In 2020/2021, the pre-owned landscape has experienced a seismic shift called consolidation, led by the acquisition of online vintage and pre-owned dealer Analog/Shift by Watches of Switzerland in late 2020 and more recently Hodinkee purchasing Crown & Caliber. Elizabeth Doerr converses with pre-owned watch specialist WatchBox’s CEO Justin Reis for views on the Hodinkee takeover and the current pre-owned market.
About Elizabeth Doerr
I am the editor-in-chief and co-founder of Quill & Pad. Specialized in horological publishing since my first Basel Fair in 1991, I have contributed to magazines, newspapers and websites too numerous to recount here.
My primary focus remains on the technical side of high watchmaking where progress meets tradition, but I often also profile the colorful personalities and historical elements that make up this surprisingly diverse and compelling world of ticks and tocks.
Now, please don’t take this title the wrong way: this list is not definitive. Which is why it is not entitled “The 5 Most Innovative Wristwatches Ever Made.” This list could have encompassed 15 or even 20 innovative wristwatches! And there are surely differing opinions. However, for Elizabeth Doerr these five timepieces encompass comprehensive parts of what is great about the modern world of wristwatches.
De Bethune highlights that there is more than one way to rotate a watch, using its floating lug system to perfection in the new DB Kind of Two Tourbillon. Look out, Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso! Watching the blue tourbillon escapement beating away in high-def macro video is simply captivating: you’ll want to watch it over and over and over.
Classic on the front, party in the back: that about sums up the traditional erotic timepiece. And one of the modern masters of the erotic watch is Blancpain. In this excellent video by The Watches TV, you’ll discover what “hot horologerie” is all about!
“Shrink and pink” is a relatively recent term to describe how watch brands sometimes use a men’s watch as a base for making a timepiece more oriented toward the female consumer. Here Elizabeth Doerr shares five watches whose makers employed the “shrink and pink” tactic so successfully that she would wear them in a heartbeat. And spoiler: none of them are pink.
Every woman – nay, every person – is different. Which means their needs and wants will be different. All Elizabeth Doerr can do is tell you about her own experience with watches. But perhaps the most important thing of all to know is that any watch is a woman’s watch if a woman is wearing it.
In early February, expert spotter Nick Gould noticed that Vanessa Redgrave was wearing a special watch during the filming of the movie ‘Blowup’: a very rare Rolex Submariner Reference 5513 with so-called Explorer dial. We felt that the topic deserved more discussion, though, so the team turned to the latest form of social media: Clubhouse. You can hear the recorded conversation about that and the general nicknaming of vintage watches here.
“The watch industry today would be nothing without women,” Elizabeth Doerr notes as the majority of watchmaker benches in watch factories are “manned” by women. Women were also responsible for the very first wristwatches; the world’s first doctorate in horology went to a woman (Dr. Rebecca Struthers); and the now-safe lume glowing on your watch came about thanks to the dangerous (and deadly) work of both Marie Curie and the Radium Girls.
More than a century of history of Baselworld, the world’s biggest and most comprehensive watch fair, is virtually impossible to sum up in just a few lines. However, that is what Elizabeth Doerr does here as she looks back over 102 years of Baselworld history and reflects on what happens next. Hopefully that is, “Pack your bags for Houruniverse 2021.”
One of the last of the so-called Radium Girls passed away at the age of 107 in late 2014. These were women working in factories tasked with painting the numerals and other markings on watch dials with a luminous paint comprising glue, water, and radium powder. Little did they know the consequences this job would have.