditional complications would be as well accepted.