Given GaryG’s musings on these pages about the relative roles of rarity and complication in driving the value of a watch, he thinks it appropriate to dedicate this “Behind the Lens” entry to a piece that is both complicated and limited in production: Patek Philippe’s Reference 5950A. What’s so special about this watch? Well, first of all it’s a split-seconds chronograph. What else?
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
There’s a big overlap between the populations of watch and car enthusiasts, so it should come as no surprise that some of GaryG’s watch (and car) buddies leapt at the chance to attend the annual Singer Reimagined Monterey event this year and then took advantage of being in the area to sample other events over the weekend as well.
For a watch fanatic, and especially for lovers of independent watch brands, meeting the makers of the watches that we admire is a dream come true. With the Grönefeld brothers, it’s that pleasure multiplied by two. And then there’s the sensational One Hertz.
This is the story of the final watch – or, truthfully, pair of watches – that GaryG happened upon at a Sotheby’s auction in late 2017 and felt that he just had to have: two 1970s prototype pieces made by Jaeger-LeCoultre.
Anyone who visits online watch forums with any frequency very likely comes across at least a few heated discussions of “finishing,” a topic that seems to fascinate, and divide, enthusiasts. What is it and why are opinions divided?
When someone says “I’m no prude,” it is pretty easy to imagine what typically comes next: a prudish commentary on some aspect of modern society or youth culture. I like sex. There we go! To the point and leaves no doubt as to intent, I’d say. That said, I typically try to keep my interests in sex and watches somewhat distinct. But does the watch industry at large?
In 2006 GaryG spotted two objects of desire at a California dealer: Vianney Halter’s dramatic Antiqua and Contemporaine timepieces. They were out of his reach, but in 2007 he found a Contemporaine in white gold offered at a price that was about one-third its original retail value on eBay. What could possibly go wrong?
Over the twenty-odd years GaryG been buying “serious” watches, he has purchased more pieces bearing the Jaeger-LeCoultre brand name than any other. By far. Within the Jaeger-LeCoultre pantheon, one watch subgroup stands out: the Reverso. He and his wife have bought a total of seven Reverso models. Given that, why add another? In this instance, the Reverso Tribute to 1931?
Wouldn’t it be splendid to have everything your heart desired? Well, it’s a nice fantasy but it’s not going to happen to any of us, including GaryG. And, beside, he is not so sure that the experience of “selling to buy” isn’t actually a significant part, albeit a bittersweet one, of the collecting experience.
From the time GaryG revealed that he’d added a Patek Philippe Reference 5170P chronograph to his collection, he has frequently been asked two questions: how does it compare to his Patek Philippe Reference 5370P split-seconds chronograph? And how does it compare to Patek Philippe’s prior flagship chronograph, the platinum-encased Reference 5070P?