Van Halen was the catalyst kicking off Elizabeth Doerr’s lifelong passion for rock music as the first band she stumbled across in this genre (but most certainly not the last). One cursory listen to “Eruption” and she was hooked on rock for life. In honor of the anniversary of Eddie Van Halen’s untimely death on October 6, 2020, cue “Eruption” and take a look at three tasteful and fun watches the guitar god owned and wore.
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.
Entries by Elizabeth Doerr
The Iconic category emphasizes men’s or women’s watches from a brand’s emblematic collection, meaning one that has had a lasting influence on watchmaking and its history as well as having been on the market for more than 20 years. Five of the watches pre-selected here are either time-only or time with date; one lone chronograph completes the set.
Watch- and clockmaking has a long history in Germany, as evidenced by the fifteenth- and sixteenth-century timepieces from the Nuremberg/Augsburg area and the academic discussions of Peter Henlein, who is said to have made the world’s first pocket watch around 1505. But the country’s roots in great watchmaking do not stop there: Elizabeth Doerr takes us on an historical journey of Glashütte, the birthplace of modern Germany’s fine watches.
I clearly remember watching the history-altering events on television on November 9, 1989: the day that the Berlin Wall came tumbling down. Since then, watchmaking in Germany, just like the country as a whole, has undergone a lot of change, including the rebirth of Glashütte’s horological industry.
Earlier in 2021, Girard-Perregaux surprisingly announced a new partnership with luxury carmaker Aston Martin and quickly released the Tourbillon with Three Flying Bridges Aston Martin in blackened titanium. During Geneva Watch Days, Girard-Perregaux introduced a pink gold variation in celebration of the brand’s 230th anniversary that took Elizabeth Doerr’s breath away with its transparency, technicity, and sheer beauty.
In October 2014, Germany celebrated 25 years of reunification and A. Lange & Söhne celebrated 20 years since the truly iconic Lange 1 was introduced. Quill & Pad had the immense honor of presenting a new film to you with a great deal of never-before-seen footage ahead of its October 25 premier in Dresden. Seven years later, we thought you might want to see it again.
October 1, 2021, marks 20 years since Günter Blümlein passed away at the age of just 58. His untimely death meant that A. Lange & Söhne lost its visionary co-founder, and the watch world lost a charismatic businessman and strategist who was a crucial factor in driving the mechanical renaissance of watchmaking in the late twentieth century. His legacy was – and remains – the three so-called LMH brands, a “supergroup” that went on to form the nucleus of Richemont’s high-level manufacturing capabilities at the turn of the millennium.
The watches here are as different as day and night, with only two perhaps comparable to each other because they both have jump hour displays (but even these two are as different as it gets with one very classic in looks and the other ultramodern). Additionally, we have two chronographs, a worldtimer, and a mechanical opus with two time displays. It will be hard to choose among all this mechanical charm, but our panel pushes on.
It might be hard to find six more diverse pieces! Three shaped watches, two with visible movement parts, one gimmicky “troll” watch, one Japanese timepiece, one by a fashion brand turned serious watchmaker, and one designed by one of the best watch designers of all time. Whew, this is gonna be tough!
Complicated ladies’ watches are not as rare as they once were, and the best thing is that they are not converted men’s watches anymore but purposely designed and built specifically for female wrists. While there are a lot of absolutely stunning watches in the Ladies Complication category this year, they aren’t that complicated and there are quite a few tourbillons. Nonetheless, our panel reaches something of a consensus.