SalonQP 2015 Roundup With A Few Of My Favorite Watches From The Fair
by Simon Cudd
At the 2014 edition of SalonQP you could hardly move for the amount of people congregating in the various galleries on all three floors, but this year there seemed to be more space.
The Saatchi Gallery on Kings Road in trendy Chelsea has played host to the London watch show for the past four years. It is a fantastic venue and a great place for the brands attending to showcase their wares.
What an eclectic mix of brands and watches on show this year, too!
The recent release of the Harry Winston Opus 14 has had mixed reviews, but it was great to finally see this near-legendary timepiece in the metal. It intrigued me for its sheer size, color, and complicated mechanism.
For Quill & Pad resident collector GaryG’s opinion on the new Opus 14 by Harry Winston – as well as his beautiful photography – see The Harry Winston Opus 14: A Considered Collector View.
I spent a few hours the evening before SalonQP shooting the breeze with Andreas Strehler over a drink or two. Andreas had made an edition of only eight pieces christened Shadow Time especially for SalonQP. It features a dark grey dial with orange accents in a stainless steel case. I asked why only eight pieces, though my question was obvious as he answered, “Look at the dial configuration!”
The Upside Down (or the “telephone” watch as I refer to it) is still enchanting in the grey and blue dials, that latter of which I had not seen before.
It is equally impressive in the dark grey version with diamonds around the bezel photographed on a female wrist.
For more on Ludovic Ballouard’s Upside Down, please see When Confusion Paves The Way To Awe: The Ludovic Ballouard Upside Down.
My love for De Bethune grows every time I gaze at the out-of-this-world cases of the DB28 and DB16. But I found myself even more mesmerized than usual at what I saw through the case backs, transfixed by that stylish rear end with subtle references to the final frontier.
The new blue rubber strap added to the DB28 GS was a stroke of genius: a welcome sight over the normal black or grey rubber straps that we usually see on dive and sports watches. For more on this sporty timepiece, see Everything Is Possible: De Bethune DB28 GS.
Laurent Ferrier has really grown on me since I paid the boutique brand a visit at Baselworld this year. The Galet Square is exquisite contemporary style with elegant yet masculine lines, an uncomplicated dial, and an air of casualness. In a choice of stainless steel or red gold, and blue or fumé-colored dials, what’s not to lust over.
H. Moser & Cie is another brand that has come to my attention this year with the madness of the “Unique Piece” crystal watch with skeleton dial. The Moser that captured my heart, however, was the Funky Blue Endeavour Perpetual Calendar with a stunning blue fumé dial punctuated by a large date and a power reserve indicator.
MB&F has done it yet again! This purveyor of the cool and the wacky has pushed the boundaries with the new Legacy Machine Perpetual, reinventing the perpetual calendar movement completely with the help of Irish watchmaker Stephen McDonnell.
For more on this exquisite timepiece, see Why Legacy Machine Perpetual Catapults MB&F Into The Big League.
A pleasant lunch was had with Urwerk on the Friday, allowing a couple of hours away from the hustle and bustle of the show in the trendy Polpo restaurant with the new EMC Pistol, an engraved EMC reminiscent of the master gun makers and weapons of old that closes out the EMC model.
Australian industrial designer Marc Newson, whose claims to fame include Ikepod timepieces and the recent Apple watch, had a couple of his wondrous Hourglass models on display. The classic egg timer shape is blown in one piece of glass and contains eight million nano balls!
Mesmerizing to watch, it is certainly a statement piece at more than £14,000 depending on which version you decide on. For more on this rare timepiece, see Glass, Nostalgia, And The Ikepod Hourglass.
Roger Smith was at the show in collaboration with Phillips auctioneers, showing off his new range of updated Series 1 and 2 models as well as the brand-new Series 3 and Series 4 models. Watch this space in the coming week for more on those.
Each year SalonQP goes from strength to strength and I’m already looking forward to the next year!
For camera buffs, I was very fortunate to be able to test the new Leica Q Type 116 and used it at SalonQP. It’s got a fixed 28 mm F1.7 lens, 24 megapixel full frame CMOS sensor, magnesium alloy body that feels as though it has been hewn from a solid block of metal . . . and it is awesome! I’ve just ordered one.
For more information about the exhibition, please visit www.salonqp.com/exhibition.