SalonQP 2014

Roundup of SalonQP 2014: London’s Premier Watch Exhibition

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.

The top prize of the Aiguille d'Or goes to the Breguet Classique Chronométrie

Reflections On The 2014 Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève

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.

Dial of Margot in white gold by Christophe Claret

Aiguille d’Or: Round Table Discussion Of The Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève 2014

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?

Pre-selected Mechanical Exception watches in the 2014 Grand Prix

Mechanical Exception Pre-Selected Watches: Round Table Discussion Of The Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève 2014

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.

Urwerk EMC Black on the wrist of Felix Baumgartner

Back In Black: First Live Photos Of The ‘Smart’ Urwerk EMC Black

Let’s get one thing straight: Urwerk’s EMC Black is not a pretty watch and it’s not meant to be, it’s a proof-of-concept instrument. And a very good instrument at that, one that is not only extremely precise, but is the world’s first watch capable of measuring its own precision without external tools or meters.

The yellow/green Super-LumiNova of the Urwerk UR-110 TTH glows an electric cool blue in the dark

Heartbeat: The High-Lume-Glow-In-The-Dark Urwerk UR-110 TTH

Having had the opportunity to wear Urwerk’s UR-110 TTH for a month, I came to seriously appreciate not only the unique craftsmanship and gorgeous styling of this particular model, but also its cool, yellow-green lume display at night. The blackened titanium case and tantalum bezel is absolutely rock and roll: heavy in color, aesthetic in hue and unusual in this shape.

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.

The UR-105M Dark Knight with AlTiN treated steel bezel

Back To The Future: The Urwerk UR-105M

Wild watches get ever wilder and ever more numerous and like any addict, we need more and more just to reach the same horological high. One of the first avant garde brands that started us all on this exhilarating ride isn’t really playing the same game at all: Urwerk. In an era when new models appear to be designed as much, if not more, for shock-and-awe as they are for time keeping, the UR-105M paradoxically looks both cutting-edge-modern and reassuringly familiar.

Urwerk EMC fine tuning adjustment

Heartbeat: EMC By Urwerk

Urwerk’s EMC is the first high-end mechanical watch that uses sophisticated integrated electronics to monitor its own precision. A simple adjustment screw on the back allows the wearer to easily regulate the timing themselves.

The Difference Between Urwerk’s EMC And A Toyota Prius (Not As Obvious As You May Think)

Retrospective: One of the most significant watches of 2013 was Urwerk’s EMC. And it’s no wonder why, as it features an integrated optical timing sensor, on-board generator, fold-out winding handle (to power the optical timing sensor), precision delta indication, and on the back a user-friendly timing adjustment screw. As if that’s not enough, EMC also happens to have Urwerk’s first in-house movement.