SIHH Horological Highlights From 5 Years Of Quill & Pad
On January 1, 2019 Quill & Pad celebrates its five-year anniversary. And in honor of this milestone, we take a look at some of the great stories and photos from the last 1,825 days that have helped make this publication a fun, informative, and visually interesting one.
Over these last five years – and indeed since I have been writing about watches! – the large fairs and exhibitions have played central roles in seeing any year’s crop of new timepieces. At the moment, the position of the fairs seems to be in some jeopardy, but for now it’s business as usual for the media.
And, really, what a shame it would be for the media if the fairs were to die out, for as you can see in this look back over five years of reporting the SIHH they provide a wonderful opportunity for educated opinionating and solid comparisons between timepieces and brands.
Within Quill & Pad’s cardinal month of existence, the team made the jaunt to Geneva for the first industry fair of the year: the 2014 SIHH. And it was precisely here that I initiated our first round table discussion, a traditional post style that we now do following every big industry event (SIHH, Baselworld, Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève, and more).
Aside from Ian and I, this debut round table included comments from a few friends outside of Quill & Pad, including luminaries such as Ben Clymer and Jason Heaton of Hodinkee.com, Tim Barber of QP Magazine (at that time), Suzanne Wong of Revolution, Robert-Jan Broer of Fratellowatches.com, Instagram star Kristian Haagen, Tomasz Kiełtyka of chronos24.pl, and Frank Geelen of Monochrome.nl.
This was a monster round table and a very interesting one due to the variety of people involved. See it at Unexpected Answers: A Round Table Discussion Of SIHH 2014.
Later, I summed up five cool perpetual calendars I found at SIHH 2014 in a post entitled Give Me Five! 5 Perpetual Calendars From SIHH 2014. These included Greubel Forsey’s incredible QP à Équation, which went on to win a prize in the calendar category at the 2017 Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève.
The 2014 SIHH also provided the backdrop for introducing the rejuvenated version of Montblanc’s watch division with Jérôme Lambert having been at its helm for less than one year. Find an overview of the products that were new there at Montblanc: A Winner In 2014.
And I spotted a number of beautiful métiers d’art dials on serious watches, which I summed up in Give Me Five! 5 Stunning Artistic Dials Even Men Might Appreciate From SIHH 2014.
In 2015, the SIHH celebrated 25 years of existence, which I wrote a resume of in a historically inclined post called Celebrating 25 Years Of SIHH.
This particular fair also marked our resident “nerd writer” Joshua Munchow’s first trip to SIHH. He summed up his first impressions of it in SIHH 2015: Impressions Of A Newbie.
Ian took a humorous look back at the fair after sifting through all his photos in Quill & Pad SIHH 2015 Awards, a type of post I always found particularly entertaining.
Ian also gifted us with three photo essays in that year:
- SIHH 2015 Photo Essay: Richard Mille
- SIHH 2015 Photo Essay: Greubel Forsey
- SIHH 2015 Photo Essay: Jaeger-LeCoultre
And in this particular year, we did two types of round tables: one was our traditional post-fair round table (Round Table: Reflections On SIHH 2015), while the other entailed the personal outlooks of resident collector GaryG’s NorCal collector group (Collectors Speak: Picks And Pans Of SIHH Week 2015). The direct comparison between the two posts is quite interesting and worth reading back over.
And, as the post Give Me Five! 5 Tourbillons From SIHH 2015 shows, tourbillons were still all the rage among luxury watch manufacturers.
In 2016, the character of the SIHH changed irrevocably with the addition of the Carré des Horlogers, a dedicated hall for independent creators and boutique brands. Ian shared some of his thoughts on this in Want To Launch A High-End Watch Brand? What The 9 New Independents At SIHH 2016 Teach Us.
In other news Ralph Lauren’s timepiece division departed the salon (though not really as the brand keeps popping up in back rooms as we discovered in the ensuing years), which I described in Announcement: 9 Independent Brands Join SIHH 2016 And Ralph Lauren Leaves.
We then published GaryG and his NorCal group’s views of the fair in Collectors Speak: Picks And Pans Of SIHH Week 2016.
We were, as usual, also very moved by what Greubel Forsey presented at the fair, so we did a special roundup of those pieces too, presented in Greubel Forsey’s 2016 SIHH: An Overview Of Watches Presented.
And, I became a bit starstruck at the H. Moser & Cie booth in the Carré Horlogère as I had the opportunity to meet one of the brand’s ambassadors, U2’s Adam Clayton.
In 2017 Kering Group brand Girard-Perregaux returned to SIHH (along with its new sibling brand Ulysse Nardin, which made its debut at the Geneva fair). Nola Martin was particularly taken with Girard-Perregaux’s Laureato offerings for ladies, which she summarized in Girard-Perregaux Returns To SIHH With 2017 Laureato Models, Including Elegant Editions For Women. Ulysse Nardin’s big debut at its first SIHH was the InnoVision 2 concept watch.
Ladies’ watches continued to be a big topic elsewhere at the fair, which I summarized in Give Me 5! Five Fabulous Ladies Watches From SIHH 2017 From Audemars Piguet, Jaeger-LeCoultre, Piaget, Cartier, And Van Cleef & Arpels.
Greubel Forsey also continued to innovate with handmade projects (which Ian outlined in Time Aeon Foundation And Oscillon Exhibiting Traditional Hand Craft At The 2017 SIHH); Jaeger-LeCoultre brought out the new Master Control line, which continues to be a fan favorite to this day; and Richard Mille focused solely on one watch at the fair: the RM 50-03 Tourbillon Split-Seconds Chronograph Ultralight McLaren F1, which features graphene as a main talking point.
Aside from those highlights, there were also a multitude of watches with chiming functions – five of which I brought to the fore in Give Me Five! 5 Chiming Watches At SIHH 2017 – including the stupendous Greubel Forsey Grande Sonnerie, which was a big winner at the 2018 Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève.
And in 2017, we began using the format that GaryG and his gang use for their personal set of opinions on our big round table, publishing our team’s comments at SIHH 2017 Round Table: What We Liked And What We Didn’t Like (Warning: Modem-Burning Photo Fest!).
The 2018 SIHH – see the annual round table discussion at SIHH 2018 Round Table: What We Liked, What We Didn’t Like, And What We Would Buy For Ourselves. Warning: Photo-Heavy Modem Burner! – seems to have been dominated by video reporting.
First off, GaryG and I were invited to take part in a video round table broadcasting live that revolved around the legacy of the dearly departed Walter Lange and the commemorative timepiece due to be auctioned later in the year for charity: the A. Lange & Söhne Homage To Walter Lange in stainless steel. See the live video recorded at the A. Lange & Söhne booth at SIHH at A. Lange & Söhne Live Video Event From SIHH 2018: Remembering Walter Lange.
Ian and I were also invited by The Watches TV twice to discuss the happenings at the fair as they unfolded: please see Video: Elizabeth And Ian Discuss SIHH 2018 Standouts With The Watches TV and Video: Elizabeth And Ian Interviewed By The Watches TV At SIHH 2018.
Then, The Watches TV made a fun video to commemorate the debut of La Montre Hermès at SIHH, which you can see at Video: Hermès Makes Fun-Filled Debut At The 2018 SIHH With Eye-Catching Carré H. And, finally, we were treated to a video of Philippe Dufour explaining his top 5 watches from the fair.
Martin Green also noticed some trends at this rendition of the fair: for one Diamonds At SIHH 2018: Less Now Seems To Be More, and for another Sensible Case Sizing: How The 2018 SIHH Showed Us We Are Heading Back To The New Normal.
Sabine Zwettler chose 5 Of The Best Classic Three-Hand Timepieces With Date From SIHH 2018, and guest writer Łukasz Doskocz – editor-in-chief of chronos24.pl – picked out 5 Of The Best Value-For-Money Watches At SIHH 2018.
Łukasz also reflected on his third visit to the SIHH in The Times, They Are A Changin’ At SIHH And Why That Matters: Observations From A Third-Timer.