If there were a watch enthusiasts’ encyclopedia, under “embarrassment of riches” the image might just be a side-by-side shot two of contemporary watchmaking’s great complicated pieces: the “mighty” A. Lange & Söhne Double Split and Patek Philippe’s Reference 5370P split-second chronograph.
I am the resident “collector” for Quill & Pad. My enduring love affair with good watchmaking began in my formative years and has accompanied me throughout my adult life. In the fortunate position to be able to acquire luxury timepieces as an adult, I am choosy in terms of quality and meaning and do not follow the mainstream art of collecting as it is primarily understood today.
I have been an active contributor to online horological fora for about a decade as I have also become very interested in learning the art of macro photography and even take lessons with wizard photographer Ming Thein. I joined Quill & Pad as the concept of talking about what interests the contributors (and therefore the readers) rather than the act of being an amplifier for industry press releases appeals to me greatly.
Entries by GaryG
GaryG provides us with a look at why he bought the A. Lange & Söhne Double Split even though he already owned the brand’s Datograph. The Double Split watch is the world’s only double rattrapante capable of both split-second and split-minute interval timing.
For this edition of Behind the Lens, GaryG shares a series of photographs of one of the great watches of our time, the Philippe Dufour Duality. The Duality, with its linked twin escapements, was originally planned for production in a series of 25 watches. In a turn of events that seems almost unbelievable today, a lack of initial demand eventually led Dufour to limit production to just nine pieces.
You can like everything, but you can’t buy – or keep – everything! Inevitably, the choices involved lead at times to regrets; for GaryG, along with many of his pals, the sadness is much more often about pieces sold too soon or failed to buy rather than pieces they were sorry about buying in the first place (although surely everyone has a few “what was I thinking?” buying moments).
If you’re just beginning to collect the works of independent watchmakers, GaryG suggest that you give careful consideration to watches from Habring2, the small independent watchmaking company headed up by Austrian couple Maria Kristina and Richard Habring.
Many of you are likely to have come across at least a few heated discussions of “finishing,” a topic that seems to fascinate, and divide, watch enthusiasts. Like many people, GaryG’s starting point for serious watches was with a well-priced brand long known for its expertise in developing movements, justly viewed as offering good value for money – but not necessarily for the refinement of its movement finishing, at least on its less expensive pieces. Read on to discover what he has learned since then?
As part of my “enthusiast collector” role here at Quill & Pad I will be taking a look at watches that strike my fancy, and sharing the visual results with you along with a few observations on photography, the watches themselves, and the collectors who own them.
Let’s get started, shall we? Our subject for this episode: the F.P. Journe Tourbillon Souverain with remontoir d’égalité.
As you might expect, the Homage To Walter Lange In Stainless Steel feels light, but not overly so. At 40.5 mm in diameter it is not a small watch, but the black face and generous bezel make the watch wear a bit smaller – certainly a much tidier size than the Double Split!
It’s no secret: GaryG an immense admirer of Philippe Dufour. Part of greatness, of course, is leaving a legacy; not only through one’s works, but in the skills and inspiration passed on to those who follow, which Dufour has liberally done. But who, if anyone, will history regard as the lineal heir to the Dufour tradition? I’ve reached what may seem a counterintuitive conclusion: Romain Gauthier.
GaryG ordered a Hasselblad X1D and received it just in time to use it for some candid portraits during Baselworld 2017. He had never shot a medium-format camera before, and the resolving power, color rendering, and ability to seemingly wrap light around a subject completely blew him away. So when Hasselblad announced that it would be offering a 120 mm macro lens for the X1D, he was among the very first to sign up. But did it make a difference in his watch photography?