This month’s news roundup includes a pair of limited edition humdingers by Richard Mille; an elegantly understated day-date by Vacheron Constantin; IWC’s Formula 1-powered new Ingenieur models; a complicated red gold timepiece by Fonderie 47; a black plastic rendition of MB&F’s HM5 called CarbonMacrolon; HYT’s latest collaborator; a Bauhaus beauty by Nomos; Jaquet Droz’s Enchanted Journey; Moser & Cie’s clever new tourbillon; and the Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève.
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
Ferdinand Adolph Lange had already been selling watches in Saxony’s capital city Dresden since 1844. Follow us on a historical journey through nineteenth-century Dresden to lightly trace the footsteps of the Glashütte watch industry’s founding father, which continues in the modern day with A. Lange & Söhne’s new boutique on New York City’s Madison Avenue.
The claim to fame of Pierre Jaquet Droz (1721-1790) was his lifelike automata, also called androids. Continuing this long tradition, at Baselworld 2014 Jaquet Droz released an ultra-modern rendition of an automaton called the Writing Machine, which utilizes traditional techniques that have been miniaturized and modernized. CEO Marc Hayek explains the premise of this contemporary android.
On this sunny day in the La Chaux-de-Fonds factory, which is half charming eighteenth-century farmhouse and half state-of-the-art technical facility, I was entirely surprised by having learned something new about one of Greubel Forsey’s production elements: screws. The subject came up in passing at lunch, sparking great passion in Forsey despite what might seem to be a miniscule topic to the uninitiated.
Felix is more than just a name. Felix is Latin for “happy” or “fortunate” and I feel that Maria and Richard Habring have found just the right moniker for their latest creation. At the same time, Felix proves that it’s entirely possible for a talented, small team to make a fully in-house manufacture movement at a fully affordable price.
According to a recent interview with CEO Jérôme Lambert at the company’s Hamburg headquarters, Montblanc’s watch business is humming along swimmingly. And an interesting statistic is that women constitute about 35 percent of the clients of this brand. Thus, it stands to perfect reason that the luxury brand boasting two Swiss factories producing elegant wristwatches would not forget women in its campaign to “share its passion for fine watchmaking.”
I love Richard Mille. Not the man (well, perhaps in a way), but his creations. I have loved the tonneau-shaped models from the moment I set eyes on them. They are masculine, sexy, beautifully proportioned, full of new technology goodness and unique in such a way that when you have one on your wrist, people instantly know what you are wearing. So why has brand ambassador Natalie Portman chosen a spider for the spotlight and how does it figure into the tourbillon and movement mechanics?
The date was March 2004. The place was Basel. I had gotten wind of a new “brand” and was heading down the street from Baselworld’s Hall 1 toward the local Starbucks to meet with the founders. In the ten years since that coffee-fueled day, Hautlence has basically experienced its own birth, middle age, near death and reincarnation. That’s quite a lot of history for any 10-year old brand. Read this story to find out where it is now and why Eric Cantona is the new “gentleman rebel” face.
In the world of complicated watchmaking, that which might appear simple when seen from the dial may often be quite complicated when you turn a watch over and peer into its depths.
In Kari Voutilainen’s case, not only does his style comprise an uncommon sort of complicated simplicity, it is also riddled with the thing that eludes many watchmakers: near perfection.
This month’s news roundup includes a complicated new timepiece by Audemars Piguet, a famous wrist wearing Jaeger-LeCoultre, Hublot’s latest high-profile partnership, George Daniels and Roger Smith’s only serial timepiece up at auction, Speake-Marin worn by the world’s most famous spy, MB&F’s MusicMachine 2, Arnold & Son’s elegant ultra-thin tourbillon in a new case, Jaquet Droz’ latest timepiece, a unique bespoke timepiece containing an historical movement by Grieb & Benzinger, and a wristwatch Chronoswiss has created to auction off for charity.